In this article you'll learn how to stand out from the LinkedIn noise by reaching out to candidates over email. We'll explain how to find candidate emails and how to automate the process with software tools.
In this article you'll learn:
Now let's dive into it!
How to structure your sourcing of candidates on LinkedIn
Before you run off buying an expensive ATS (Application Tracking System) ensure you got a good enough process to make it worth the investment.
We suggest starting simple with a google sheet. It's easy to use and customize to fit your working style.
How to structure a basic Google Sheet to track candidates
Start by firing up a new Google Sheet (or excel sheet if you prefer).
Now there is some basic information you want to capture in the sheet.
First Name, Last Name, and Company are hopefully self explanatory. Company is not strictly needed but the candidates name is the minimum since you'll want to send a personal email to candidates.
LinkedIn is the URL to the candidates profile. This is great to use as ID to ensure you don't reach out to the same candidate multiple times. That's one quick way to get negative karma!
Now, Company URL is important to save since you'll use this to get the candidates email. You can usually collect it by clicking on the candidates current employer and visit website. (Or Google the current employer).
To boost reply rate consider writing a personalized icebreaker for each candidate to show them you've actually read their profile.
It can also be worth noting if there's a common connection on LinkedIn. Ask for an intro if possible, which will almost always guarantee a meeting. Otherwise, mention the common connection in your message is also a great way to start the relationship on the right footing.
How to find emails to candidates
There are many tools out there to find emails today. However, it's important to set everything up correctly to make it time efficient (automate it!) and you need to ensure your emails don't land in spam.
Don't worry, after reading the next section you'll know how to go about this and will be sourcing candidates while you sleep (at least finding their emails).
Important: If you're emailing at a high volume it's never advice to email from your main email domain since you risk lowering your deliverability for normal business emails. If your main domain is company.com you can send from company.net or company.co instead.
How to find emails
There are many tools to find emails on the market. We use Hunter.io here as an example but other ones are Skrapp.io and Rocketreach.co.
This is where the company URL comes into play. With the full name (left field) + company URL (rigth field) you can start searching for emails.
You'll not be able to find the email to all candidates unfortunately. However, you'll pretty soon identify a few companies where it's easy to get an email. When you find one of those companies on your next LinkedIn search start targeting and sourcing candidates from those companies specifically since you know you'll easily get most emails.
Verify email addresses
Most email finder tools are to some degree guessing emails and it's not sure they'll actually work.
It's therefor important to integrate a tool like Bouncer in your workflow. Bouncer allows you to verify the emails ahead of sending to them.
After you signed up to bouncer you'll be able to copy paste all the emails you collected and they'll check if they're valid or high risk to use.
By now you're spreadsheet should look something like this.
Note that one of the candidates in the example got marked as "Risky". You should try to avoid sending to those emails to be on the safe side.
That's it! Now we got a solid list of candidates, a personal intro, and an email to reach them at.
How to reach out
In the end finding emails will not get you far if no-one actually gets back to you. Here's a few pointers to make the most out of your campaign but, you know, use what feels right for you.
Make the initial email short and to the point
Landing in someones inbox is prime real estate but you also have to be respectful about interrupting their day. Keep it brief with the initial email, you can always give more information later!
Let the correct stakeholder reach out
Who would you rather engage with? A recruiter at a company or the direct stakeholder for which you'll work with? Most folks rather connect directly with the team. Specially if it's a senior stakeholder, it's flattering to get attention! 😎
So for example, if you're hiring for a developer let the email come from your CTO. It makes it more relatable and increases the chance of the candidate opening the email and engaging.
Bonus point is to also have the CTO first visit the LinkedIn profile before the email goes out (there are aways to automate this).
In the end not everyone is looking to change jobs in the short term. You have no idea what the circumstances in a persons life are.
So ensure to reach out to enough candidates to find the ones looking to change positions now. Also, if there's someone not actively looking but seems like a good fit ensure to grab a chat and follow up.
Test different headlines and copy
As you're reaching out to multiple candidates ensure to test different headlines and look at open rates and copy.
Two different copy styles that are brief and works well depending on what type of persona your emails are.
Example 1: Very soft language that's easy to engage with.
Hey [First Name],
Congrats on all your success!
I run the tech. team over here at [company name]. We're expanding the team to execute on a wide array of interesting projects.
Your background is similar to those of our current top performers. Are there any folks in your network who are in the job market and have a background similar to yours?
CTO [Company Name]
Example 2: More direct language with a clear call to action
Hey [First Name],
I'm [CTO Name]. CTO and Cofounder of [Company name].
We're a quickly growing tech. company based in London. I'm reaching out since your LinkedIn profile caught my eye and we're looking for developers like you to join our company.
- We're working with a modern tech. stack.
- Competitive salary and stock grants.
- Recently raised financing round.
- More than x% growth and profitable.
Would you be open to chat for 10 minutes next Monday?
Even if you're not looking to change position right now I would love to connect.
Reaching out to candidates over email will increase your reply rate and meetings booked. Be sure to research your candidates properly, make it personal, and send a short initial email to make it respectful.
Done correctly is a great way to boost the number of candidates you can interview for your startup.