5 Things That Make a Great Passive Hiring Email

5 Things That Make a Great Passive Hiring EmailRecruiting remarkable candidates who aren’t actively looking for new opportunities is a tough job. As a young company and brand, at Belong, most of our team members were first reached out to by us. We understand that hiring the best candidates who aren’t looking for a career change can be a high-touch process.

Questions such as 'tell me about yourself' or 'how can you contribute to this company' have no place in passive recruiting. In this field, the candidate expects you to enlighten him on why you think he is a great fit for your team.

The first step you can take to writing a great outbound hiring email is by stepping into the shoes of the candidate you are writing to; and acknowledging the fact that switching careers is a gamble -- moving away from an acquainted career and lifestyle to an entirely new environment. The email that you are going to write will be the cornerstone of this huge change the candidate is going to make.

And these are the five crucial things that we've observed that make a difference.

A clear, compelling subject that removes any ambiguity

A marketer's definition of a successful email is if it is opened. There are two factors on which an email may be opened, the sender’s name or the subject line. Unless you are a very famous professional whose email would definitely be opened, your email is at the mercy of the subject line.

Unless you are a very famous professional whose email would definitely be opened, your email is at the mercy of the subject line.

A cheesy subject line is known to be successful in outbound sales. But, in a hiring mail when the desired action is for the candidate to build alongside you, a cheesy line may not be the best way forward.

Keep the subject line simple and precise to trigger the email with the right expectations. Our internal research, in which we studied over 600 emails to senior level technology professionals, threw up some clear results on this point:

  • Emails that clearly mention the role or the opportunity and the company name in the subject line scored more than 90% in response rates.
  • In contrast, emails that only vaguely mention the role or the opportunity scored less than 60%.

A job that’s branded -- with a focus on the big picture

The first part of your email should aim to quickly establish context and reconfirm what you are saying in the subject. Once you introduce yourself and the organization, tell them flat out that you are interested in discussing an opportunity with them. This wins their attention.

Explain in brief the role you are talking about -- but keep the focus on the big picture. For example, how does the role impact the organization? What opportunities does it provide to learn and grow? Is the candidate getting to work with the industry’s rockstars? In which case, make sure to link to their bios or online profiles.

Remember, the goal here is to pique their curiosity and interest in the job.

Personalize - Why him/her?

Personalization is a word that has been battered around in the world of emails. But the personalization a candidate desires in an outbound hiring email is 'why him'.

Given that you and your hiring team already know the reasons for reaching out to a specific candidate, make sure to mention them in your email. What about their experience did you find impressive? Did their detailed answers on ReactJS or Stack Exchange pique your interest in them?

Nothing impresses a great candidate more than knowing that a potential employer took the time to truly understand their motivations before reaching out to them.

Nothing impresses a great candidate more than knowing that a potential employer took the time to truly understand their motivations before reaching out to them.


The brand punch

In the penultimate part of your email, provide a brief background of your organization. The candidate may not be familiar with who you are, but a brief about what your team does, how the journey has been so far, and a bit about the vision that is driving the company, will help them take the final Call-to-Action (CTA). Provide helpful links to recent news articles or any page on your website that showcases your culture or celebrates your achievements.

The Call-to-Action

The cardinal sin of any marketing content is to miss out on a Call-to-Action or provide one that isn’t sufficiently clear or relevant. Keep your focus on one simple CTA. One that isn’t too aggressive or that involves time and effort. A subtle, ‘Can we get on a call this friday evening’ is clear and straightforward and all the candidate has to do is respond with a simple ‘Yes’. After all, at this stage, your aim is to only engage him in a short conversation about a possible career move.  

The real challenge of passive hiring starts at getting the candidate’s interest. A great exploratory email can induce a compelling vision for the candidate that can set a good platform for the discussions and the future to come.Directi Case Study

Passive Hiring
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