Using email templates to lead you to the right candidates

Last updated:
December 14, 2020
December 19, 2021
min read
Tania Miranda
Table of contents

Whether you’re an HR pro, a hiring manager, or a headhunter, you should understand the importance of connecting to the right candidates.

Gone are the old days of engaging with potential hires through landline calls and written mail. The internet has become an essential tool of communication, requiring companies to email candidates.

It’s rare to find a good resume that doesn’t have an applicant’s email address. Many job seekers have profiles on LinkedIn, a social media platform, while many businesses post job openings on their websites, requesting an email contact from applicants. A hiring approach that doesn’t accommodate the electronic exchange of information isn’t suitably equipped for the job market and may be missing out on great candidates.

Taking advantage of email templates

When doing business, it’s always better to work smarter and not harder.

Various types of businesses require the use of templates in their regular operations. These templates are a great way to standardize and formalize internal and external communications, but they’re also great for quickly generating various types of messaging and boilerplate language. Templates can help professionals save time and effort, especially for mass communication, and emails are no exception.

When it’s time to email candidates throughout the hiring process, email templates can streamline your exchanges. Well-drafted templates help you save time and energy.

Understanding the limitations of email templates

In your exchanges with various people, it’s impossible to create a template that will suitably address every email recipient.

You can have several email templates that can be used as a starting point for regular communications, especially when it comes to recruiting. From internet requests for information to inviting applicants to continue the interviewing process, a suite of templates can help cut down on the required work. You run the risk of sounding robotic or cold with standardized responses.

You can’t always email candidates without making significant edits to a template, but it’s great to have a place to start. Here are some example scenarios and guides for developing email templates that can benefit you as someone responsible for reviewing and making decisions on potential hires.

Communicating with those actively searching for jobs

As an HR professional or hiring manager, you regularly interact with those who are actively searching for jobs, whether you have open positions. In any scenario, you should have templates to email candidates in a positive way quickly. Here are some key points to include in your email templates:

  • Always thank a candidate for showing interest in your company. This could be in the subject of the email or the body. Consider reiterating in closing in either scenario.
  • If there are openings, acknowledge them reaching out and any information they sent. Encourage them to fill out an application for a specific position or job category by sending direct links to any requisitions. Show enthusiasm for reviewing their application.
  • If there are no openings, state this clearly but let them know that you have their information for consideration if positions become available. Always wish them success with the job search.

Regardless of whether your organization is actively looking for candidates, a friendly yet professional approach is always on-message.

Reaching out to passive job seekers

Recruiting wisdom says that most people are on the job hunt, even if they don’t know it. That’s to say, even those who are satisfied with their current position can show interest in a new opportunity. You should have email templates that cater to these passive job seekers. These may be candidates that you have no connection to or candidates that were referred to you by people you know. Here are things to know when you have to email candidates not actively searching:

  • You need to be clear, concise, and direct. Be sure to mention how you came across this candidate, whether through a LinkedIn search or learning of them through industry news. These are often called sourced candidates.
  • For referred candidates, you may need to be careful about the privacy of the referral. If the referral was through a mutual friend or business associate, make sure that your message reflects warmth.
  • For both types of candidates, a brief description of the position should be included.
  • For sourced candidates, consider including links to brief testimonials about working for the company, or perhaps a reference to industry-recognized awards won by your organization.
  • In both scenarios, email candidates showing enthusiasm for the possibility of hearing from them concerning the open position. Ask the candidate if they’d like to hear more about the position.

Be sure to follow up, especially with sourced candidates.

Sending interview-related emails

You can also take advantage of templates for the interview stage of the process, especially if you communicate with many potential candidates. Whether you’re interviewing by phone, video, or in-person, you’ll need to convey the details, including time and date, interview method, and other pertinent information. Regardless of the type of interview, be sure to include the following:

  • Show gratitude for the candidate for applying for the job. It doesn’t hurt to show enthusiasm for the quality of their candidacy.
  • Describe the next steps as they pertain to the interview process.
  • Give the applicant an overview of what the interview will cover and who will be present, especially senior management, area leads, and other key staff.

If there are to be follow-up interviews scheduled, you should provide the purpose of the interview and who will be present when you email candidates. You don’t want them to get the sense of having to jump through hoops for a position.

Offering the job

It’s not uncommon to make a job offer by email, even if a formal written notice is to be issued. You can send formal or informal job offers using email templates. These offers should include information that helps the applicant make a decision as soon as possible. Such an email usually starts off with a note of congratulations and details about the position, including the job title, salary, benefits information (optional), and also a date indicating when your organization needs a decision. A formal offer tends to have more details, and even though the information will vary from person to person, the use of a template is still a great starting point.

Sending rejection notices

Just as you can make an offer by email using templates, the same is true for rejection notices. When you email candidates, templates can be set up for any stage of the hiring process. If you’re rejecting an applicant before the interview stage, you should thank them for their interest and compliment them on their background and experience, especially if they may be a good fit for future openings.

Post-interview rejections should also express appreciation for their time and consideration. Encourage them to apply for other positions if this is a possibility. Inform them of potential consideration for other roles, if applicable. Maintain a tone of professional warmth.

When you’re responsible for staffing decisions, you tend to have many things on your plate. Take advantage of templates to email candidates at every stage of the hiring process. These templates help save time and energy, giving you the basis to craft an email that can convey a lot about your organization to a potential hire.

Email templates can contain boilerplate language as well as company-specific messaging. Having a suite of pre-drafted emails helps you work smarter and better meet your company's hiring demands.

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