Your hours trawling LinkedIn have finally paid off!

You’ve found the perfect new candidate, you can finally fill that role that’s been nagging at you for the past few months.

Except not everything goes to plan. Your cold emails fall on deaf ears, your phone calls go unanswered.

What should you do next? How long can you keep flogging the dead horse for?

Perhaps it’s time to “break up” with the candidate…

Break-up emails: a recruiter’s secret weapon

The break-up email is a secret weapon that can help you kickstart the candidate conversation.

It’s an email in which you say ‘goodbye’, and hope that the candidate’s loss aversion kicks in. This a psychological principle describing people’s tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains.

It’s best to use the break-up email as your final message to candidates who have never replied to your cold email. For people you’ve interacted with, the follow up never stops!

The best break up emails have a simple structure:

  • Reference the fact that you’ve consistently tried to connect with the candidate
  • Mention that the candidate has never replied
  • Tell the candidate that this is your final email
  • Let them know what they’re missing out on
  • Give them an easy way to get back in touch

Take a look at the example below:

Remember, the candidates that you send this email to are totally unresponsive, so you shouldn’t expect a huge spike in replies.

What I can guarantee though, is that (purely because it’s a little different) this will get more replies than a standard template.

Simply doing things that other recruiters aren’t is a great way to get better talent through the door. Don’t believe me? If you keep a close eye on your recruiting metrics you should see instant improvement)

Bonus break-up tip: Try using humour

Sending a break up email is a great way to stand out to unresponsive candidates but, if you really want to differentiate yourself, you could try adding a touch of humour to your final email.

Take a look at the example below:

This style of email may not fit with your company ethos, (particularly if you work at a large corporate).

If you do have the freedom to experiment though, it recommend trying out humour in your break up emails (I know I’d probably reply to our example above!)

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