In today's ecosystem, finding the greatest talent for your firm demands tailored and aggressive marketing.
Find the 4 steps that all recruiters should follow when messaging students and alumni below.
1. Put your best foot forward.
Your subject line matters. It will appear as the subject in the students' email, their Handshake inbox, and the push notification they see on their phone!
Be sure to mention your company in the subject line - that’s the basis of our default subject line, which works surprisingly well! Handshake always offers a default subject line of “Mallory at ABC Company has sent you a message on Handshake.”
That being said, we encourage all employers to use outbound messages to tell their brand story and let their voice shine. When customising a subject line, we see slightly higher read rates if you include your company name, or the word "apply". Finally, the messages with the highest read rate have subject lines somewhere between 80 and 110 characters.
2. Make the student feel special.
Start your message with a personal note. Getting emails from employers is new for many students. It’s important to explain why they are getting a message from you when maybe their peers aren't. Phrases like “I saw you’re a Communications graduate,” or “We’re looking for people with GIS/leadership/writing skills like you,” help add a personal touch and drive up your read rate.
Similarly, make sure you sign off using your real name instead of a generic recruiting email address. Students want to hear from Sally the recruiter, not ABC Company Recruiting.
3. Tell the student what to do.
Make your call to action (CTA) crystal clear. As with any email, make it super clear what you’re asking them to do. Bold it, underline it, put it in colour, but most importantly, hyperlink it. And keep the asks simple, like, "Apply to this job". "RSVP to this event". "Stop by our Career Fair Booth".
If you have an application deadline or an event date, make sure to include it to drive urgency.
Finally, if you’re asking the student to apply to a job at your company, make sure you post that job on Handshake and direct them there. For additional details, refer to How to Post a Job.
That way, you can track how many applicants you sourced from particular campaigns to test and improve future versions. Also, if the job is in Handshake, students can favourite it for reference!
4. Bring your brand to life.
Have an awesome Handshake Branding Page? Or a sweet marketing video you show all candidates? Finish the message off by giving the student a little bit more information about what it’s like to work at your company. This not only helps you tell your brand story, but it also helps guide students to do their research before submitting an application.