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  • Date posted:28/02/2022
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Today’s competitive talent market makes it increasingly difficult for recruiters to stand out in candidates’ InMail’s. 

Many recruiters are spending time reaching out to candidates, only for their message to be ignored. Making a compelling first impression is vital in starting the conversation off right and increases the chance of candidates opening your InMail. 

Having said that, InMails don’t have to be daunting. If you approach them in the right way and lead with a compelling statement, you can significantly improve your outreach efforts and results. Here are five of the top tips taken from experienced recruiters that you can put into practice and use to improve your InMails. 

1. Use your current network: use the connections you have as an advantage. 

Mentioning common connections and former employers of the candidate increase your chances of getting a response by 27%. If you recruit within a specific industry, there are more chances of shared connections in your network. 

A fundamental way of sparking a candidate’s interest is if you have one of their connections working in the organisation you are recruiting for. This can act as a review of some sort. If a candidate knows one of their connections works for your or your client and is enjoying their job, they are more likely to be interested in working there themselves. 

Try to find a common connection with people who know the candidate on a closer level, whether that be a previous colleague or someone who has endorsed a skill. If you have no shared connections, try and find another way to connect. 

2. Be eye-catching: Start your InMail with a catchy subject line that will intrigue candidates. 

Subject lines are arguably one of the most important aspects when considering InMails. Subject lines are your first opportunity to intrigue and grab a candidate’s attention. 

There is no point in sending an InMail with a generic subject line that may or may not be relevant to the candidate. If a candidate receives an InMail titled ‘New opportunity for …” they most likely won’t bother opening it, especially if they are settled in their current role. 

Put yourself into the shoes of the candidate you are trying to connect with. Imagine all of the other InMails they will be receiving daily. What makes your opportunity unique? What makes it stand out? The subject line aims to get a candidate to open the InMail. Don’t tell them everything they need to know upfront, leave room for the imagination, or make a personal connection. 

The talent-driven market means the candidates you’re in contact with are in demand. They will be getting generic InMails that they are tired of seeing. Make an impression, seem genuinely interested in them, and you are far more likely to get a response. 

Keep it short and punchy, and utilise the information you can find. “Hello from a fellow runner” adds a personal touch and shows candidates that you are interested in them beyond their job title and experiences. 

3. Don’t ramble – be succinct in your messages. 

InMails between 200-400 characters tend to receive higher response rates. This may seem like a challenge, but by keeping your message concise, candidates won’t lose interest and will precisely know what is being offered and what is needed. 

Don’t feel you need to fit every detail into the initial message. Candidates are more likely to respond if some details are held back. The information you decide to hold back is up to you and may differ from each candidate depending on what you feel will intrigue them the most, whether that be location, salary or benefits. 

Within your message, you must always include clear next steps or a clear call to action. Adding these to the end of your message tells the candidate exactly what you want them to do and puts the ball in their court. Be respectful with this; leave the ball in their court and allow them to come back to you with dates and times that would suit them for an initial phone call. 

4. Make a connection: don’t shy away from being personable; personalised touches can increase response rates by 20%. 

Personalised messages are vital in making your candidates feel valued and like you have a genuine interest in them. It can be too tempting to send the same message to each candidate and just change their name. It will save you time but will be painfully apparent to those who receive your message. 

Admittedly this can take a lot more time than copying and pasting your current InMail script, but it will pay off. If you are not ready to take the leap to 100% personalised InMails, start with half a script. Leave gaps that you can later fill in based on a specific candidate’s interests and skills visible on their LinkedIn. 

A great way of doing this is finding a LinkedIn post they have created and commenting on it. “Your recent LinkedIn post about ______ was really insightful. My thoughts on this are ___”. “I see you enjoy ___, this is also something I enjoy doing. What is your ___?” Aim to make a connection; this will give you more credibility and a greater level of trust between you and the candidate. 

This shows you have researched the candidate, which will make the candidate feel valued and deepen the connection you are building. Response rates increase by 20% when an InMail is personalised and may be the differentiating factor between your InMail and another. 

5. Draw attention to a candidates skills and why these are important: don’t be afraid to flatter candidates. 

People like being appreciated and recognised for their skills. Use this to your advantage. Combine this with your personalised message for an InMail that will stand higher chances than the rest. 

When recognised, people are more likely to want to help others; that may be responding to your message. After looking at a candidates profile, consider what makes them stand out from other candidates out there? Let the candidate know about this. 

Be specific. It is not enough to say their education or background is impressive; what is explicitly impressive? Much like the previous tip, show that you are genuinely interested in them and have taken the time to research and understand them. 

When highlighting a skill or experience, be sure to link to the role you are messaging about. Research has found that over half of all candidates expect recruiters InMails to explain why they would be a good fit for a position or organisation. 

Final thoughts: 

In simple terms, you want to make a lasting impression that will stick in candidates’ minds. Doing this will not only make a candidate more likely to open and respond to your message, but it will help you stick in their minds for future opportunities.