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Marketing 101 for Recruiters

By Anthony Ysasaga

Jan, 27, 2021

In the last ten years of my career, among the countless seminars and training sessions, the least discussed topic is how we market to prospective candidates about open positions.

I’m amazed at how much time large companies spend on training recruiters on managing the applicant tracking systems, customer relationship management software, compensation, job file due diligence, human resource compliance, among twenty other things we need to know. In all of that, I have never seen any training regarding how we market to candidates. Nada.

The competition for talent lately is fierce. First-hand, I have seen companies being more proactive in sourcing for passive candidates, and they are spending a lot of money on tools and recruiter licenses attempting to blanket the job boards with their critical roles. But it’s not enough.

As a high-demand candidate myself, I am inundated with countless unsolicited emails asking if I would be interested in working for a hot new “great opportunity.” Everyone wants my time, and 95% of the emails I get all sound the same.

I say all of this to show that we all have the same challenges; getting prospects to respond to our inquiries! We all struggle to understand the language of sales and marketing.

Steve Martin, author of “Sales Strategy Playbook,” is quoted as saying, “If you are in sales, you need to study language and perfect your use of words because they are your most important competitive weapon.”

Getting more responses from inquiries is based on a few critical aspects of what potential candidates want to know. In a recent online survey posted on SourceCon’s website, here’s what prospective candidates want to know when a recruiter reaches out:

  1. Role responsibilities – 69%
  2. Why you’re reaching out – 64%
  3. Estimated salary range – 52%
  4. Company Culture – 45%
  5. Role seniority – 33%
  6. Company mission – 33%

Additionally, here are the big yeses and nos when reaching out to discussing a role with prospective candidates:


  • Me, me, me
  • My needs, my job, my opportunity
  • My company


  • Them, them, them.
  • Their current situation
  • Their interests and challenges
  • Their plans and desires
  • Have a conversation and speak in their language, this builds rapport and trust

I have also provided some key elements below that should be included in a highly effective message:

  • Eye-catching and interesting subject lines (signal vs. noise)
  • Be human: a person first and a sourcer/recruiter second
  • Have empathy for your audience
  • Use a conversational tone
  • Include hyper-personalized content
  • Explain how you found them
  • Explain, briefly, why you’re reaching out and be specific when discussing their profile and experience
  • Create knowledge gaps
  • Use social proofs; (look it up)
  • Appeal to your audience’s emotions
  • Call to action
  • End with a question (Reciprocity)
  • Be professionally persistent. Don’t give up on the first three tries!

Regardless of the tactics, we choose to employ, the most important aspect is that we truly understand and respect talent marketing.

Marketing to prospects, building your brand, and focusing on relationships, not jobs, makes sense. Many successful sales and marketing teams have become incredibly sophisticated in the way they interact with their target audience; recruiting teams following suit only makes sense.

By |2021-02-01T14:25:17-06:00February 1st, 2021|Blogs and Articles|0 Comments

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