Once a list of suitable candidates has been generated, it is time to start making contact with these targets. In order to do so, it will be essential to get hold of their contact details. This can be done via a number of channels, ranging from sending connection requests on LinkedIn, to utilising email generation software, to running X-Ray searches on Google.

Assuming that this has been done, the next step is to build a messaging cadence that optimizes across the following components:

  • personalization
  • tone
  • credibility
  • context
  • clarity


Thinking about these core ingredients, the following intro message might emerge as a v1:


I’ve read all about your work @ insert_company_name doing insert_personalized_content, and noticed that you were a primary contributor to the design and build of insert_personalized_content.

We are a Berlin based engineering team focused on setting the direction of Observability for the next 10-20 years. After working in Google’s Distributed Tracing team for a combined 30+ years, we realized that it’s possible and preferable to combine Metrics, Traces & Logs under one single intuitive UI. Check out our backgrounds here and here, or check out our demo here.

After securing $3M in Series A funding from our preferred investors, we’re looking to scale the Backend engineering team with further energy, knowledge and enthusiasm. From what we’ve read about your background, you would be a perfect fit. Please take a look at the formal requirements here.

Would you be open to jumping on a call to discuss in more detail?

Best regards, Recruiter

This messaging should be carefully constructed to maximize the chance of positive responses, and it must be continually improved, updated, critiqued, and optimized (A/B testing, hiring manager feedback, cross-team collaboration etc). A small improvement in the quality of the messaging can yield meaningful increases in response rates and candidate flow.

A key issue to think about is the level of personalization that will be incorporated into the messaging. Many people do not respond to mass template messages, and so it is critical that some effort is invested into a personalization campaign. This is an optimization challenge that the recruiter has to find an adequate solution to, and will depend upon a cross-section of factors:

  • What is the total candidate pool
  • How many candidates is the recruiter planning on reaching out to
  • Is this a graduate level hire or a senior hire
  • Are the prospective candidates actively seeking new work
  • How many people are contributing to this part of the recruitment process, and what is their total time bandwidth
  • Does anybody on the team have past experience of building/managing these types of campaign
  • How established in the corporate brand

One example solution to this optimization challenge would be to reserve heavy personalization for the strongest looking (on paper) 50 candidates, and then to use a more generic messaging for the rest.

Fergus O'Brien
Fergus O'Brien

Fergus is a Talent Acquisition consultant, with experience in FinTech recruitment and executive search. He is an advocate of further learning and de-centralized education.