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Recruitment 101: When Should You Reach Out to Candidates?

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Does this scenario sound familiar? You craft an impeccable message to a would-be candidate. It’s personal, compelling, and well-researched. And the prospective candidate never even opens your message.

It’s a frustrating experience, and while you probably won’t eliminate its occurrence entirely, there are some steps you can take to reduce the frequency—specifically by strategically selecting the time you reach out. Below, we touch base on some of the most important factors in determining if a candidate will be receptive to your outreach attempts.

The Medium Matters

When should you reach out to candidates? It depends on your method of communication. Are you reaching out by phone, email, LinkedIn, or another method? It makes an enormous difference.

For example, Two major studies of email open rates found significantly higher response rates from candidates on the weekend, largely due to significantly less competition and a lower volume of emails. So the weekend is a safe bet, right? Not if you’re reaching out to candidates on LinkedIn. InMails sent on Saturday are 16 percent less likely to get a response than any other day of the week. 

The Morning is a Safe Bet

While the day of the week differs greatly from medium to medium, the morning appears to be a good time to contact candidates regardless of your chosen method. Recruiters who send emails in the early morning (along with the evening) see the best response rate. For LinkedIn, 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM is the magic hour. By phone, 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM is your best bet. (Calls after 4:00 PM see the greatest drop-off.)

The Content of Your Message is the Most Important Factor

When you send your email is important, but your content matters even more. Do you have an interesting subject line? Are your emails personalised? Are you hitting the right tone?

Don’t just focus on the details of the position you may be trying to fill; use your initial message to build a relationship. Focus on what you have in common. Candidates are more likely to respond to InMails by recruiters who share a LinkedIn group or connection.

Want more tips on when to reach out to candidates? Check out the candidate engagement toolkit for the best times to contact candidates and 8 other great resources designed to help you find and engage candidates.

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