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candidate experience

Improve Candidate Experience: Cold Outreach for Recruiters 101

You’re struggling to find the best talent and are tired of sifting through resumes that are never a good fit. We hear you! It’s time to start using cold outreach for recruiters. 

Cold email outreach and recruitment go hand in hand, but not many recruiters utilize email channels effectively, creating a negative candidate experience.

Did you know that over 34% of job seekers think getting a recruiter’s text message as the first point of communication is unprofessional? Instead, they prefer to be contacted via email or phone. This proves email outreach is still a powerful tool to attract new talents that meets their expectations for a positive candidate experience.

In this guide we’ll teach you everything you need to know about finding potential candidates, contacting them, and sealing the deal: 

Advice 1. Set up recruitment processes and goals

Before starting with cold outreach, it is essential to have all the processes in place. You need a system for tracking your applications, storing resumes, and keeping notes on each candidate. Doing so will avoid chaos and disorganization during your recruitment process.

Some of the most common goals for using cold email outreach are:

  • Hiring the best talent
  • Streamlining the recruitment process
  • Lowering the hiring costs
  • Reducing the time to hire
  • Increasing the number of qualified candidates

To achieve these goals while creating a great candidate experience, you can use email automation tools that will speed up the process of sending emails. They allow you to send many emails at once and, as a result, you can save time and energy while reaching many potential candidates. You can use pre-made email templates, but ensure to add a personal touch to each of them.

Besides, it is good to use scheduling tools to keep track of the interviews. The most popular tool to schedule events and online calls is Calendly. It integrates with Google Calendar, making it easy to track your upcoming interviews. You can also share a link to your calendar with potential candidates and let them choose the best time for the interview.

This will help you stay organized and ensure everything runs smoothly. In a nutshell, the process could look like this: after you found a bunch of potential candidates, you re-write email templates and send emails using automation tools, like Hunter. When you get a reply, use Calendly to set up an interview and keep track of all these meetings using Google Caledar.

Advice 2. Research candidates using LinkedIn

To find the best talent, you need to do your homework—research candidates through social media, LinkedIn, and other available sources. As a recruiter, you can not have access to resume yet, but you can put extra effort to find contact info of a potential candidate. 

For instance, one way to do that is to find a company where your potential candidate works (or worked) and using email finder tool get their emails. See the screenshot below:

After you found some contacts, check if these emails are valid; it is crucial for cold outreach since you don’t want your emails to bounce. You can verify emails using numerous tools and ensure it’s used and correct before starting your cold email outreach.

Advice 3. Segment your email list

Segmenting your email lists before sending cold emails is crucial to increasing your open rates and engagement. There are a few different ways you can go about doing this:

  • Segment by job title: When recruiting for a specific role, it’s essential to target candidates with the relevant skills and experience. Segmenting your email lists by job title allows you to do just that. This way, you can tailor your content and message specifically for those who may be interested in the position you’re trying to fill.
  • Segment by experience level: Another way to segment your email lists is by experience level. It will allow you to target candidates either currently working or with previous experience in the role you’re trying to fill. Doing this can increase your chances of reaching qualified candidates who are a good fit for the position.
  • Segment by location: If you’re looking to fill a position in a specific area, it’s vital to target candidates who live there. This way, you can focus your recruitment efforts on those most likely interested in the position and who live near the company’s office.

When preparing your cold email outreach campaign, choosing the correct recipients is essential. However, cold emailing can be very beneficial if done correctly. You can use it to find potential candidates, contact them, and schedule interviews.

Advice 4. Write a compelling email copy

Your email copy should be brief, precise, and to the point. The goal is to get the recipient to respond to your email, so make sure your content is compelling enough to encourage them.

For a positive candidate experience, be clear in your communication and be as straightforward as possible. The recipient is likely receiving many emails, so you want to make sure that yours stands out. So get straight to the point, and don’t include any fluff or filler content.

Create an email copy outline that will answer the most critical questions: what are your goals for the email campaign, who are you targeting with your email campaign, and how to apply for a job at your company?

The estimate outline of a recruiter’s email could look like this:

Get attention with the subject line, provoke interest and desire with email copy, and add call-to-action.

When writing your email copy, be sure to:

  • Introduce yourself and explain why you’re reaching out
  • Describe the role you’re recruiting for and why the recipient would be a good fit
  • Provide additional information about the company and the position
  • Include a call to action (CTA) that encourages the recipient to respond

Remember that you need to tailor the email copy to each recipient. Carefully read their LinkedIn profiles and resumes to create a personalized email to customize each candidate’s experience. At least mentioning some personalized facts in the email opener that says you learned their profiles is essential.

