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3 Things Developers Wish Appeared More Often in Recruitment Emails

Post by Rich Moy on Aug 4, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Developers have made no secret of the fact that if they had to choose, they’d prefer being recruited over email. However, that doesn’t mean that any old recruitment email will make them excited about continuing the conversation. Your initial outreach to a developer is one of best chances you’ll have at making a good first impression, so understanding what they look for when they read recruitment emails will help you stand out from the competition. If you’re like many recruiters who need to recruit developers, you might be thinking, “That’s great, but what do developers want in recruitment emails?” To help debunk the mystery behind it, we spoke to a few developers to learn what they wish more employers would share more often via email.

3 Signs Your Tech Recruitment Emails Aren’t Resonating With Developers

Post by Rich Moy on Aug 1, 2016 12:00:00 PM

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.

What Recruiters Say and What Developers Hear

I recently gave a keynote presentation on technical recruitment challenges. In this presentation, one topic that got a lot of response was on what recruiters have a tendency to say and how this sounds to developers. Recruiter jargon = big warning signs for developers.

To increase the chances of attracting, engaging with, and retaining developers, here are five expressions recruiters (or hiring managers) say, how developers interpret them, and tips on how to improve your developer communication instead.

What Developers Wish Recruiters Knew

Recruiting is not an easy job, especially in the technical world. With 5 jobs available for every 1 developer, a majority of programmers are already happily employed. In order to connect with these passive candidates, you need to do more than just send a generic mass email about your open positions. If you rely on these outdated and impersonal tactics, you’re just hurting yourself (and the reputation of your fellow awesome recruiters).

We asked a few developers and engineering managers what things they wish recruiters knew. Take notes for your next outreach attempt.

4 Email Subject Lines to Avoid: Developers Speak Up

When it comes to technical recruitment emails, one of the most important elements is the subject line. It’s the first thing the candidate will see and ultimately helps them decide whether to even open the email or immediately hit delete. With 65% of our developer survey respondents saying e-mail is a "great" way to hear about new job opportunities, crafting the perfect pitch is critical. 

I asked developers what subject lines they dread seeing in their inbox, and here’s what they had to say.  

The Best Place to Contact Developers (Hint: It's NOT LinkedIn or Facebook)

If you contact a developer through LinkedIn, will they even open your message? If you send them a Facebook message, will they reply with excitement? Chances are probably not. 

Our 2015 Developer Hiring Landscape Survey provided us with insights into how developers prefer to be contacted by recruiters and hiring managers. Our 26,086 respondents rated each place as a “great” way to be contacted, something they “tolerate”, a place they “hate”, or gave us a response of “I don’t have an account”.

Here's a look at where to find developers (and how to contact them!)

How to Write a Recruitment Email to Developers

Smart developers are in high demand, which means the average programmer is receiving more emails from recruiters than ever before. With 65% of developers citing e-mail as a “great” way to hear about new job opportunities, it’s clearly important for recruiters to perfect their pitch.

So what do developers want to see in recruitment emails? According to our survey results, developers want to see a personalized message, salary information, a description of the team they’d be working with, a run-down of the company culture, and more. Learn how to write a recruitment email that developers will actually want to open.

Top 10 Things Developers Hate About Recruiter Emails (And How to Avoid Them)

When you ask developers how they really feel about getting cold recruitment emails, you’ll get one of two answers: “Where do I begin?” or just simply, “I hate them.” But when you think about what recruiters are trying to offer developers (ideally: a shiny new job), it’s really a shame that these beacons of opportunity come with such a bad rap. As one of our own Stack Exchange devs, Jason Punyon, recently pointed out in his blog post, it’s usually because most recruiters do a terrible job of piquing a developer’s interest or putting time into their pitch. But all hope is not lost—with the large number of passive job-seekers (80% of the programmers in our database are passive candidates), there’s still ample opportunity to land the perfect candidate through emailing. You just need to know what not to do.

To give you a head start, we polled our own developer team and asked: “What do you hate the most about recruiter emails?” Below, you’ll find their Top 10 pet peeves—along with a few pointers to steer you away from making the same mistakes.

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