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The Message - How to better engage with candidates on LinkedIn

Over the years, new techniques are coming to the surface, new tools and methods claim to assist the recruiters worldwide to better engage with candidates. But what is the most important thing?

Approaching a potential candidate might seem like an easy job but from personal experience, the response rate may be considered good if it is between 15-30% (talking about IT professionals; in Sales the relevant percentage can easily climb to 50-70%).

No matter the process a recruiter follows to source the candidates, the end result will only come after the message is sent. Now, what exactly is this message? It is the mean, the way and the effort a recruiter puts into transforming a passive candidate into an active one; a X-company employee into a successful candidate for the role assigned. Therefore, it needs to be clear, consistent and most importantly, personal!

I will use as an example the case of a passive candidate sourced through LinkedIn. How do recruiters approach people on LI?

They usually send bulk messages like the below:

“Hi X,

My name is Y and I am recruiting for the role of Z into our company. Would you be interested?”

Hmmm, no! You just lost the candidate. This is simply a line of nothing! And there are plenty of times when the recruiter sent this message using the same X name to irrelevant profiles; rookie mistakes!

In order to be heard, you need to personalize your message. If you want the candidate to actually go and check your vacancy, you need to make him/her feel appreciated. Show you spent time on him/her. You need to check his/her LinkedIn profile, check the roles he/she held, the companies he/she worked for, the duties and responsibilities. Go above and beyond and check the recommendations he/she received. And use all this information on your message.


“Hi X,

I just had a look on your profile and I need to point that I am quite impressed by your achievements throughout your career! Holding a Master’s degree in Computer Science and working for some of the most well-known companies in the sector, I can understand how you got those amazing recommendations by your colleagues and supervisors!

I would like to chat with you regarding a role I am currently recruiting for; I am looking for someone to join our team as Z and I believe you would be a great asset for us! You will not only be given the opportunity to use your skills, but also to mentor the other team members and further grow within a vibrate and diverse company!

Would you be available for a call tomorrow at around noon?



Let’s now analyze the message:

On the first paragraph, we refer to the candidate’s experience, studies, recommendations. This way we are making them feel special while recognizing their accomplishments. We may also include the actual company names of the firms the candidate worked for to add value to our message.

On the second paragraph, we reveal the reason of contacting them. But we do not only mention the role; we also give some hints of what there is for the candidate to gain in case of a successful hire.

And concluding, we set the next step! It can be a phone call, a Skype or other online meeting, even a F2F appointment; you choose!

Make sure you keep the message short & clear and leave spaces between the paragraphs to make it more easy-to-read. You may also include links (company website, job post etc.).

Throughout my career so far, I have concluded that at the end of the day it is all about your personal style! If you prefer to appear more professional, it is up to you. If you like to approach candidates in a friendlier way, again – it is your choice. There is only one thing in common: consistency! So, go out there, send your messages and get those candidates!

P.S. If they don’t reply to your message, you may always send a follow-up one! They might have read it but totally forgot to respond. Don’t be a spammer though! If they don’t come back to you after the second attempt, just go to the next one!

Good luck and happy sourcing!

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