How to Reach Passive Candidates Like a Pro with LinkedIn InMails

Feeling ignored? We know the feeling. Your LinkedIn InMails could be destroying your chances of working with potential candidates. Very few LinkedIn members are uninterested in hearing about opportunities. This means passive candidates aren’t as ‘passive’ as you may think. Your messages just aren’t working. It’s okay, don’t panic just yet. We’ll help you reach passive candidates like a pro with these LinkedIn InMail tips.

Build a Personal Brand

Are you the type of recruiter that only uses LinkedIn for sourcing candidates? You need to be more active. It’s a social media platform, so be social. Share news and professional updates. Follow brands you’re interested in and even publish the occasional article. Being active on LinkedIn boosts your professionalism and reputation.

Know the Stats

When it comes to InMails, you need to be aware of a few vital stats:

  • 79% of LinkedIn members are interested in job opportunities from companies they’re following
  • 25% of the LinkedIn community are actively looking for opportunities
  • 45% of the LinkedIn community are not looking for a job but are open to talking to recruiters
  • 15% of the LinkedIn community are completely satisfied and don’t want to move jobs
  • 15% of the LinkedIn community are not looking but chat with their close network about opportunities

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What Do Candidates Hate About Recruiter InMails

For your InMails to be effective, you need to understand what candidates hate about recruiter messages. Here are some of the most common pain points:

  • Messages are impersonal and clearly a ‘send to all’ template
  • The role isn’t relevant to the candidate’s skillset
  • Message are too long
  • Messages are too boring
  • The message doesn’t explain why a candidate is suitable
  • Messages are full of sales clichés
  • Messages are cringey

Shared Connections/Interests

It’s a topic of hot debate. Should you flaunt a shared connection to get a candidate’s attention? Starting the conversation with a tenuous link could be off-putting. It could also look desperate or unauthentic. Having said this, the technique often works:

  • Mentioning a shared group boosts response rate by 21%
  • Mentioning a common employer will increase response rate by 27%
  • Mentioning a shared connection boosts response rate by 31%

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What is the Job?

Let’s face it, this is what the candidate wants to know. Don’t just send a full job description, it’s too much to open with. Use strong, emotive adjectives to describe the role you’ve got. Spell out exactly why you’re reaching out to them specifically, discuss other vital requirements and describe what the role offers moving forward. Then go on to explain what’s so awesome about the client you’re working with. Do this all in just a few short, snappy paragraphs.

Have a Discussion

Don’t be boring and robotic in your messages. Casual, everyday language is completely acceptable (as long as you keep it professional). This is far more likely to resonate with the reader. Treat them like a person, not a number.

Adopt a quality over quantity mantra. Spend the time to find highly relevant individuals and talk about their specific experience. Even if they’re not looking now, you could work together in the future. If they aren’t looking, ask if they know anyone who is looking.

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Sales Clichés to Avoid

Some recruiters are guilty of using the same old sales clichés in their LinkedIn InMails. It doesn’t just make you seem impersonal but it can also destroy your chances of getting a reply. Here are some of the most cringeworthy clichés used:

  • “I just wanted to touch base”
  • “I hope this message finds you well”
  • “I just wanted to reach out”
  • “Get the ball rolling”
  • “Thanks in advance”
  • “Take this offline”
  • “Dream job”

Instead of using tired soundbites that make you sound like every other salesperson, just be natural in what you say. Honesty is always appreciated when reaching out to passive candidates.

Quick Fire Tips

Here are a few quick fire tips to help you achieve captivating and effective InMails:

  • Write a snappy and interesting subject line
  • Use the candidate’s first name
  • Create a positive first impression
  • Keep it short and direct
  • Know your goal
  • Discuss future growth potential
  • Include a close/call-to-action
  • Don’t ask the candidate for too much
  • Provide your contact information (obviously)
  • Leave the ball in their court
  • Ask for referrals

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