Recruiting emails 101

Gillian O'Brien

Pitching talented candidates is tough — few people get it right. At Dover, we've helped more than 150 companies reach out to candidates in highly personalized and thoughtful ways. Your first point of outreach, after all, is when the candidate experience begins, and we believe that perfecting it is key to growing high-impact teams.

Here are some of the things we encourage recruiters, hiring managers, and founders to keep in mind as they’re reaching out to top talent.

Personalize the candidate experience

No one likes spam — taking a few minutes to dig into a candidate's past experiences and making a case for why they are "the one" for the role pays dividends. Note that this should be beyond the standard “Saw that you worked at X and Y - impressive!”

Instead, ask about a candidate’s involvement in a major launch or milestone at a previous company, or share your thoughts about their career trajectory. It shows that you pay attention, and that you would be invested in and curious about their development if they were to work with you.

Build an authentic relationship with the candidate

When your company is just starting out, you may not have an immediately recognizable brand, and may find yourself reaching out to passive candidates, at times.

We’ve seen that it can be very powerful to offer a conversation with someone who might be more passive. This lets you do a few things: share more about your company’s vision, detail who you are and what kind of team you’re looking to build, and seed a relationship for working together down the line. You never know where it might lead.  

Offer up your company’s mission and values

Top candidates put mission/values at the forefront of their job searches. Make it super easy for a candidate to figure out what they would be contributing to and what behaviors would set them up for success.

This is the perfect opportunity to share your company’s mission statement as well as your team values, because this is an important point of differentiation for candidates from the start.

Give a taste of your employer brand

Your company’s brand should transcend your landing pages and consumer-facing touchpoints. Companies who take the time to leverage their brand style and tone of voice in their talent strategy are building brand affinity with folks who are paying attention.

This is a win-win, regardless of hiring outcome: you get to continuously refine your value proposition while engaging with talented people who can offer their point of view on your work and market.

Be clear about the role’s responsibilities and expectations

Recruiting is a long road - best to cut to the chase and state exactly what the candidate would be working on, and what skills they need to have under their belt. Not only does this help the prospective hire feel bought into their work, but it helps gain alignment and set expectations up front.

Chances are, if you do this well in your recruiting email, you’ve thought about and designed the new hire’s interview and onboarding processes well -- all key steps that ensure candidates move through your funnel smoothly.

We’ve gathered some great examples of recruiting emails from top companies -- take a look here, in case you’re looking for some inspiration.