That’s why you have to keep things simple, and set yourself two key goals when it comes to headhunting techniques for prospective recruits:
- Convince them to open the email with your sharp subject line.
- 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 www.globo.com- 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.
Hi [first name],
I stumbled across your photos on Twitter. Looks like you really killed it at the conference, and our recruitment team was thoroughly impressed!
Found your portfolio and I’m seriously impressed. I really love your use of colour, especially in [particular picture].
I picked up your name in a recent conversation with [mutual connection] with regards to the great work you’re doing at [their current employer]. We’ve been searching for colourful characters with some good old fashioned sales nous for the business we’re recruiting for.
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:
- Our client GloboCorp consistently rated as the most exciting place to work in Manchester.
- Our client GloboCorp doubled in size last year, and they’re not slowing down.
- 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.
Alex: Interested in a sales career at a Top 10 workplace?
You’ve probably noticed somebody checking through your LinkedIn profile over the last few weeks. Spoiler alert: it was me. Did you go to that conference you posted about on your profile? If you did, we might actually have bumped into each other—but that’s not why I’m emailing. I’m impressed by your experience so far and I think you’d be a perfect fit at the business we represent, GloboCorp Sales.
We’re recruiting for team leaders on GloboCorp’s sales floor. Not to bore you with too many details, but GloboCorp is in the Top 10 most successful sales departments in London and offer amazing career progression opportunities; we’re searching for somebody who isn’t just a stop-gap or an also-ran, but a sales leader.
I wanted to get in touch to offer you the opportunity before we advertise the position publicly. If you want to know more about GloboCorp, please shoot me back an email when you get the chance.
All the best,
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.