5 Tips on Reaching Out to Candidates

5 Tips on Reaching Out to Candidates

One of a recruiter’s major tasks is reaching out to candidates for job opportunities. It is comparatively easier to contact active candidates who have applied for the jobs you posted because sourcing passive candidates takes more time.

You spend a lot of time sending emails and messages to candidates whom you are unsure are open to your opportunities; you complain about people not responding. However, have you ever reflected on your own sourcing strategies?

Here are 5 tips on reaching out to candidates that might be helpful for your next round of sourcing:

  1. Reach Out via Different Channels

Email is undoubtedly the most straightforward way to deliver the most comprehensive information. LinkedIn is one of the most resourceful pools to find qualified profiles. 

We can use many other methods to reach out to candidates, but I want to talk about only these two, as they seem to be the most common approaches. Yet, we tend to ignore these approaches, not realizing how powerful they can be.

After emailing your targeted candidates, have you thought about connecting with them on LinkedIn as well? If you are already connected on LinkedIn, you can simply send out a reminder message in case they didn’t get a chance to check their email. If you are not connected, there is no harm in sending out connect requests and a quick message once they accept. Alternatively, you can also use InMail if the candidates are outstanding and you don’t want to wait.

When sending connection requests on LinkedIn, have you considered adding a note to grab their attention? Just a little blurb could significantly increase the chance of connecting. Here is a quick example:

Hi Chris! Are you interested in developing on the RPA/AI platform? We are looking for a talented Software Engineer to join our dynamic team in Toronto and help build an enterprise-grade, scalable automation platform. Let’s connect if you’d like to learn more!

Best, Jeslyn

  1. Follow Up

You have sent out emails but never heard back. Frustrating, indeed. However, have you tried to follow up on them? Of course, you can do nothing if you InMailed candidates (you can’t message again unless the recipient is interested in the opportunity). But if you used email, why not send a follow-up email after 3 days? Still no response? Perhaps you could try one more time in another 3-5 days.

I know you don’t want to be annoying, so that is why it is important to document your reach-out date—so that you know when you should follow up. If there is still no response after your second follow-up email, then maybe they are not interested. You may think this is a lot of work for one candidate, but it can help increase your response ratio.

I have encountered many cases where I received candidates’ responses after first and second follow-ups. Some apologized for not checking their emails. Others were busy with work, and some were not interested in this particular role but would love to keep in touch. That helped me built my pipelines for other potential roles.

  1. Personalize Your Messages

When reaching out to candidates, are you sending messages just for the sake of getting your messages out? If so, you are wasting your time.

Nowadays, people are talking about how a horrible “zombie resume” could sabotage your job search. On the recruiting side, you may also want to avoid those “zombie pitch messages.”

Instead of mass mailing, take some time to craft each of your messages and make your candidates feel like you went through their profiles before reaching out. It will not only help increase your response ratio but can also gain their respect.

  1. Make it Short

It might be hard to humanize your pitch message while also keeping it short, but it’s essential. Make sure you include all necessary information in 3-5 sentences: company, role, product/responsibility, why do you think they are suitable, a way to connect, etc. Some of them you can even lead to the following discussions.

  1. Treat Your Active and Passive Candidates Equally

Lastly, please treat your active and passive candidates equally. I have seen recruiters actively engage with passive candidates but leave their active applicants in the cold. Just because people aren’t actively looking doesn’t mean that they are purple squirrels. Likewise, just because people are actively applying for jobs doesn’t mean that they are under-qualified.

Do you think you’ll be incorporating some of these 5 tips on reaching out to candidates into your usual sourcing strategy? Let me know which ones you plan to use in the future. Do you have other suggestions that should be added to this list? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.


  1. […] Tell them why you believe this would be a good match. Keep them excited and engaged. Check out this article I wrote about 5 tips on reaching out to candidates. […]

  2. Cake Recipes For Kids
    June 25, 2020

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  3. Lester
    November 27, 2019

    Peculiar article, exactly what I was looking for.

  4. Nannette
    October 21, 2019

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Many thanks, However I am having troubles with your RSS.
    I don’t know why I can’t join it. Is there anybody
    having similar RSS issues? Anyone who knows the answer can you kindly respond?

    1. Jeslyn Xie
      November 16, 2019

      Hi Nannette, thanks for your comment!
      It should be fixed now. If you enter https://www.jeslynxie.com/feed/ into your RSS feed platform, you should be able to find me 🙂
      Please let me know if it still doesn’t work.

  5. Richard
    July 11, 2019

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  6. Trena
    July 5, 2019

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