4 Cliches to Remove From Your Recruitment Messaging

March 16, 2015 at 12:16 PM by Rob Stevenson


How many emails did you send last week? 10? 50? 100? How many of them received a response? Chin up, Recruiters. It's not entirely your fault. Some people
aren't likely to respond no matter how good the email is. In these cases there's not much you can do except try and leave them with as warm a feeling about your personal outreach as possible, in the hopes of keeping things open for future contact. In too many cases, though, talent see one thing about a recruiting email and immediately send it to the trash. You've got to give your recruitment messaging the best chance at avoiding the trash can, and if you use any of the below tired, meaningless, impersonal cliches, you aren't doing yourself any favors.

I'm contacting you about a hot new opportunity

This one is so over-used, it's lost all meaning. Technically, any open role is an "opportunity", so this does nothing to differentiate your open role and company from any of the others. The oldest writing trick in the book, show don't tell, is a great way to think about your re-phrasing here. Instead of just saying you have an opportunity, explain how it actually is a big chance for them. List off why the role is a step up from their current position, how it weaves in their skills, and why your company is better positioned to support their career goals than any of the others.


Do you or anyone you know have any interest in this role?

I cringe whenever I see this one. In addition to reeking of desperation, it's borderline disrespectful to presume access to the network of someone you don't know. This is the equivalent of asking a stranger at a party "hey, do you think I'm cute, or if not maybe any of your friends?"

I've only heard of one instance of the cold-email referral ask working. The Recruiter began with a bit of flattery, explaining that the role was probably a bit too junior and the timing wasn't right. However, the candidate was recognized as having a strong network within the Data Ops community, and then the opportunity was explained in some detail. Being transparent and putting your cards on the table with candidates is the surest way around the scoff and eye roll that often is the response to most outreach.


Based on your experience, I think you'd be a great fit.

An intro I've heard described as "almost too easy to see through", this one is a pretty clear confession that you A) did no research B) sent the email en masse C) both. Instead, reference a specific project and explain how it fits in with the open role at your organization. This shows that you've taken some time to learn about your candidate, understand their skills enough to know what's relevant, and your opportunity actually fits in with their abilities and interests.


Lateral Moves

Not so much a cliche as a recruiting faux pas, reaching out to talent about a move that makes no sense with their career trajectory is a huge mistake. Firstly, no one wants to take a new job to move sideways, unless they're utterly miserable in their current role. Secondly, it shows you haven't taken the time to understand the candidate's experience. If you're presenting something as an opportunity at least be sure it is one.

Looking for more ways to improve your candidate response rates? Guilty of these cringeworthy cliches? Effectively Messaging Candidates is just what the hiring doctor prescribed.

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