October 23, 2015 lauren

LinkedIn InMail Tips: Why Candidates Don’t Respond

The average InMail response rate is 10-25%. That means 3 out of 4 perfect candidates aren’t responding to your messages.

These numbers exist despite a candidate’s interest in hearing from a recruiter. With InMail, recruiters can even reach candidates on the go, which is becoming more common as more candidates perform mobile job searches.

Nonetheless, the low response rate for InMail is still an obstacle despite the benefits this tool offers to recruiters.

So, what is making InMail correspondence less successful?

What it boils down to is this:

recruiters are

People don’t think highly of recruiters—especially those who send thousands of generic messages to various candidates.

In fact, Linkedin began to crack down on recruiters who aren’t receiving more than a 13% response rate for their InMail. The reason for this is due to the negative impact that bulk InMail candidates receive cause them to open less InMail from recruiters and have an overall bad user experience.

That’s why having an effective messaging strategy is so important to overcome this stigma.

As recruiters, we’ve sent our fair share of LinkedIn InMails to candidates. Over the years, we’ve learned a thing or two about what candidates respond to in a LinkedIn InMail, and more importantly, what they don’t respond to.

To help you craft the perfect InMail strategy, we’ve put together some of our top Linkedin InMail tips for you to check out below.

5 Insightful LinkedIn InMail Tips From Our Team

1. Be human

The first of our LinkedIn InMail tips is easy: people respond to humanity. Not bots. Not spam. Not a copy and paste job from an article like this. Think about what would appeal to the person you’re reaching out to, and ask them a question that makes them think.

Here’s a response from a candidate who connected with a real InMail:

‘So, I would normally leave these first contacts short and sweet, but I am really intrigued by your statement, “What you look for in that dream opportunity…” It is the most interesting statement I’ve come across and it makes me feel human. Out of mere excitement about the question, here’s my first shot at answering it…’

To inspire answers like this, what can you do to make your InMail messages more personal?

One first step is to perform some basic research on who this message is going to. Someone is going to open a message that speaks to their interests and desires rather than a generic, vague message.

Plus, catching candidates’ attention with the right InMail subject lines is also beneficial. This can come down to changing the wording of your InMail subject lines to simply be catchier.

2. Avoid overused buzzwords

What if I told you that your email was 1 in 100? That your message is boring? That the person on the receiving end of the InMail hates recruiters because they flood their inbox?

One sure-fire way to fall into one of those buckets is by including words like “innovative” or “excellent,” which are commonly used by recruiters.

It may take cracking open a thesaurus, but it can be worth it in the end. Like we discussed before, personalization is crucial to getting a candidate to read your InMail.

While you want to avoid words that are too flowery or fluffy, there are many ways you can rephrase a generic message to be intentionally unique. Thus, you can send a candidate something that is likely new to them rather than the same as any other message in their inbox.

3. Identify candidate needs and prevent objections

The ideal sales or recruiting process has five steps:

  1. Develop the relationship
  2. Create and identify the need
  3. Prevent and overcome the objection
  4. Fill the need and provide the benefit
  5. Advance and close the sale

The unfortunate reality is that more recruiters focus on filling the need, providing the benefits, developing the relationship, and closing the sale. Recruiters skip over the steps of identifying the need and overcoming the objections in the mind of the candidate.

By including these two areas in your InMail – identify the need and preventing objections – your message will stand out. And by standing out, your message is more likely to stand out in the mind of the candidate.

Instead of leading with your job, first, take the time to find out what they want.

What are their needs? What are their objections? Recruiting a candidate is much easier to do when you have answers to those questions because you can then fill the need and provide the right benefit with the role you’re looking to fill.

4. Follow up the right way

The most foolproof way to get a response from your LinkedIn InMails is by following up.

Most recruiters identify a candidate, send one InMail, don’t hear back, and never follow-up.

The reason for the lack of a follow-up is due to the hassle it can present. After all, these follow-ups should be as personal as your initial message.

Plus, you should follow the general rule of not overwhelming a candidate with too many messages. Your 10th InMail message may not get a candidate to respond if they haven’t up to this point.

Essentially, understanding where your priorities are when messages and following-up can help you get more responses instead of being left on read.

5. Send an InMail at the right time

On average, about 66% of emails are opened, with only 40% getting replies during the week. However, the weekend shows more open-rates—73%—with a slightly higher response rate of 45%.

So, it makes sense that when you send your message will change the rate at which you may receive a response.

For example, you may choose to send an email during a time-frame that allows your candidate to read and reply to what was sent.

TruPath is an executive search firm that finds mid to senior-level executives in mission-critical roles at your organization. Contact us if you’re looking for a leader to join your team.