You’d probably make a lot of technical recruiters roll their eyes if you asked them to write a recruitment email to a candidate. Some might even say, “I’ve been writing emails for decades. How dare you imply that I don’t know what I’m doing!” The problem is that many tech recruiting emails simply do not resonate with developers. Considering the sheer volume of recruiter emails that most developers receive from employers, hiring teams that understand when it’s time to revisit how they write them will stand out from the competition. Here are a few telltale signs that you should adjust (or even overhaul) how you write technical recruitment emails.
When developers read recruiter emails, they want to know that the message was written specifically to them. It should come as no surprise that to do this well, you'll need to do your homework. At the very least you should know what types of projects they’re working on and what they look for when they evaluate new job opportunities. This brings us to one hard truth: tech recruitment emails should take you more time to write than most other messages you’ll craft in your day-to-day. It would be easy to take pride in the volume of emails you’re able to send to developers on any given week, but if you’re able to crank them out this quickly, you’ve probably omitted a lot of information that would make a developer excited about continuing the conversation.
Many recruiters I’ve met are incredibly engaging in person, and I’m willing to bet that you’re good at selling developers on your company when you get face-to-face time with them. You were hired because you’re good at showing excitement about the role and painting a picture of what it would be like for a developer to join your team. After you meet an exciting candidate at an event, you probably don’t waste a lot of time in writing a follow-up email. If you make a habit of including a detail or two about the conversation you just had with that person, the odds are that the developer will at least send a quick response, even if he or she isn’t interested in pursuing a particular job. However, if you’re getting ghosted on the follow-up notes you’re sending developers that you’ve met in person, this is a telltale sign that your recruiting emails are impersonal and aren’t motivating developers to continue the conversation.
Developers are rarely at a shortage of job opportunities, so it’s no secret that employers need to be transparent as possible, especially when it comes to what they include in tech recruitment emails. And I get it—there will be times when you really would prefer not to add a few details about the opportunity in a message to a developer. However, if you’re spending extended periods of time thinking about how much you can omit, the odds are that you’re also hiding information that the candidate is likely getting from other employers. While you shouldn’t feel obligated to share confidential company information right off the bat, you should be as transparent about the what the job entails as possible, even though you might see it as a mere “initial” outreach attempt.