After extensive research focusing on the candidate outreach,we offer you these key points.The research and data collected in our practice is the net product of reviewing thousands of email messages sent to passive candidates using A/B testing,fused with outside data sources.While the summary below will provide several key takeaways, this is only a fraction of the possibilities that can be provided.
Passive candidates are the holy grail, the golden criteria used with which to assess hiring metrics.No better path to finding hidden talent is practical except for the active sourcing of passive candidates.And to make the process yield a return on your efforts you’ll have to accept the typical spray and pray technique is inefficient and ineffective. Mining the hidden world of passive candidates is neither easy nor haphazard.
According to the 2019 Talent Benchmarks report by Lever,engaging passive candidates is the most effective way to get offers and hire people efficiently. Proactive sourcing continues to be the most effective way to hire externally. While it now takes 28% fewer applicants (candidates applying on your career page) on average to make a hire than in 2016 (152 vs.109), it takes even fewer sourced passive candidates.Compared to 2016’s benchmarks, it now takes 40% fewer sourced candidates to make a hire at just 43 vs. 72.
How many messages are optimal?
We discovered, to our surprise, many of our clients never sent more than two messages to passive candidates or applicants nor activating a strong email follow-up strategy.
These are the top three reasons our clients offer for their anemic approach to unearthing hidden or passive candidates:
- We are too busy to craft, monitor, and follow up past 2 messages
- If we send multiple messages candidates will perceive us as too aggressive
- We do not see a good ROI beyond 2 messages.
Well, the truth is that pursuing passive talent is hard work.Candidates who are employed are busy and might receive hundreds of messages per day.To succeed and break through amongst required work-a-day daily hiring activities, a recruiter needs the drive and persevere to capture the attention and the imagination of a passive candidate. A 2-3 message email strategy is merely noise and fails to distinguish you or your firm from competitors. To make an impact and raise the awareness of viable recruits, requires commitment and discipline. Anything less is bad news for those employers looking to capture and lock-in top talent.
Our recommendation is Work Hard to Win Big. Or put another way, the
the harder I work,the luckier I get. Our clients are guided to follow the first email with a minimum of a 4 to 5 touchpoint sequence of messages. Our evidence shows that not only open rates double at the 4th and 5th communiques but the response rate climbs along the same trajectory.
Campaign response rates
Targeted campaigns – multiple email touch points and social outreach twitter, Facebook LinkedIn and more increases the rate of responses and engagement.
How Long is an Effective Message?
This is a topic of great debate amongst sourcing professionals.While LinkedIn recommends a message no longer than 200-500 words,many disagree.Some of our clients prefer a higher richer, deeper story.
You’ve seen recruiters’ stuff a message with everything AND the kitchen sink. Where candidates prefer transparency—and this is especially true if you’re attempting to hire away talent, and separate them from a secure position—they’ll quite naturally want to see salary, location, and facts about the job plus an overview of the culture.So,it’s difficult to avoid verbosity. But the truth is what’s needed is focused and organized messaging and excellent writing. Once again, our research and experiences suggest the best click rates result from emails between 100-150 words- easily a winner if the message adheres to the requirements just stated.
Why would a passive candidate be interested in changing jobs?
While we are living in strange times; and where radical changes are still brewing… anxiety reigns. Imagine the passive candidate as a contented employee, secure at work and happy to be AT work regardless of where that may be.And then, WHAM…an opportunity is presented to them. Now the formerly happy worker becomes an anxious individual with competing thoughts about risk versus reward. Don’t fail to recognize the courage of that person who will emerge from their comfort zone, listen to an offer and entertain change. Smart recruiters honor and communicate it.There are many reasons why a candidate might be seeking a new role. Yet talent acquisition professionals rarely uncover the real reason(s) a candidate might want a change.
Because much of that aspect of recruiting is curtained off from our vision, research says to get the best click and response rates, we should think about what messages are relevant in these times and their industry, then include a tease of what the candidate needs or wants to hear. Giving candidates pertinent information about the role, especially in the first email will help embed your name, company, and job opportunity in a candidates’ mind, jumpstarting their curiosity positioning you ahead of the pack. Remember, candidates may not click and/or reply to your first email. However, in combination with at least 5 subsequent messages including the vital information in the first email, your response and open rates will increase significantly.
Here’s a model of a solid foundation built as a first message, response rates and themes to continue constructing multi-touch messaging campaigns.
The coveted subject line. To be or not to be (opened), that is the question
Subject lines have long been the magic potion of email marketing campaigns. Not all are created equal, moreover,the tone of a subject line—not just the vocabulary—is the key to clicks, and kryptonite to those pesky spam filters.
We thought of giving you specific examples, those that have given us consistently good results. However, they might be too specific to one field. Nevertheless, we have seen how curiosity will lead to opening emails from people who use a bit of ingenuity, creativity, and minimal sleazy tactics.
Pique the candidate’s curiosity
The power of a curious mind is undeniable. We all want to talk
about ourselves and we’re not shy when asked. On this particular
subject line, we invite the candidate to confirm the skills for
which your company is recruiting. The usual reply we see are
candidates gladly confirming or correcting if you misread their
Show that you have done the research
We all want to be recognized, valued, and respected for what we know, have achieved, and who we are.When we source for technical candidates, our team dives deep to see all the work the candidate has produced and made publicly available. We research all common platforms where we can find the candidate’s work.And we always respond in writing to honor their efforts and let them know we have reviewed and appreciated the work.