Why LinkedIn InMail Spam Is Like Not Showering Before Your First Date

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linkedin-logoAs you may know, LinkedIn Recruiter recently announced changes to their service requiring that recruiters maintain a 14% response rate on their InMail messages or have their accounts suspended for 14 days. You can read about the changes by clicking here.

How to Increase LinkedIn Recruiter InMail Response Rate

One of the most effective ways to increase your LinkedIn Inmail response rate in any type of email messaging, InMails included is by customizing your message for your intended audience. In this case, our messages are intended for an audience of one and allows us a great opportunity to really engage and reach our ideal candidate.

Doing so, however, takes a lot of time and effort. As a recruiter you spend time researching the requirements of the job requisition you have been charged to fill, talking with the hiring manager and searching for the candidate. We’ve spent considerable time and effort. Not customizing your candidate message is a lot like someone not showering before they go on their first date. Impressions are important. They took the time to set up their online profile and even spent the last 3 days texting that special someone. Not following through seems like you just like going through the motions and wasting time. I guess you just aren’t ready to fill that position or land that new client, really.

Wasting time is one of those things I can’t afford to do. I’m self-employed and for me lost productivity is lost revenue which is why I am a fan of creating hacks that create a little work on the front end but pay me in time saving spades on the flip side of things.

One of those is an InMail template. Heck, really any type of email or custom messaging. With a simple copy paste and a few small tweaks and customizations I can quickly and easily reach a candidate doing everything I can to increase the likelihood that they will respond back to me. That simple tweak took less than 5 minutes. That’s about the same time it might take you to shower quickly before that first date. Guys, come on you know what I mean.

InMail templates are a great way to focus your time and effort. It’s the same reason I created phone script templates for my recruiting and hiring manager team and talking points for my managers when we roll out a process change that they will be speaking about during their weekly team meetings.

Two LinkedIn InMail Templates to Drive Response Rates

Customizing your message not only allows for increased response rates, but it also maximizes your time too. No one wants a candidate to pick up the phone or email us back if they aren’t the right fit for the role you are recruiting for. By providing them with information including the location, job title and the company name (if available) you are allowing the candidate to self-select is for or out of the position. Recently a recruiter called me about an HR Analyst role but left me no information in the voicemail about the location or position. When I called him back, I just flat out asked about the industry and based on the location he was describing, I made a guess at what company this position was at. I was right, and the company was not one that I wanted to be a part of. In my experience, the organization had a horrible work ethic, culture and reputation. I’ll take my chances elsewhere looking for project work and consulting opportunities. My take here is to provide as much information to allow people to opt out of the opportunity while also focusing on getting a response from them and qualifying your short list of candidates.


Be honest when describing the company culture. I’m always upfront if the opportunity is challenging. I’m do my best to compensate them for the environment and/or experience opportunity. Every person is at a different place in their personal lives and careers. Remember that providing good information that is truthful and direct is best. The goal is to increase our response rate to 100%. I want every single message I sent to my very targeted list to respond quickly and easily.

Below is the second email template option I wanted to share. As you can see I’m clear and direct in my subject line. If they are looking to work in an HR capacity at a startup in Minneapolis, they will surely open the InMail.


Any type of candidate messaging whether it’s on the LinkedIn Recruiter platform, good old fashioned email or candidate mining on a job board, the key is to create quality interactions that are worth responding too. No candidate wants to feel like second best which is why higher quality and less messaging is key.

Make the most of your time by utilizing templates I shared above. Save them to your drafts folder in email for easy copy and pasting or the notes app on your iPhone making sure you are never without your template wherever you go.

This is part two in our LinkedIn Recruiter InMail series. Click here to read part one

LinkedIn Recruiter Announces New Restrictions on InMail Open Rates

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LinkedIn recently has begun cracking down on some of the below listed offenses. LinkedIn Recruiter users with an InMail response rate of 13% will be suspended from sending messages for 14 days. LinkedIn Recruiter product users whose reponse rate dips below 14% will no longer be able to send bulk InMail messages to candidates for a period of 14 days.

Earlier this year, Recruiter users were no longer allowed to send group messages to second and third degree connections. I’m certain we will see more restrictions and guidelines with regard to messaging and recruiting on LinkedIn.

Personally, I like this change. LinkedIn is a great recruiting resource. However, it’s one that many recruiters have begun to rely on too heavily focusing more on mass messaging than building relationships and engaging potential hot leads and candidates.

How to Increase Your LinkedIn InMail Response Rate

The key to increasing your open rate can be accomplished in just 5 easy steps:

