April 11, 2017

Avoid These 6 Recruiting Email Mistakes

Proactively emailing potential candidates you think could be good for a particular role is both a popular and a successful recruiting strategy. And yet, many recruiters make simple mistakes that can damage their credibility, turn the candidate off, or land their emails in a spam folder.

That’s a serious problem; for your recruiting emails to be effective, candidates have to open, read, and respond to them.

ALSO READ: Recruitment Marketing: The Future of HR Tech

By avoiding the common errors below, you can improve the effectiveness of your emails and your chances of attracting great candidates to your company. These include:

1. Spelling and Grammatical Errors

This might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s easy for mistakes to slip through that can undermine your message. Using a spellchecker is a must. If your email arrives with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, your company will seem unprofessional, and your recruiting efforts won’t be taken seriously.

It’s always a good idea to have a second party read through the copy before you send anything out. Fresh eyes often pick up things you might have missed on the first or second pass, such as fragmented sentences, errors in spelling the candidate’s name, or excessive use of industry jargon.

2. Using Strange Email Addresses

Which email account are you using to contact candidates? Remember that you are effectively cold-calling them, so your email needs to look like it comes from a reputable source.

People also need to know who they are communicating with, so avoid sending emails from your personal account or from a generic one like hr@companyname.com. Again, your message might be overlooked as mass-marketing or spam.

3. Boring Subject Lines

The subject line is crucial if you want candidates to open your email. You need to let them know your message is intended for them specifically and that it’s authentic. Blank subject lines or ones that contain vague phrases like “job opportunity” can seem suspicious to savvy candidates.

Leaders in email marketing like Hubspot also advise against the use of excessive punctuation in subject lines, such as exclamation marks and dollar signs. Try to craft a more personal message: include the candidate’s name, who referred you, and what the role is. You need to capture their attention, not tempt them to click the delete button.

4. Disregard for Tone 

Setting the right tone is a balancing act. You don’t want to be too formal or excessively personal. Impersonal greetings like “Dear Candidate” or “To Whom It May Concern” are off-putting and don’t tell the recipient they are being specifically contacted about a potential role.

Similarly, you want to avoid being too familiar too quickly. Don’t use nicknames or reference any personal information that you might have gleaned online. Typically, the best tone to aim for is friendly, but professional.

5. Being Too General

If you are reaching out to a potential candidate, you have to be specific about the opportunity you want to discuss. Fuzzy or vague descriptions won’t seem like a serious opportunity that’s worthy of the candidate’s attention. For example: 

“This is a massive opportunity. Let’s chat sometime so I can explain the details (too much to cover in an email message!).”

Don’t leave your candidates guessing. Your email needs to be direct and clearly outline the role, as well as the required skills. You also need the candidate to get excited, so make sure to highlight the aspects of the job you think might interested them.

6. No Call to Action

Your candidate has opened your email, read it, and might even be interested. Now what? In addition to including all of the necessary contact information, make sure to finish with a specific call to action. Asking the candidate if they are free on a certain day to have a discussion by phone or if they would like to meet up in person is much more likely to shepherd them through your recruitment pipeline than passively waiting for them to apply.

Getting it Right

It might only be a short, straightforward message, but every email you send needs to be spot-on to reach your candidates and spark their interest. After all, creating the right recruitment email could mean the difference between making a good hire and making a great one.

Has your company been successful at recruiting candidates over email?


Amanda Groves is the Senior Marketing Manager at JazzHR.com, the leading recruiting software provider for growing organizations. She has been published in HR Insights Magazine and is a regular contributor to JazzHR’s blog.

Looking for software? Try our Product Selection Tool