Writing a cold recruiting email is never easy. If you are too generic, you’ll likely be ignored. However, if you spend too much time on one candidate, you may lose sight of other opportunities.
The key is to find a balance. You want to write a cold recruiting email that engages the reader and sets up an opportunity for further discussion. This can be done. Keep it simple and don’t overwhelm the candidate or yourself in the process.
When writing a cold recruiting email, make sure to do your research and personalize it for the candidate.
Engage your candidate by focusing on them and what they have to gain from your opportunity.
Provide context and a call to action to let the candidate make an informed decision on your enticing offer.
Gently follow up between 2 to 7 days after the first email.
6 Tips For Writing Cold Recruiting Emails
Do your research.
It’s basic. It’s easy. But you’d be surprised how many candidates receive generic emails that, when all is said and done, can be boiled down to “Hi, I did not research you. Let me recruit you.”
Research helps you personalize the email, which is more likely to grab the attention of the reader.
Don’t just look at their LinkedIn profile. Look at their Twitter, portfolio, and projects. Find out if you have any mutual connections or interests.
Show that you put in the effort to learn about the person and you aren’t just sending a boilerplate email.
Don’t start with email.
Email is a bold move when you don’t know someone. Warm them up by engaging and providing value on social media.
This can be as simple as following them on Twitter, retweeting their tweets, responding to a question on Quora, and so on.
The best part is that you don’t need a response. People are vain. They check for new followers, favorites, and retweets and often won’t engage, but they take notice if others pay attention to them.
Engage with them two or three times to get your name in front of them, so when you do email them, they’ll think, “This person looks familiar … I think they followed me on Twitter.”
If they do respond to a tweet or your answer on Quora, even better. They are primed to see your name in their inbox!
Focus on the candidate, not you or the company.
Candidates care about what’s in it for them. So make your email about them.
Play to their needs and let them know how your opportunity will benefit them.
Try boosting their ego, but don’t overdo it. You can do this by telling them you shared their work with others, referring to them as a “leader” or “expert,” or mentioning them in association with a respected brand name or person.
Candidates won’t care if you’re the number one recruiter in the tech industry, or what your company does if they don’t see anything to gain for themselves. This is especially true if they already have a job. You have to convince them why what you offer is a better opportunity.
Some recruiters go straight to giving all the details about the position before the candidate has demonstrated any interest. This leads to a lengthy email that likely doesn’t get read.
Instead, provide some detail about the position so that the candidate can decide whether or not they want to know more.
The most important thing to mention is the offered salary. This is a large determining factor of whether or not an email will receive a response. People’s ears perk up when they hear they will be paid what they’re worth.
Provide a call to action.
Once you have personalized your email and provided context about the position, it’s time to wrap it up with a call to action. Make it clear that you would like a response, and don’t be vague about it. Ask the candidate if they would like to learn more and offer a specific time to chat.
Keep it friendly and don’t be too pushy. You simply want to leave it up to the candidate to take the next steps.
Gently follow up.
The art of following up is a balance between persistence and annoyance. Give your candidate anywhere between two days to a week, depending on your time constraints. You don’t want to turn the candidate off from your offer, however, you want to give them the benefit of the doubt that they may have missed your email the first time around.
Unfortunately, if you do not get a response on the follow up then it’s probably time to move on to another candidate.
Cold Recruiting Email Template
It’s a bit ironic to use a template to create a personalized recruiting email. However, the basic structure found below can act as a framework to build around. Make the necessary changes to give your email a personal touch without losing sight of the tips discussed.
I’m [name] and I found your website when I started following you on Twitter. Turns out we have some friends in common. [mutual connection] had great things to say about you!
I saw that you’re currently at [company], but wanted to reach out in case you’re open to a new opportunity.
I’m looking to hire someone for a [position] at [company] with a starting salary of [salary] with equity options. We just closed our series B of funding [link to announcement] and we’re looking to develop our content playbook as a channel for user acquisition. Our team would like to talk to you more and have you lead our content team to help us jump-start those efforts.
I think you would be a great fit! You clearly have the skills this position needs. With your experience, you would make the kind of impact that will add exceptional growth to your career.
Would you like to know more about the position? Do you have time tomorrow afternoon for a quick chat?
In summary, consider the following checklist when writing your cold recruiting email:
Personalize your email as much as possible by doing research.
Mention a mutual connection if you have one.
Align with their interests (which you found out through research).
Provide the salary (and equity, stock options if available).
Give some background about your company to show credibility.
Don’t talk too much about your company.
Be friendly, and not too pushy or stiff.
Invite them for a chat.
With these tips in mind, you can be sure that your email will have a better chance of a response. Remember, you’ll need to put in some effort if you want to get the results you desire.
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