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This is why candidates aren't answering you

Posted by
Alexandra Kane
July 27, 2023

A barrage of LinkedIn InMails. Calls. Emails. You are clearly interested in those candidates who so perfectly meet your client needs.

So why aren’t they answering you?

The deafening sound of silence meets so many recruiters each day as they try to fight through the noise and stand out to top talent.

Some may chalk it up to sheer volume. “Eh, no one is responding because they’re tired of hearing from recruiters.”

Others may believe it’s because the candidate isn’t actively looking for work. “Well, you know how hard it is to reach passive candidates.”

Still more may believe it’s because of issues with client expectations or deliverables. “If they had only bumped the salary to $XX or reduced the experience necessary to YY, then I’d be hearing back.”

Surprise. You’re (probably) wrong.

Excuses may make us feel better about our efforts, but they’re definitely not going to solve your candidate engagement problems.


Cold contact. Frigid response.

Are you currently calculating the success of your cold candidate outreach? Many staffing firms fail to track, assuming that sending out hundreds or even thousands of cold messages with a minute response simply comes along with the territory.

But tracking is essential. Data fills in the gaps so you don’t have to operate on hunches and “experience.” It allows you to track patterns and understand what’s really working over time.

It allows you to maximize your spend and your time. That equates to a potentially massive impact on your bottom line, and that’s before you even think about the actual responses.


Thanks for sending me this…fax?!

If you want your messages to be not only heard, but appreciated, stop using outdated methods of candidate communication.

Emails are still fine. LinkedIn Inmails are okay but expensive, and many contractors are simply ignoring them altogether.

Today impressing candidates (and most importantly, getting a response), means communicating via text and chat. Ninety percent of people read a text message within three minutes, on average. They respond within 90 seconds. Yes, that fast!

Sense client messages have a 45% average response rate. Compare that to your email response rate. Or just about any candidate communication method response rate. We’re not trying to brag, but we understand the challenges you’re facing…and that a 45% response rate is pretty impressive.


Dear [NAME], we think your [SKILL] background would be a great fit for [ROLE].

Templates are time savers, but the wrong ones can close doors for you before you can even stick your foot inside.

Rather than sending a mass email with one, generic message, segment your ideal candidates into groups and craft separate, personal messages for each.

Think about what will resonate with those candidates–what do they love about their jobs (and what would they love about THIS one)? What typically drives them nuts about working with recruiters (HINT: Say and do the opposite!)?

Using templates wisely can make a profound difference on your response rate and ultimately, your ROI. Long-term contractor relationships were built on the foundations of templates. It’s just a matter of crafting the right ones.


That basket-weaving job might not be a fit for an industrial engineer.

This should go without saying, but avoid sending mass emails to candidates who aren’t even remotely interested in or appropriate for your jobs.

We’re saying it because it happens, frequently.

Mass emails simplify contractor communications, without a doubt. For many staffing firms, it’s easier to simply shoot emails off to everyone (potentially thousands), in the instance that one or two people are the perfect fit.

But to reach those one or two candidates, you’ve potentially upset the remaining 999. And you’ll need them again some day.

There’s a better way.


How nice to hear from you; it’s been so (SO) long!

Many recruiters have relationships with hundreds, if not thousands, of contractors. It can be difficult to spend time communicating with all of them consistently.

But, when you reach out to a contractor who is “perfect” for a job, only you haven’t communicated with that contractor at all (zip, zilch, nada) since their last placement…well, that candidate may not feel very receptive toward you or your message.

How valuable would you feel if your boss left you on your own for months (or even years), then suddenly came to you with a project, along with language making you feel like you’re the most important employee in the world?

That may not be the best example, but the point is made nonetheless.

Your interest in the candidate feels hollow at best, self serving undoubtedly. And it is a massive turnoff for candidates.

Rather than coming to candidates out of the blue, taking the time (and effort) to touch base from time to time can make a massive impact on their opinion of you and ultimately, your ability to successfully place that contractor in the future.

Yes, we did recently mention how many of you have a database of hundreds, if not thousands, of contractors. The good news is that software (Spoiler Alert: Like Sense) makes nurturing contractor relationships quick and simple.


A little effort goes a long way in contractor care.

Contractors want to hear from you. Who doesn’t want to hear about a great job? But it can be difficult to resuscitate relationships with candidates you’ve burned in the past.

At Sense, we help you build stronger contractor relationships to increase placements, reduce costs, and save you time. Sense automates, personalizes, and optimizes talent communication, while offering robust measurement and reporting tools for staffing firms. We can make your life easier and your contractors happier. Let’s talk and see how we can help you.  

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