LinkedIn Messages Or Spam Sandwiches: The 3 R’s #In

Messages or Spam Sandwiches?

I was running some LinkedIn training recently for a team of Recruiters, when the question came up about how to message effectively once possible candidates had been identified, particularly when you’re not connected. This answer to this question in my view, extends to all social channels, not just LinkedIn. It’s also important to apply the same simple rules to e-mail, LinkedIn advertising and even phone calls. I call it the 3 R’s.

1: Research.

Research is about finding the right people to message in the first place. I’m always mystified by the post and spray approach. Sending the message about a job to as many people as possible in the hope that it lands in the right place. This equally applies to posting jobs in groups without any real consideration of the groups members.
Research is about understanding:
1: Location (country and continent in particular.)
2: what the role is really about.
3: The required skills.
4: Indicative salary and seniority level.

This is for both the client and the target candidates you are considering approaching. It also means making sure you take the time to read the profiles you find before you send off a message. Too often this is clearly not done.

2: Relevance.

Relevance is about only messaging those candidates that match the profile. The candidate may not be interested at this time but if the detail is relevent to them they will understand why they have received it. I think relevance is the biggest difference between messages being regarded as intrusive spam and a possible conversation. Be sure all your messages and job postings are relevent to the people you send them to, it’s far more likely to end up in a conversation.

3: Reference.

If you chosen to message someone based on your research and their relevance, then you need to reference this in the message. invite people to have conversations rather than apply for jobs. Show interest in what they want in your message rather than just what you want. Make sure the relevance of your message is clear and conclude with a clear call to action.

A lot of recruiting teams are investing heavily in sourcing training in order to find candidates via LinkedIn in particular, as well as buying recruiter accounts.More attention needs to be paid to the messaging and engaging with people once you find them, or else it is a wasted message.

How do you message potential candidates once you find them?


2 comments on “LinkedIn Messages Or Spam Sandwiches: The 3 R’s #In

  1. Couldn’t agree more Bill.

    I learnt first hand that your approach was critical in getting positive responses.

    My first attempt at approaches fell on deaf ears literally. Not one response. Whilst I didn’t spell out role specifics it did outline some opportunities and a little about the organisation. Not much about the individual being approached.

    I made a few adjustments towards a more conversational approach chosing to leave out specifics and concentrate on the individuals aspirations.

    The result was overwhelming. At one point I was having a 75% positive response rate to my approaches. People found the approach refreshing, honest and personable (according to their emails and responses).

    As more and more recruiters use databases such as LinkedIn, it will become more and more imperative for individuals to set themselves apart from one another and not only have an EVP to sell but a PVP “Personal Value Proposition” because in the end they are ‘buying’ into you first.


  2. I like what you say here Bill, from personal experiences some of the nicest email approaches have been geniune with a hint of flattery. The approach doesn’t have to be war a peace but it helps to have some context rather then just.

    Here’s the job – now do you want it?

    People need to feel that the approach was intended for them and not another another cut and paste email of which I might be number 40.


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