Emailing Candidates? Do This Before Hitting Send
The spunky 25-year old with wing-tipped glasses and vintage oxfords shows off the open, collaborative and clean workspace to the potential candidate. The reclaimed wood shelving and white-board coffee tables accent the exposed industrial ceiling. The message is: “We are proud of our eclectic company culture; work hard, play hard.”
Well done, you have created a home away from home for any millennial. But before any candidate walks through the antique, charming front door, there are three ways to present your company culture before the office tour.
A whopping 70 percent of American workers are “not engaged” in their job. What a huge opportunity for you! These workers are poachable and the right direct message can lure them to your company. Whether this is via a social network like LinkedIn or an email, these short messages, when done tactfully, can leave an impactful stamp on the candidate.
1. Use a catchy, pop-out subject line
What first impression do you want the candidate to take away from your email? The subject line is the first thing the candidate reads and thereby makes the initial judgment. With 35 percent of email recipients opening email based on the subject line alone, this collection of words can make a significant impact, positively or negatively, to the candidate.
Instead of the boring, run-of-the-mill subject line i.e.: “Entry-Level Sales Position, Great Pay, Great Benefits” why not use something that will certainly stick out in the crowded inbox?
Here are a few examples that any millennial would jump to open:
- “60k, Jeans and Free Lunch at Company XYZ”
- “You’re Fun and I Want You On My Team”
- “Flex hours and the chance to perfect your top spin”
Keep the subject line personal and thoughtful. This is the first glimpse into your company and should reflect your values and company personality. The goal is to grab attention and transcend your brand. Don’t be afraid to have a little fun!
2. Drop the cookie-cutter description!
Now that the email is opened, we step on down to the message content. Six lines of the company’s mission statement plus a regurgitated job description with vanilla words and vague details equals a glazed over email! Use conversational words and phrases to sound like the human you are instead of a machine. The four-paragraph in-depth KPI report can be used later, after the initial interest has spiked.
“Three out of four millennials say that work-life balance drives their career choices.”
If you are proud of something specific about your culture, share it! Opening the doors (metaphorically) of your company culture will speed up the process of finding the right fit of the next employee before opening the literal doors.
Cut the buzzwords and keep it real. Each candidate does not want to think they are receiving a blast from a database or a purchased list. The point of this direct message is to get them to want to visit the career landing page and reply to you to learn more.
3. Personalize your email signature
The last way to add that extra punch in the email is the email signature in the footer. This area continues to be overlooked. Just a little over 50 percent of professionals use email signatures when they write their emails. What a missed opportunity! Use creativity, colors, social links, a tagline, a quote, a picture…anything! Add a call to subscribe to “the unicorn of” newsletters or a “super-cool” blog. Even a little personality goes a long way.
The email signature is your chance to have the last word and leave your stamp to the message. The conclusion the candidate forms after reading the message could be: “Wow, that person seems to have a great work-life balance! Gee, gosh golly, I would love to work there!”
So, what have we accomplished here? The candidate has taken a virtual tour of your company culture through a five-minute, 100ish word email. The subject line hooked the person; the job description got him or her excited and the cool email signature poised the candidate’s hovering hand to hit reply.
My Challenge to You
Before you send a candidate an email, really think about what you are saying, what subject line you use and how you sign the message. These three areas could make all the difference in landing your dream employee.