LinkedIn democratized recruiting. Instead of being the recruiter with all the “right contacts” in a specific industry vertical, nearly anyone can find a potential candidate.
This means the most highly-skilled workers are receiving enormous amounts of LinkedIn In-Mails. This makes it harder for recruiters to gain responses and interest.
So, with so much competition on LinkedIn, what’s your plan to stand out from the crowd?
LinkedIn encourages recruiters to send out as many messages as possible. They present the logic of “if you send enough, you’ll get enough results”. LinkedIn even tells recruiters that a 25% response rate is acceptable. This highlights how competitive the recruiting landscape is on LinkedIn: they’re completely fine with a 75% failure rate, which is why companies need to dare to be different. And by different, we mean sending out mass emails may not be the way to go – especially for high-value recruits.
Keep it personal.
According to one market research firm, 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement rates. Personalized emails also deliver 6x higher transactional rates. With LinkedIn, the open rate may be 25%, but the response rate is even lower. To create a successful LinkedIn candidate message, take the time to make messages as personal as one can.
Do your homework.
In LinkedIn, recruiters fill in keywords, titles, or other relevant work experience to find potential applicants. This is a wonderful tool to narrow down the search. However, for especially valuable candidates, take the time to read their profile. Do they have any shared values with the organization you’re hiring for? Have they volunteered for a charity that your organization has worked with before? Take the time to learn more about each person and add in these keywords in your message. Consider learning about personality and team roles with tools like Retorio to further tailor your message.
But what does the message itself look like?
Write a stand-out subject line
Like other email campaigns, the subject line is a “make-it-or-break-it deal”. AWeber analyzed 1,000 emails from 100 top marketers to learn how emails resonate with candidates. One finding is that 35% of recipients will only open your message if the subject line resonates with them. Another finding is the number of characters made a difference. 82% of experts send emails with subject lines of 60 characters or less. Why? Most subject lines aren’t fully shown by the average email provider. This means people are scrolling through their inbox and won’t necessarily click on an email just to finish reading the subject line. A few ideas for a subject line including mentioning any shared connection. “We both know Bob Ross…” or even mention if you’ve met before. “We met at X event”. If you’re writing a cold email, include their specific background. “Searching for a Russian-speaking marsupial expert”. Whatever your subject line, keep it 60 characters long and as personal as possible.
Keep the message (not too) short and sweet
Your first instinct may be to write down how you think the candidate is a perfect fit for the position. You may be tempted to go into detail about how their background is wonderfully aligned—got to show off you did your homework! However the number of emails projected to be sent by 2022 average 347 billion per day. With thousands of emails sent every day, you’ve got to keep it simple–and short. 150 – 250 words is the recommended amount. If you write less than 150 words, you may appear like you weren’t investing time in reaching out to this particular candidate. More than 250, your candidate’s eyes may glaze over just before they delete their InMail message. Stick to the recommended character limit to up your chances of a response.
You have a limited amount of time to generate interests. It’s in the mere seconds. The average reader spends between 15 and 20 seconds scanning your message. Therefore, you must generate a bit of connection within the character limit. Connection can be how you met (a mutual connection) or it can show how your product aligns with the new company goal they’ve just announced. Find the point where your goal and their interests align and name it within the first few sentences.
You may want to consider “warming up” a potential candidate through the more casual, less direct platform of Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. There’s a psychological phenomenon called the “mere-exposure effect”, where people develop a preference for things simply because they’re familiar with them. If they see your company (or a user with your company name in their bio *hint hint*) Liking their Tweet, there’s a higher likelihood of them engaging when you reach out to them via LinkedIn. If you do this, LinkedIn data suggests that they’re 2x more likely to accept an In-Mail. You may want to work with your social media team to find the potential recruits on their Twitter account to gauge whether an interaction would be beneficial.
LinkedIn is teeming with potential talent. Crafting an effective LinkedIn InMail message is one way to start a conversation with a high-value candidate. With such incredible leads, LinkedIn promises a boon for recruiters needing to find the most qualified talent for their clients. Be sure to keep messages personalized, short, and lead with connection. This is the best way to remain competitive and stand out from the crowd.