Locked & Loaded Email Headhunting Tips for Recruiters

Locked & Loaded Email Headhunting Tips for Recruiters

Trying to recruit top dogs in sales, or the most talented creatives? There’s plenty of recruitment competition out there, so you have to be at the very top of your game. In this post we give you the best tips focused around how to headhunt using email marketing.


That’s why you have to keep things simple, and set yourself two key goals when it comes to headhunting techniques for prospective recruits:

  1. Convince them to open the email with your sharp subject line.
  2. Convince them to respond, whether it’s to fill in a form, meet up for coffee or just to chat over email.

When you boil it down to these two very simple tasks, your job as a recruiter suddenly becomes much simpler too. So if you want to recruit the very best, take a look at our list of locked and loaded headhunting tips below!

Email Subject Lines are an Essential Headhunting Technique

Are you emailing the social media intern or trying to poach a C-Level ‘head honcho’? At the same time, who are you emailing: somebody who is best suited to a corporate position, a creative, or somebody who works at a small local business? Tailor your subject line to the person and business you’re emailing. Here are three examples to detail what we mean.

  • Informal: ‘Snooping through your LinkedIn…’
  • Respectful: ‘Referred to you by [mutual connection]’
  • Creative: ‘Just saw some of your work—awesome stuff!’

Your subject line also has to be specific. If your subject line is ‘RE: an Opportunity’, almost nobody would open it. If your subject line is a basic one (like the three above, in fact) then a few targets would open it. But if it’s both relevant and specific, you’ve hit gold. Here are three relevant and specific examples:

  • Informal: ‘Just saw your LinkedIn, Alex…’
  • Respectful: ‘RE: your excellent presentation at GloboCon 2018’
  • Creative: ‘Love your designs on let’s talk!’

Your Lead-in is Your Hook for Headhunting

Headhunting isn’t (or shouldn’t be) about mass email campaigns. It’s about targeted, high-quality two way communication. So with that in mind, you should tailor the body of the email, too. Not only that, but you have to answer the question of why on earth you’re actually emailing. Here are a few simple examples you can use.

Keep Your Email Short

When it comes to hooking in potential candidates, don’t bore them with details. Don’t drown them in information on requirements and hiring processes. Don’t even go into too much detail about the benefits they’ll get, whatever those might be. Does that sound counterintuitive? Well, there’s a good reason why it should.

Instead, try and boil down why somebody should jump ship and join the business you’re recruiting for in just one sentence. Here are some examples to illustrate what we mean:

  1. Our client GloboCorp consistently rated as the most exciting place to work in Manchester.
  2. Our client GloboCorp doubled in size last year, and they’re not slowing down.
  3. Our client GloboCorp are rising stars in sales, which could do wonders for your career.
The Complete Email Template

So, how can you put all of those ideas together to pull off the perfect headhunting email template? Here’s an example. For the purpose of this exercise, let’s say we’re trying to recruit team leaders for a sales department at an established and successful call centre with an informal, relaxed atmosphere. Further, let’s say that our contact is somebody called Alex, a top dog on the sales floor at a rival to the business we represent.

So: those are our three top headhunting techniques. Whether you’re making your own email templates, or working with what you have already, remember these top three tips and how to use them. They can make the difference between landing your next candidate, and just missing out. If you are looking to put together some cold contact recrutiemnt emails, you might want to check this out.