  • Get Customized. Focus on customized messages that clearly establish that you have took the time to research and learn about the candidate. This means leaving the mass messaging behind and focusing on customized notes, emails and phone calls that let the candidate know they are important and that you aren’t sending the same mass message to 500 other candidates just like him/her.
  • The Referral Email. The referral email is a favorite strategy of mine and is a common tactic of recruiters looking for new candidates to source that might be considering a change but haven’t actively applied for a job opening. I personally, focus on referers who have spent the effort and time building relationships with peers. My favorite referers are the ones who have an active LinkedIn or Meetup.com group that I’m able to tap into rather quickly. Personally, I prefer the referral phone call over the email to let the person know I’m a recruiter who is focused on quality relationships with candidates.
  •  The LinkedIn Twitter Punch. Twitter is also an effective social network to engage beyond automated job postings and messages. The LinkedIn Twitter punch is a great way to ensure that your InMail actually gets read. I like to go the extra mile and tweet and follow the candidate I’ve just messaged on LinkedIn. A simple tweet to the candidate can be, “@twittername, just shot you over a LinkedIn note. Let’s connect. Love your tweets about Dr. Who too.”
  • High Quality Less Messaging. Whether we like it or not LinkedIn’s restrictions and response rate requirement is forcing recruiters to slow down and focus more on quality than mass messaging. No candidate wants to feel like one of the lucky 200 that received the same InMail note. Focus on just messaging a handful of candidates, do the research and customize your message to dramatically increase your response rate.
  • Time Saving Templates. I’m all about shortcuts that make the best use of my time and having a handful of InMail and email templates is a simple way to quickly copy and paste a message to a candidate and still allow for time to customize it appropriately. I like to use the Drafts section of my email or create multiple email signatures allowing me to quickly and easily send a candidate message without spending 15 minutes hunting for that Word doc I saved to the company share drive.

The key to increasing any type of engagement or marketing response is by understanding your intended audience and researching the best and most effectively ways to gain their attention and ultimately a response either a candidate referral or a qualified candidate that is interested in your job requisition and opening.

The Power of the Employee Referral [INFOGRAPHIC]

Make the business case for your new HR strategy with this must have resource. Download 65 HR & Recruiting stats you can't live without.

Each Friday The Recruiter’s Lounge is going to bring you Infographic Fridays. We’ll be finding really interesting and different infographics to share. Hope you enjoy!

Inforgraphic Highlights

You’ve heard it once and you’ll hear it again, the employee referral is key to high rentention. Over the past five years there has been nothing but hard evidence on why employee referrals constantly perform above and beyond an outside hire. This inforgraphic explains why you should push your employees for referrals and take them seriously.

Learn How Recruiters Are Using Social Media [INFORGRAPHIC]

Learn how to hire & assess the best technical talent at our free webinar 12/9 at 1 PM EST. Click here to register.


Each Friday The Recruiter’s Lounge is going to bring you Infographic Fridays. We’ll be finding really interesting and different infographics to share. Hope you enjoy!

Inforgraphic Highlights

  • 48% of recruiters said they only use LinkedIn.
  • How many connections do you have? The average has 616 connections.
  • Recruiters aren’t active on Twitter, 75% have less then 100 followers.


Make the business case for your new HR strategy with this must have resource. Download 65 HR & Recruiting stats you can't live without.

Each Friday The Recruiter’s Lounge is going to bring you Infographic Fridays. We’ll be finding really interesting and different infographics to share. Hope you enjoy!

This week we’re bringing you an inforgraphic about the importance of career sites within your recruiting strategy. Check out our friends at TalentCircles if you’re looking for a cost-effective career site for any sized business!

Inforgraphic Highlights

  • 75% of your career site should be about candidates searching for jobs
  • 79% of visitors to your career site will start an application
  • 31% of people that apply on corporate career sites will get hired (good news for candidates!)
  • 21.5% of the traffic that visits your career site want 30 days to apply, career sites keep your candidates alive.
  • 35% will start an application when finding jobs on a job aggregator (sad day!)

Thanks to Successfactors for the inforgaphic! Check out TalentCircles if you’re interested in starting your own career site! 

TalentCircles Transforms #HRTech & Wins HR Solutions Provider Award

Learn how to hire & assess the best technical talent at our free webinar 12/9 at 1 PM EST. Click here to register.




SAN BRUNO, CA — Global business leaders identified talent as a top five priority in 2014 according to new research from the Conference Board. Technology, particularly in the human resource industry, is an important catalyst to drive this business change.

TalentCircles is at the forefront of this talent-­first philosophy with their innovative cloud based HR technology solution. TalentCircles is an interactive talent engagement platform and was recognized by CIO Review among the Top 20 Most Promising HR Technology Solution Providers of 2014 in the July issue.

“It is an honor to be selected by CIO Review as one of the 20 most promising HR Technology providers,” says TalentCircles CEO, Marylene Delbourg-­Delphis. “HR transformation is the vehicle for organizations to better pursue their hiring goals and further their competitive advantage. We provide the interactive HR technology toolbox connecting recruiters to the best qualified talent pools for current and future job openings.”

TalentCircles manages the end-­to-­end talent acquisition process and allows companies of any size to build their talent community through engagement with these candidates even before a job opportunity becomes available at the company. Once recruiters have a job opening, they are able to search within their existing talent network for qualified candidates that are a match to their specific job requirements before the opening is posted on job boards.

TalentCircles offers a variety of ways for recruiters and job seekers to engage within the community through document sharing, blog posts, webinars, job postings and notifications, video introductions and interviews. “Candidates will be interested in you, if as an employer, you are interesting to them,” says Delbourg-­Delphis. “Our technology is an important component in the fundamental shift away from the reactive recruiting model. We power a proactive and relationship-­based recruiting model that enables recruiters to hire better and faster.”

About TalentCircles: TalentCircles, a technology firm based in the Silicon Valley, offers a transformative approach to talent acquisition by enabling organizations to create and manage their private branded talent pools. Hiring is a huge problem for large, small and midsize businesses. TalentCircles solves this pressing problem with a solution adapted to the needs, behaviors and expectations of job-­seekers in the 21st century. We offer an outstanding experience to potential candidates and we give recruiters the capability to proactively manage the needs of their organization.

For additional information, contact Susan Magrino: [email protected] or call 888-­280-­0808.

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