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Tips for Recruiters: How to Craft LinkedIn Messages That Get Responses

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Tips for Recruiters: How to Craft LinkedIn Messages That Get Responses

As a recruiter, you likely spend a lot of time on LinkedIn, scouring profiles for active and passive candidates, and sending countless InMail messages. The number of InMail messages sent to potential candidates is probably in the thousands, with the number of responses being far less.

It can start to feel like wasted effort when you send dozens of LinkedIn messages every week only to be met with silence. How can you get more candidates to respond? How can you pique their interest in your open positions?

By learning to write InMail messages that grab the attention of candidates, you’re more likely to get responses that move the conversation (and relationship) forward. If you want to increase your LinkedIn response rate, follow these tips for crafting better messages.

1. Put Thought into Your Subject Line

Let’s start at the top. Do you begin every InMail message with “Hi”? Maybe with “Greetings from X agency”? With these types of lackluster, generic, unoriginal subject lines, you’ll be lucky if your candidates take a second glance at their inboxes.

The subject line can make or break the success of your entire message. After all, it’s the first thing a candidate is going to read.

Put thought into your subject line. These few words can mean the difference between getting a response and being ignored. Grab the candidate’s attention. Put your candidate hat on and think: What would make me want to open a message? For starters, your candidates have needs. Consider writing a subject line that mentions their skills or experience. Or get creative and make the subject line funny or witty to grab their attention.

2. Start a Conversation

Now, let’s move to the message itself. The goal of your message should be to start a conversation. No more, no less. You don’t want to simply add a new LinkedIn connection and leave it at that. That’s not going to help you recruit candidates for your clients. You also shouldn’t expect to recruit the candidate with just one message. No matter how well crafted, it’s just an opener. A conversation starter.

That’s why your first message should focus solely on starting a conversation that can help you move the relationship along. A great way to accomplish this is to ask questions that are of interest to the candidates, or provide details about the role that might pique their interest and promote a response.

3. Ditch the Template

You’re sending an abundance of InMail messages, so it might make sense to use a template to save time. Unfortunately, this tactic will likely be obvious to the candidate. After all, a template is meant to be generic, so it can be sent to several different people. But generic messages aren’t going to get you anywhere.

Remember that the goal of recruiting isn’t to save time, but rather to build connections with qualified candidates who you can recruit. Ditch the template and after some research and thought, create each message to each candidate personally. You’ll likely see a big difference in your response rate when you do.

4. Do Your Research and Personalize the Message

Personalizing your messages will help you connect to candidates and increase your response rate.

At the very least, use the candidate’s name. Another simple way to personalize the message is to use “you” and “your,” such as mentioning how you’re always looking for “industrial workers with skills like yours.”

Go one step further by conducting research. When you research the candidate before sending a message, it shows effort. A little research can go a long way in helping you create a connection. Find a common passion or interest to talk about. Researching and then mentioning certain skills, experience, or certifications the candidate has included in his/her online profile is also a good way to personalize the message.

5. Be Sincere in Your Flattery

Telling a candidate that you reviewed his/her LinkedIn profile and “were impressed” doesn’t exactly sing anyone’s praises (and makes the message seem very generic and templated). If you’re going to go with the flattery approach, be sincere. Compliment a recent article published or a specific certificate received, and connect the flattery to the job in question. Tell the candidate exactly why you think he/she would be a good fit for the role.

6. Keep It Short

People are busy (especially the top candidates you’re going after), so respect their time and keep your messages short and to the point. Ideally, write 100 words (about three paragraphs) to get more response rates. Anything over 200 words is more likely to be ignored.

Bonus: Because you’re not using templates anymore, keeping your personalized messages short will help you save time, so you can message more candidates in a day.

7. Give Them the Details

If you’re reaching out with specific open roles in mind, don’t make candidates work for the details. Tell them exactly what they want to hear. They’ll be interested in the salary, benefits, and perks, as well as the job description, so don’t hide these details. It’s also a good idea to use bullet points to structure your message, so they can find the pertinent information they’re looking for quickly when skimming. Once again, this shows you value their time.

8. Offer a Clear Follow-Up

To prevent your message from being dead in the water once it’s read, make sure to offer a clear follow-up plan to candidates. Let them know what’s next:

  •     Will you be following up in a few days after giving them some time to think about it?
  •     Are you asking them to reply with their resume if they’re interested?

Ask a direct question or offer some type of direct follow up, so you can take the next step in the process.

For more LinkedIn tips for recruiters, check out Getting the Most Out of LinkedIn as a Recruiter (Without Spending a Dime).

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