What's in a Name - Power of Email Signatures in Recruitment

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I’ve been a part of the talent acquisition space for a while now. Everyday, I read through a lot of material on how the market is evolving, what are the trends, what drives the market, etc. One trend that has continuously appeared in almost every study is how the power balance has shifted from employers to candidates. And this shift is causing recruiters to don a whole new avatar - that of a marketer.

Even thought leaders in the industry resonate with this idea. Have a look at this quote by Josh Bersin, where he summarizes what a recruiter should be doing in this changing market landscape.

“Recruitment has shifted from a “sales” focus to a “marketing focus” today. Companies that create a compelling, authentic employment brand, communicate their values and mission, and clearly articulate the nature of their workplace are winning out in their recruitment efforts." - Josh Bersin, Founder, Bersin by Deloitte.

So the first question you, as a talent professional,  might ask me is ‘how do I do it’? Answer: There are infinite ways. But let’s look at something basic, something you can do right away without investing time and effort.

Email signatures!

Yes, signatures are one of the key visual marketing tools that can be used to promote employment brand, introduce authenticity, promote events and studies/research, and also to reconnect with candidates who might have dropped out of your hiring funnel. Infact, while talking to talent professionals we understood that they are actively using signatures to create a personal brand. 

Does an email signature matter? 

Absolutely! There is a definite measure on how effective they are, since email signature marketing creates 10X more impact than display ads do.

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Data is core to everything we do at Belong. So, we looked at email signatures of talent acquisition experts from across India to understand how signatures are used. Below are some interesting data.

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As you can see, majority of the signatures are either large or medium, meaning they occupy about 15-25% of an e-mail’s body. That’s a lot of space, considering how little we think about them.

If you take a look at the composition of signatures, you can see that name and designation/function, are present in almost 100% of the signatures. This is followed by company logo and personal contact number.

But, what we found very troubling is the fact that in this age of social media, when marketing teams in India spend 15% of the annual budgets on social media, and when 44% of talent acquisition professionals leverage social media as top source for hiring talent, we are heavily under utilizing social media in our signatures. Only 29% of talent acquisition professionals, have links to their own or company social media profiles.

Another thing we found out was that only a small proportion of talent acquisition professionals (36%) use signatures to promote talent brand, and distribute information via blogs, company wikis, careers pages, job board links, etc.

Let’s take an example of a talent acquisition team that utilizes email signatures for talent brand promotion. A team of 10 talent professionals sending 80-100 emails a day, can generate ~50,000 impressions and 1,500 clicks annually.  This number would shoot up if we talk about Belong emails, where the average open rate is about 3.5 times of emails on traditional recruiting platforms. The numbers from Belong considering same number of emails would be more like 187,500 impressions and 5,300 clicks. Imagine what so many impressions and clicks can do to, not just your employer brand, but also to your personal brand.

How do I create a memorable email signature? 

Here are some best practices that we have compiled from our research to give you a quick guide:

  1. Keep it short; maximum of 3-4 lines. 
  2. Include an image, as it makes the signature more noticeable; you could use your company logo. 
  3. Use social media profiles – Personal as well as company related. 
  4. Don’t put your email in the signature as it is redundant and not a good utilization of space. 
  5. Use email signatures to guide talent to upcoming events, product launches, talent pages, etc. 
  6. Use commonly available fonts such as Calibri, Sans serif, Arial, Georgia, Trebuchet, and Verdana, and combine it with minimalistic formatting; using uncommon fonts and formatting can cause the email signature to behave weirdly across browsers and mail clients. 
  7. Keep the design simple, with constant fonts, and colors; never use more than 1 or 2 colors for text.

Now have a look at what email signatures could look like.

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I am sure you also like the one on the right the best - simple, elegant, makes use of social media, links to careers website, and has just the right amount of information.

Do you also want some to use some great signatures? Here are some quick ways to capture these best practices in a jiffy. Just head to below apps:

  1. https://htmlsig.com/
  2. http://free-email-signature.exclaimer.com/

Do you want some design inspiration? Have a look at the below links.

  1. https://www.behance.net/gallery/32509019/Email-Signature
  2. https://www.template.net/business/email/free-email-signature-design-templates/

Creating your own signature within Belong

After all this research (user and online), data analysis, and obviously engineering effort, we came up with a simple solution, which now resides under Account Settings tab located inside the drop-down menu located on the top right of Belong App.

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As with everything at Belong, we tried to make it zero effort; just copy paste your existing signature that you might be using in your Gmail, Office365 or Outlook. As a good practice and to prevent any links and photos from breaking, we suggest, that you copy your signatures from under settings tab of mailbox and not directly from e-mails.

You can use below links to find signatures in your mailbox:

  1. Gmail
  2. Google Inbox
  3. Office365

Once you paste your signatures in the Belong app, your Belong emails will start having your signatures, creating a seamless experience for the candidates, combined with the power of personalized emails.

Remember, it takes a lot to leave an impression. So grab all the opportunities, big or small, to do just that. 

Recruiting Best Practices
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