Recruitment / Recruitment marketing

Use email to build relationships with job candidates

Last updated: November 30, 2018

woman checking email on smartphone

Email is a powerful and cost-effective tool in your recruitment marketing toolkit for building relationships with potential employees. It’s a great way to reach people at all stages of the candidate journey – from those just learning about you as an employer all the way through to those who are applying for a job and accepting a new position. Ascend2, a marketing technology company, ranks email marketing as an organization’s second-most effective marketing tool after a website.

Emails can be used in a variety of settings to achieve a variety of goals. We usually think of emails as transactional – asking someone to do something or following up on an idea or project. In recruiting, you’ll use emails in this transactional way, and you’ll also use them to build relationships over time.

Types of emails

There are many opportunities for sending emails. Here are some examples of the types of emails you might send job candidates:

  1. Welcome/introduction email: An email to people who signed up for your email list (perhaps at a career fair, on your district website or from your social media sites) to welcome them to your email list and highlight how they can benefit from receiving your emails.
  2. Promotional: A simple email promoting a single job posting or a link to a blog post or article about an initiative in your district.
  3. Seasonal campaign: An email sent out on key dates, such as when teacher education students are graduating or when your district releases its external job postings. Read about the type of content you might include over a multi-month email campaign.
  4. Post-application email: An email sent to each candidate who has applied for a job. This email is a good opportunity to reinforce your employer brand and get candidates excited about the prospect of working in your district.
  5. Connect via social media campaign: An email encouraging email subscribers to Like your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter and so on. When email recipients connect with you on social media, you have the potential to deepen the relationship between your district and the candidate, which creates a higher level of engagement.

As you can see from this list, not every email is transactional. And each is an opportunity to build your brand as an employer of choice – either explicitly (by talking about what makes you unique) or implicitly (by sharing links to articles on interesting events or initiatives going on in your schools).

By continuously engaging job candidates and subscribers with relevant, interesting and useful information, you are maintaining top-of-mind awareness. And when candidates are ready to apply for a position, they may be more inclined to apply for a job with your district rather than pursue opportunities elsewhere.

Where do you get email addresses for job candidates?

When you attend career fairs, be sure to put out an email sign-up sheet. You can also generate email leads by including an email list sign-up form on your website or district social media pages.

Before you start sending emails, educate yourself on Canada’s Anti-Spam legislation to ensure that your organization is acting in compliance to this legislation. Your emails should also include an “unsubscribe” option so that people can opt out of receiving your emails in the future.

Email is not just about promotion, but about building a relationship with subscribers—getting to know their interests and motivations.

Helpful tips for writing emails

What you say in your emails should be determined by your goals. Are you trying to inform, persuade or remind?

If you’re trying to inform, you’ll want your email to introduce your district and highlight your current job postings. If you’re trying to persuade, you may send an email highlighting your employee value proposition and the opportunities that exist within your organization. If you’re trying to remind candidates to apply for jobs or that you exist, consider outlining the steps for applying for jobs within your organization or reiterating what makes your district special.

Learn more about writing persuasive email messages.

When crafting your messages, ask yourself these questions:

  • Who will read this email?
  • What are my readers interested in and what do they care about?
  • Is my subject line interesting and catchy? Having a strong subject line makes it more likely that recipients will open and read the email.
  • What do I want my readers to do after they read this email (goals)?
  • Is this email appropriate, relevant and useful – would I be please if I received it in my inbox?

Free email marketing automation software

Using an email marketing platform can save you the time of creating email templates from scratch. They automate the process, automatically sending out the emails you’ve written on specified dates. You’ll also receive detailed reports of how your emails are performing, and it’ll make it easier for you to manage your email list. Here are examples of a few free platforms:

Monitor your results

As with all your recruitment activities, it’s a good idea to track a few indicators to see if your email campaigns and initiatives are helping you achieve your success measures. If you choose one of the email automation software programs mentioned above, you can easily generate reports showing quantitative data about the success of your campaign.

You may want to pay special attention to these common email metrics:

  1. Subscriber growth rate: The rate at which your email subscriber list grows over a period of time, such as the number of new subscribers per month. This tells you whether you’re gaining or losing interest in your district.
  2. Open rate: The number of people who open your emails. This shows how many people are interested in your email and the effectiveness of your subject line.
  3. Click-through rate: The number of times someone clicks on a link in your email. This shows how compelling your call to action is and whether people are interested in your email content. A low click-through rate could show that your messages are not relevant to your audience. If this is the case, consider changing your content or sending the email to a more segmented version of your contact list. According to MailChimp, in education, you can expect an open rate of approximately 22% and a click rate of 2.48%

Additional resources

A quick Google search can help you find sites with information and resources on launching successful email campaigns. The following are a good place to start:

What’s next?

Learn about how you can develop an email campaign to target teacher education students.