Ensure Your Emails are Getting the Attention They Deserve

When recruiters tell me they can’t find candidates, I always ask the clarifying question: “Is it that you can’t find candidates for your positions, or is it that the candidates you find are not responding to your inquiries?”

More often than not, their response is the latter. With LinkedIn, Indeed, and various other web-based career sites and social networks, finding candidates has become easier — depending on the profession, of course. But, if it’s easier for you to find them, it’s also easier for your competition. The most desirable professionals get numerous inquiries from recruiters on a regular basis, and this is in addition to the hundreds of personal and professional emails they already get weekly.

Getting a top candidate to open your email, read it, and take the desired action, such as respond that they would like to talk further about your opportunity and/or apply for the position, has truly become a combination of art and science.

In response:

  • Use a referral source in your subject line. If someone referred you to the candidate, put it right in the subject line so they see it in their email inbox or on their mobile device.
  • If you have no referral source, try to reach out first via the phone. Yes — call them! You will probably get their voice mail, but leave a brief, compelling message about the position and then let them know you will be sending them an email regarding the opportunity. This way when you send your email, you can put right in the subject line: Per my voice mail — Clinical Research Director role. Again, the key a compelling subject line that will make them open the email.
  • If your subject line is compelling enough to get them to open and read your email, ensure you:

– Personalize the message based on what you know about them (profile on LinkedIn, etc.)

– Make sure your email is short, concise, and to the point. Remember, most will be reading this email on their mobile device.

– Make the message “easy on the eye.” Use bullets, short compelling statements, etc.

– Address “what is in it for them” to call you back and/or apply for the position. What are two or three compelling reasons they would want to talk further about this job? Why would they want to apply? Remember, they are talented professionals and other recruiters are likely contacting them as well.  Your opportunity needs to stand out from the rest.

– Ensure they know that your conversation is confidential. Passive candidates don’t want to risk their boss finding out they are talking to recruiters.

–  Have a call to action. If it is a passive candidate, all you want to do is open up the dialog to discuss an opportunity that might be of interest to them. If they are active, invite them to apply.

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Consider these before & after approaches:

BEFORE

Hi David.

I am following up on a voicemail I left for you. I saw your resume on CareerBuilder and believe your talent and experience would be a match for our team. I am currently recruiting Coder/Auditors to join our organization. We are a large, stable healthcare organization that offers a great company culture. We are both team-focused and patient-centered. We offer benefits the 1st of the month following 30 days of employment as well as the opportunity to work remotely after a period of training!

I would love to schedule some time to speak with you in regards to career opportunities. I am available Mon-Fri 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and if you have some time, I’d love to schedule a brief chat with you at your earliest convenience.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Best Regards,

AFTER —

Hi David. 

I am following up on a voicemail I left for you. 

I saw your resume on CareerBuilder and believe your talent and experience would be a great match for our team.  I am currently recruiting Coder/Auditors to join our organization.  

Position/Company Highlights:

  • We offer benefits the 1stof the month following 30 days of employment!
  • Opportunity to work remotely after a period of training!
  • [Hospital name]  is a large, stable healthcare organization that offers a great company culture.
  • We are both team-focused and patient-centered.

I am available during the following to have an exploratory confidential discussion:

Monday: 2-5 p.m.

Tuesday: 8-11 a.m.

If these times are not good, let me know when is convenient for you!

Look forward to talking with you.

 

Another good example:

Subject Line: I am impressed with your profile I found on Indeed 

Susan:

I notice you have been involved in some cutting edge initiatives within your acute care hospital. 

I would love to connect with you about a Cardiac CRNA opportunity working with some of the best doctors in town!

Position Highlights:

  • We are a Magnet facility located in [city, state].
  • Level 1 Rotational Trauma Center, acute care hospital with ### licensed beds.
  • Teaching hospital.
  • Opportunity to use state-of-art procedures done for the first time in the region!  

Please feel free to call me @ ###-###-#### or shoot me an email letting me know a good time to have a confidential discussion regarding this opportunity.

Remember, if you are reaching out to candidates but they’re not responding, it’s likely that your message isn’t getting through. Try some of these best practices and you’ll likely be amazed at significantly improved response rates!

David Szary is senior vice president and general manager, recruiting services, HealthcareSource. HealthcareSource is a leading provider of talent management solutions for healthcare.

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