5 Proven Strategies to Improve Your Email Communication With Candidates

5 Proven Strategies to Improve Your Email Communication With Candidates


When it comes to candidate care, email communication with candidates is an essential tool in your recruiting team’s toolbox. When done correctly, it reinforces your organization’s employment brand and gets candidates excited at the prospect of working for your company.

On the other hand, poor email communication with candidates leaves a pretty bad taste in a job seeker’s mouth. Poorly executed email strategies can lower conversion rates, diminish your talent pipeline, damage your employer brand, and cause you to lose your best candidates.

Let’s talk about some candidate email best practices that will make your team more effective and your process more efficient.

Write Powerful Subject Lines

Choosing powerful, clickable subject lines is one of the most important things your recruiting team can do to ensure effective communication via email. Just like the rest of us, job seekers receive dozens of emails every day, and it can be tough to get a candidate’s attention and make sure they see your message.

After all, if candidates never open emails from your organization, then top candidates can easily fall out of your pipeline. Here are some basic tips:

  1. Keep it mobile friendly by making subject lines 40 characters or less.
  2. Use personalization by including the candidate’s first name in the subject.
  3. Don’t use cheap tricks or spammy language to get them to click.
  4. Communicate the point of the email. Whether it’s a request for interview or a new open position, make the purpose of the email clear.
  5. Create urgency. Using simple email subject lines like the ones below:

“Got time for a chat today?”

“Additional application information needed today”

“Not accepting applications after today”

Keep Messages Short and Simple

One of the biggest mistakes recruiters make when emailing candidates is including too much information in a message. Each email sent to a candidate should focus on a single piece of information that needs to be communicated. Trying to pack too much information into an email, or covering too many subject areas, can lead to confusion, misunderstandings, and frustration.

In addition, don’t send book-length email messages. Candidates will likely only skim long messages (if they read them at all), and the important elements in your message will get lost in all that wordiness.

If you have a lot of information that must be included in an email communication with a candidate, consider using simple bullet points instead of long paragraphs. Bullets are easier for the reader to digest and make it more likely that your message will be clear to the candidate.

Keep It Professional

The language of your recruiting team’s email messages set the tone for your organization’s relationship with candidates and can directly affect your employer brand. Being professional with potential employees is important.

Avoid overly casual language, acronyms, slang, and industry lingo so there won’t be any confusion or misunderstandings. Your team should also be sure to use appropriate salutations and closers to ensure emails set a professional tone and don’t confuse candidates. Lastly, make sure your team always includes the appropriate organizational header and footer in all of their communications with candidates.

Proofread, Proofread, PROOFREAD

Nothing says unprofessional more than an email message full of typos, messed up grammar, punctuation errors, and misspellings. While an occasional mistake isn’t the end of the world, recruiting teams must strive for error-free emails.

Keep Communications Organized

There is nothing more frustrating for a candidate than dealing with a recruiter who is completely unorganized. When recruiters are unorganized, candidates might receive the same request multiple times (even though they’ve already responded), not get important questions answered because the recruiter didn’t realize they’d sent a message, miss deadlines because the recruiter didn’t send the request in a timely manner, or even miss an interview entirely. This kind of disorganization can seriously damage your employer brand.

Keeping your team’s communications organized can be difficult if the team is doing it all manually, but luckily a good communication system will handle the heavy lifting. Having a system in place will make sure each member of the team knows which emails they’ve sent to each candidate, which have been opened, and which have received replies. The right system will also allow your team to build your organization’s talent pipeline and know where each candidate stands in the employment journey with your company.


Good communication with candidates is absolutely essential to a well-oiled hiring function, and that often starts with effective email strategies. Recruiting teams lean heavily on email, which makes it an important component of your recruiting process. Correctly utilizing email communication with candidates sets the tone for future employment, but communicating poorly can drive away top talent and damage your organization’s employer brand.


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