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Get Better Response Rates

If you’re a Talent Acquisition leader or a Recruiter and, like most of TA, you have become reliant on LinkedIn for sourcing and outreaching passive talent, you might be running into a huge problem: Response rates on LinkedIn (and in general) are at the lowest they have ever been. At ELI Recruiting, we’ve dedicated a lot of effort to solving this problem.

There are a variety of reasons why you, or your recruiters and sourcers, might be struggling with your response rate.

– LinkedIn has made it too easy for anyone to message anyone else on their platform directly. All you have to do is pay a fee! Here comes a swarm of untrained recruiters that rely on volume messaging in order to engage with enough candidates to fulfill their metrics. Not to mention all the sales messages and spam/bots/scams. It’s easy for a candidate to ignore your message when it’s one of literally 10 they got in one day alone!

– Bulk InMails are not great. It’s hard to reliably build a good template that will truly feel personalized and not robotic. Plus it makes it really easy for a recruiter to get lazy and just send (we call this “spray and pray” and we hate it!). Bulk InMail is a feature that needs a lot of work.

– Recruiters are not taking enough time or putting enough effort when it comes to crafting a good, attention grabbing message. There are no excuses.

– Good candidates keep getting messages about great opportunities… that they are completely and utterly unqualified for. A ML Engineer who is amazing at her job does not want to consider your Data Analyst job. A Systems Engineer gets a message about a once in a lifetime opportunity to join a company running Microsoft solutions, but they’ve always worked on Linux. You get the picture. After a few too many of these messages everything gets ignored!

– A lot of LinkedIn users are just not that active on the platform. As crazy as that might sound.

– Users want to protect their email inbox from Spam and Phishing emails. That means that most unsolicited messages get spammed. Users have tools set up to do this automatically, but they also see an unexpected email and mark it as spam.

And these are just a few of the reasons why Response Rates across our industry have seen a big drop.


But how do we overcome this major hurdle?

There are different ways to improve your response rates. Here are a few quick ones for you and your recruiters/sourcers to try out:

Less can be more: This might seem like counterintuitive advice, but try to narrow down your search. It’s far more likely you’ll get a response from someone who’s actually a fit for your role. Spend more time improving your search and reviewing profiles thoroughly.

Improve your outreach messages: Spend more time considering the candidate’s perspective and think about what will grab their attention. Come up with some variations of your message and A/B test for response rates. Then go with what works best.

Don’t die by automation: Automation is great, but it can be misused. Overly generic messages, variables that don’t work (Hello “candidate”), etc can result in your message going straight to spam.

Message Drip/Sequencing: Don’t stop at 1 message! A lot of times a candidate forgets to reply back to you, are too busy, or simply don’t see your message. So follow up, remind them you’re interested. Let them know that “YES, you’re the person I want to talk to. This is not a random email.” You can also add more insight about your role and why they should connect with you.

Diversify your outreach channels: Make sure you reach out to candidates via multiple channels. InMail, Email, Social Media nudge, text, phone call. It’s all fair game as long as you do it tactfully and respectfully. Remember, not everyone is active on LinkedIn!

We advise TA leaders to bring their team together to work on building a strategy and setting goals. At ELI Recruiting, we’ve worked with clients with response rates on LinkedIn below 10%! By working together and building a strategy, setting goals, and ensuring we have the right way to measure performance, we have been able to get them into better shape incredibly fast. This means going from 10% to over 25%, 35%, 50% response rates in just weeks.
Yes, there are a lot of variables, but if you put the work in, you’ll also see improvement across your team. When we talk about ROI and take a look at our candidate pipeline funnel, it’s important to realize how much of an impact the response rate will have on your ability to hire quicker, and better. So get to work!*

* And if you want more help, reach out to us here at ELI Recruiting and we will work with you on improving your response rate, quality of your candidates, and helping you hire better candidates, faster.


Founder & Recruiter

About ELI

We are Recruiters that take enormous pride in what we do. That means getting the right candidate the first time, taking care of our client and the “candidate experience”.


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