Advice 5. Focus on subject lines

Do you know that 69% of prospects report email spam after reading a subject line due to Invesp? Yet, another report from OptinMonster figured out that 33% of email recipients open the email because it has a catchy subject line. So these stats say that the subject line is critically important and influences the open rate.

When it comes to email subject lines, shorter is always better. Keep your subject line quick, on-point, and personalized. This will ensure that it catches the recipient’s attention and encourages them to open your email.

A few tips for writing better subject lines:

  • Keep it short (no more than 50 characters)
  • Use keywords that will grab the recipient’s attention
  • Be creative and use emojis to stand out in their inbox
  • Personalize the subject line with the recipient’s name or company name

Here are a few recommended examples of effective subject lines for recruitment emails:

  • [[Title of the position]] <> [[Our Company Name]]
  • [[open job]] role at [[company name]]
  • [[Niche]] position at [[company]]

Advice 6. Personalize your outreach

Personalization isn’t a choice anymore; it is a standard. To stand out with a positive candidate experience, you need to personalize your emails. The best way to do this is by using the recipient’s name in the subject line and throughout the email copy. You can also mention anything you have in common, such as mutual connections or shared interests.

Here are a few more tips for email personalization:

  1. Address the recipient by name.
  2. Start the email with a personal greeting.
  3. Reference something that you know about the recipient (you can mention something from your research on LinkedIn or other social media).
  4. Mention how you found their resume or profile.
  5. Invite them to a meeting or a quick call (CTA).
  6. Add a personalized signature at the end of your email.

Another way to personalize your email is by tailoring the content to the recipient. First, you should read their LinkedIn profile and resume to learn more about their experience and skills. Then, you can include this information in your email to show that you’ve done your research and are genuinely interested in them.

Let’s take a look at a few good recruiter’s email examples:

It’s another excellent example of a detailed and personalized message from a recruiter. The email explains where the recruiter gets the contact, some details about the company and a good CTA.

Advice 7. Keep your emails short & include CTA

A compelling CTA is key to getting candidates to take action. It needs to be straightforward to understand, and it should encourage the recipient to take the next step. In the case of recruitment emails, that next step could be applying for the job, scheduling an interview, or simply learning more about the company. Clarity and transparency in your CTAs improve the candidate experience.

Here are a few reasons why a strong CTA is essential for recruitment emails:

  • It encourages the recipient to take action.
  • It makes it easy for the candidate to learn more about the job or company.
  • It stands out from the other emails in the recipient’s inbox.
  • It shows that you’re interested in helping the candidate take the next step.
  • It makes it easier to understand the next step if a potential candidate is interested.

This can be something as simple as “Don’t hesitate to apply now” (and specify how to apply) or “Let’s book a quick call to discuss further details.” and send a link to Calendly where a candidate could choose a suitable time for the interview.  

Short and straight-to-the-point email template for a recruiter. It lacks some email openers with personalized information, but the CTA is good.

A strong CTA can make a big difference in getting candidates to act on your email. So make sure that your CTA is clear and easy to understand, for example, share link to your Calendly asking for a call at suitable time. Your flexibility improves the candidate experience – watch your recruitment numbers go up!

Advice 8. Create a follow-up sequence

Research by Backlinko based on an analysis of 12M emails showed that follow-up could increase your chances of getting a reply by 65%. Unfortunately, most emails aren’t getting any responses after the first try, so it is crucial to automate the follow-up sequence. By doing this, you’ll be sure to reach out to every candidate you’re interested in and increase your chances of hiring.

Here are a few tips for creating a winning follow-up sequence:

  • Set a schedule for follow-ups.
  • Keep your follow-up emails short and to the point.
  • Personalize each email with the recipient’s name and something you have in common.
  • Mention the date of your last contact in each email.
  • Include a CTA in each email, such as scheduling an interview or applying for the job.
  • Use an engaging subject line for your follow-up.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out multiple times.

Let’s take a look at an example of a professional follow-up email template:

Here is a perfect example of a follow-up email from a recruiter that checks with the potential candidate if they’re interested in the position. Sending follow-up emails can be a great way to increase the chances of getting a reply by improving the candidate experience.


When screening new talent, a well-planned recruitment process is the best way to find the perfect fit. By setting specific goals and researching, you can write compelling email copy that will attract top candidates. And don’t forget about those all-important subject lines. Personalizing your outreach will help you stand out from the competition and keep your emails short for easy reading. 

Finally, ensure you have a follow-up sequence ready so you don’t lose any potential leads. Are you prepared to put these tips into action? If so, don’t hesitate to use cold email outreach to attract new talents.

Antonio GabrićFeatured Guest Expert – Antonio Gabrić

Antonio is an outreach manager at Hunter. He is passionate about testing different outreach tactics and sharing results with the community. When he is not connecting with industry leaders, you can find him on his motorbike exploring off-the-beaten paths around the world. 

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