How Can I Get My Candidates to Respond at a Higher Rate?

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What’s more frustrating than having to find a candidate that suits your needs among the many possibilities? Trying to contact them and not being able to get a response. We’ve gone over topics such as posting and praying before knowing it’s not always the best alternative to attract candidates; so, we’ve decided to take a look at some other alternatives that could help you increase your candidates’ response rate.

Imagine that you’re a fisherman on a lake trying to catch a golden carp among hundreds of trout. Casting a net is like posting and praying; you’re bound to get numbers, but there’s very little guarantee you’ll find the thing that you’re really looking for. In some cases, it is best to cast a single line with the proper bait to increase your chances of getting what you want.

The recruitment process is very similar; however, in this scenario, you’re not the only fisherman at the lake, so you will need some extra-special bait. You have your candidates pool and you have identified the ones that you want to reel in, but how do you make them take the bait?

How do I get my candidates to respond at a higher rate and come to me instead of my competition?

It’s all about the technique that you use and the way you apply it. By far, the most common method recruiters use to contact their candidates is via email. While a good, old-fashioned call can still yield some decent results, it is a practice that is fading away. If you’re going with an email, here are a few suggestions to help you increase your candidates’ response rates.

• Pick the right time: The beauty of an email is that it is delivered instantaneously, but that doesn’t mean that the recipient is going to read it right away. Moreover, if you send it at the wrong time of the day, your candidate may see it, keep on doing something else, and forget about it, as your email gets buried in their inbox during the rest of the day.

Believe it or not, the best window to send a contact email to a potential candidate is between 6 and 10 a.m.; the earlier the better. Most people read their emails early in the morning while they’re having breakfast, commuting to work, or getting settled at their desks. Any time after 10 a.m. is dead time as most people are already busy with their daily tasks to pay attention to anything else.

• Prepare a well-structured message: Put yourself in your candidates’ shoes for a minute and think about if you would read and pay attention to a pre-structured email that is clearly from a template. The email you send to your candidate has to reflect your interest in them, especially when you’re in a tight spot and you need a specialized worker to fill a specific position. Follow these steps to show the candidate you care:

1. Choose a good email subject: It’s the very first thing people see in an email, so you really want to go for something catchy and appealing. Avoid using boring and generic subjects. Here are some examples:

Do: Your next job and all the perks it comes with. Or Here’s an opportunity you don’t want to miss!

Don’t: Response to your application. Or Web Developer Wanted

2. Personalize your content: Just because you copied and pasted your candidate’s name on the email doesn’t mean it’s not generic, and people can tell. If you really want to catch the attention of the reader, take the time to include something about them on the first lines of the email. Going through their résumé to find some info about them is always a great idea. Here are some examples:

Do: After reading your profile, we’re sure someone with your years of experience as a web developer would be a great fit here.

Don’t: We’d like to invite you to continue along the selection process in order to become the next member of our staff.

3. Go over the position: Now is an appropriate time to explain a little bit about the responsibilities that will come with the position you’re offering. Go over how they will be a good fit for the role based on their résumé. It’s also advisable to go over some of the benefits your candidate will enjoy, should they accept the offer.

Example: Should you accept the offer to join our ranks, you would oversee our website is up and running, using your skills with TypeScript and Flow…

4. Go over the next steps: You know what really grinds a candidate’s gears? Uncertainty. When people don’t know what’s going on with their job applications, they will simply move on to the next employer. Give your candidate a clear plan of what is to come next. Are there interviews or tests to go through? Providing a clear and thorough timetable will help keep you and your candidate on the same page.

Example: We’d like to have you over on Wednesday, July 18th for a group interview, after which you will be notified in less than 24 hours if you made the final cut.

• Make it about the candidate: Remember that it’s not all about what you need, it’s what you can offer a candidate. This is the bait we mentioned before. Whenever you contact a candidate via phone or email, you need to keep the spotlight on them. Focus on using words like you and your instead of we, us, or ours. The type of language you use can make a whole lot of a difference.

• Tickle their curiosity: Adding a few links to your company’s website or social media accounts never hurts anyone. This will give your candidate a chance to know a little bit more about you.

Carefully picking your time and place, as well as preparing a good bait will make you find yourself reeling in that golden carp in no time. It’s all about doing everything you can to increase the probabilities to win the game.

Edu Rojas
Content Marketing Editor at neuvoo