Alexandra Petrini, Director of Marketing at OneWire
So you’ve been sourcing resumes for hours and you finally find the perfect candidates. What comes next? Your intro email of course! But how many times have you reached out to candidates with no response back? Unfortunately, the answer is probably too many to count.
The U.S. job market is hovering around a 4.1% unemployment rate which isn’t the best news for employers. Candidates have their choice of jobs to pick from and I think we all know that the financial services job market can be exponentially more competitive than other industries. Leaving qualified candidates on the table is just not an option for small to mid-sized finance firms.
Let’s revisit that first candidate email. As a marketer, I’m always looking at subject lines, calls to action, mobile compatibility, etc to better engage candidates. These are the four *secret* tactics I found that you can employ to drastically improve your candidate response rates.
Email/Recruitment Marketers – you know what I’m getting at. But if you’re not familiar with email platforms, heavy HTML emails are usually the “pretty” emails you receive that include lots of images and only a little text. A lot of email providers will mark HTML emails as SPAM or tuck it away in a promotional folder (I’m sure you’ve noticed that if you have a Gmail account).
As recruiters, we cannot afford to send emails that won’t get opened. Send messages directly from your own email address to ensure deliverability. When using an email services provider, make sure to only include a few pictures and links. Keep the majority of the email normal text. Text heavy emails are also easier for candidates to view on their phone and tablets.
I learned this one after far too many A/B tests. You would think vague, click-bait-esque subject lines would get more opens, right? Nope! If you’re only reaching out to candidates that have the “must-have” job requirements, you should absolutely put the job title in the subject line. It will show candidates you reached out because of their qualifications, not because you’re blasting every person possible.
You should also include your company name if you have a strong employer brand. One of our most successful emails was an invite to apply for BlackRock. I knew their brand was strong enough to attract attention so I included it right there in the subject line. If you’re still in the process of creating an employer brand, you can use “Senior Analyst Role at Top Private Equity Firm” or stick to the job title like “Senior Analyst Opportunity”.
You could be hiring for the greatest job in the world but no one, and I mean no one, reads long emails from people they don’t know. Your emails should never be longer than around 5-7 sentences when you’re reaching out to a candidate.
If you’re inviting them to have a conversation or apply for your role, tease out the most exciting parts of the job, whether that’s the compensation package, the responsibilities, the company culture, or whatever would make a candidate go hey, I’m interested! Remember, your goal is to get a response. You can always provide more information as the process continues.
The best way to improve your candidate response rates is to understand your candidates! Sending an email to an investment banking analyst around 10AM is probably not going to elicit a response (a, because they’re at work and b, because they won’t be done with work until 2AM). Put some thought into their schedules (are they in a different time zone?) and you’ll be rewarded with a higher response rate.
Besides schedules and timing, you should also consider what they’re looking for in their next role. Let’s take financial advisors for example. They’re a difficult role to recruit because they’re usually content to stay put and fewer people are entering the industry. When deciding what to include in your email, ask “What would make them consider a new opportunity?”. It might be a higher commission, it might be more autonomy and work/life flexibility. If you are offering those in your roles, make sure to highlight it.
These tactics are by no means going to guarantee you responses, but they will hopefully push those candidates who were on the fence to reply with interest. Of course, a comprehensive recruitment marketing strategy will work wonders for your candidate response rate.