Published: Jun 20, 2019

Ah, emails. We all get about a million a day and don’t even open most of them before sending them on to the electronic graveyard we call the Deleted folder. Seriously, though, the average email open rate across all industries in 2018 was 20.81 percent according to Mailchimp. It takes a lot to fight through all that traffic. That said, though, as a recruiter or HR professional, you have a distinct advantage with a specific audience: the candidates in your recruiting pipeline. Trust me, they’d love to hear from you. So how do you make the most out of those communications?

Continuing off the last article in our recruitment marketing series, I’m going to provide three tips you can use in your candidate emails to inject your company culture into your recruiting experience, make candidates feel engaged and supported, and keep the lines of communication open for future opportunities.

Smiling couple chatting at laptop in cafe - email recruitment marketing concept

1. Be quick, transparent, and welcoming

In the modern workforce, candidates have massive amounts of choice over where they work and care a great deal about their employer’s reputation, especially the younger generations entering the workforce. There are few things that kill your reputation faster than not responding in a timely fashion when you receive a new job application. Luckily, email can help you here.

A quick note saying that you’ve received a candidate’s application after they complete it can work wonders. It’s also a great opportunity to go beyond just the basics. Your initial candidate emails are a great place to spark some excitement, communicating key tidbits about your company culture, including some notes on your hiring process, or even embedding a video showcasing the side of your organization you most want applicants to see. Got a lot of applicants? Don’t worry, it’s still no problem to do this. A strong human capital management (HCM) system will give you all the tools you need to automate this process so you can set up standard welcome emails designed for the different roles you’re hiring for.

2. Up your pre-boarding game

There’s always that strange period of anxiety right before a candidate you’ve decided to hire joins your organization as a new employee. They’re wondering about if they’ve made the right choice, if they’ll fit in, and if you’re going to set them up for success while you’re wondering if you’ve decided correctly, if they’ll find another job and ghost you at the last second, and of course if they’ll complete all their necessary onboarding materials. Well, good news: candidate emails can help here too.

If you’ve got the right HR technology in your corner, it’s a breeze to set up a string of communications with new hires who haven’t started yet and kick their pre-boarding experience into high gear. Some great things to include here are:

•    Tips on what they can expect in their department/in their first few days
•    Mentors/experienced employees at the organization to connect with for advice
•    Embedded videos with how-tos or company culture highlights
•    Links to social media networks
•    Kickoff of an onboarding checklist

Remember, according to our latest research with HCI, between 36 and 38 percent of organizations we surveyed reported an increase in the number of days it takes to move from a job posting to an accepted offer. Make sure you’re making the most of that time with some targeted email communications to ensure you don’t have to start the whole thing all over again.

3. Reject the right way

That’s right, it’s something none of us are good at dealing with – rejection. Let’s be real, you’re going to have to reject far more people than you hire, but that doesn’t mean you have to burn the bridge with those potential candidates. You can keep your recruiting pipeline full of prospects if you position your rejection emails correctly.

So how do we make that happen? It requires a little shift in perspective. Instead of focusing in your email on why the candidate isn’t a good fit or just ripping the band-aid and saying no, you can use your rejection emails to keep them interested in other positions at your organization. Highlight the other kinds of opportunities that frequently become available, connect them with your social media feeds for culture spotlights and job announcements, and encourage them to check your career site regularly. Plus, if you’ve got an HCM system that’s worth its price tag, you’ll have a consumer-grade career site experience that people will want to come back to and will be able to save rejected applicants’ information so they can more easily resubmit when they find something that might be a better fit.

I hope these three simple email tips have helped you see recruitment marketing in a new light when it comes to the candidates in your pipeline. If you’re looking to boost your recruiting strategy in this or any other area, we’ve got some great advice to help you along the way. Check out our Simple Guide to Recruiting and get the ball rolling at your organization.