The Trick to Getting Candidates to Respond!

Tim Sackett Candidate Pool, Canvas, Career Advice, Communication, Email, HR, HR & Marketing, job postings, Networking, Recruiting, Recruitment Marketing, Social Networking

Okay, I get it, we don’t really want to ‘trick’ candidates into responding, but it’s critical to our success in recruiting that we get candidates to respond to our messages. It doesn’t matter if it’s email, phone messages, or text messages, we need a response!

Now, some will say that you really only care about positive response rates, but I would argue that every response is valuable. If I get someone to respond, even if it’s to tell me they are not interested, that gives me an opportunity to find out what they might be interested in. I might not have that job today, but maybe I will tomorrow!

Our reality as recruiters and sourcers is that it’s critical for us to get a response!

So, what’s the trick to getting someone to respond to your messages?

You need to create a call-to-action (CTA) within the message or preferably within the subject line. CTA is a marketing term that has been used for decades when it comes to advertising and selling. CTA is a psychological device used to get us to respond immediately.

What could that be for us in recruiting and sourcing? Think about what would get you to respond to someone about a job. If you’re employed, and you like your job someone telling you about a job probably would not elicit a response. “Great opportunity,” “High salary,” “Dream Job,” etc. would have little effect.

What about if someone questions your background?

“Hey Tim, I didn’t see that you had any HR leadership in your background?” Wait, what, yes I do! Let me tell you about it!

It’s a natural reaction for us to want to correct someone who has our experience wrong or doesn’t know, even when we don’t see why they would be asking. “I don’t see ‘X’ on your profile” can be a very effective ‘trick’ in getting a response from candidates.

Many times we don’t put everything we do on our profiles and resumes. I have employee training experience, but I never put it on my profile or resume because HR and recruiting are much more predominant in my background.

Many technical candidates have experience using way more technologies than they would ever list. Medical professionals would struggle to identify every single experience on a profile. The key in getting this trick to work is knowing your industry and knowing which skills and experiences to ask about that are parallel to what you’re looking for, but a person would rarely put on their profile.

You’re not asking someone if they’re interested in a job or your company. Asking them if they have something in their background might just be the key to getting them to respond. Getting that initial response is a great first step in having a real conversation.


FOT Note:  We here at FOT like to think we get talent and HR at a different level. At the very least, we are probably going to have a different take than the norm. So it made perfect sense to ask Canvas to be an annual sponsor at FOT, where they’ll sponsor posts like this one, allowing FOT contributors to write, without restriction, on all things related to using new and innovative ideas in recruiting, like using text messaging to interview candidates. If you find yourself thinking, “Hey, I should really look into Canvas!” then go do it, I think you’ll love the technology! 

Tim Sackett

If you Google “Tim Sackett” you’ll find our Tim, and a truck driver chaplain. Our Tim is NOT the truck driver chaplain, although how awesome would that be if he was!? He is a prolific writer in the HR and TA space who just happens to also run an Engineering and IT contract staffing agency (HRU Technical Resources) out of Michigan. He also writes every day at his own blog, the Tim Sackett Project. Weirdly, he’s known as an expert in workplace hugging, which was kind of cool years ago, but now seems painfully creepy, but we still love him and he’s fairly harmless. Tim is also on the board of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals (ATAP), lifetime Michigan State Spartan fan, husband to a Hall of Fame wife, 3 sons, and his best friend Scout. He also wrote a book with SHRM called The Talent Fix, you can find it on Amazon.