HireSweet is a tool that optimizes the key steps in recruiting. We asked ourselves a simple question: are there common characteristics or patterns to the messages that get the most positive responses?

What are the characteristics or formulations with the greatest impact on response rate?

NB: a positive answer is an answer leading to an interview.

What characteristics maximize positive responses?

1- The length of the message

In a previous article (available here) we detailed the information to be mentioned in a contact message and we concede it, they are quite numerous! Be careful not to spread yourself. The messages with the highest response rate are generally short. According to our study, the optimal number of words for a first message is around 200 words.

Tip: Be concise, avoid long sentences and explain clearly why you have chosen to write to this particular candidate.

2- Salary

Should the salary be mentioned in the body of the email or not? Some systematically specify the complete package (fixed, variable, equity participation), others mention a range. Our analysis shows that actually quoting the salary in the body of the email would rather have a negative impact on the response rate.

3- Technos

This is one of the most striking trends: the positive response rate drops dramatically depending on the number of technos mentioned in the email.

What we understand: this can be correlated to the length of the mail or the tendency of some recruiters to quote their entire technical stack.

Tip: mention the few main technologies that are essential for the position in question. Quote Back technos for a Back-End position, for a Web Front-End job no need to mention the stack of your mobile application.

4- Word sequences

We have studied the occurrences of word sequences and some (sometimes surprising) seem to have a positive impact on the response rate.

  • The most positively correlated: “Your profile”

What does it mean? Using this wording several times underlines the particular interest in this profile. This sequence is used in sentences such as “I am very interested in your profile”, “Your profile seems to match the offer”, etc. This is a positive signal for the person contacted.

Tip: (no surprise) be interested in the person you are writing to. How could his/her background, experiences and interests correspond to the offer you are making?

  • The 2nd most positively correlated and most surprising:”? + …”

These are almost exclusively messages ending with a question (“Would you be available for a first call?”, “The offer might interest you?”), followed by a formula like “See you soon”, “See you very soon”, etc.

Tip: conclude your message with a question, it opens the way to an answer! Finish with a warm formula that shows your interest.

Takeways

  • Prefer short messages.
  • Personalize your messages as much as possible.
  • Be warm (don’t hesitate to use the familiar form!), show your interest in this particular profile.

Methodology

There are, of course, differences in the rate of positive responses that are not solely related to the message characteristics’. However, we found that some features had the same impact on the rate of positive responses. We have therefore standardized these rates and used the average positive response rate observed in base 100.