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Recruitment Messages: Are Personalized Messages a Waste of Time?

“Recruiting should be viewed as business partner, someone who is critical to the success of the business.” – Mathew Caldwell, Head of Talent, Instacart

The answer to the title of this article depends on what we mean when we say ‘personalized’. Let’s break it down. The majority of a recruiter’s time is spent trying to engage with candidates. This can be a time-consuming, labor-intensive process that can end up not bearing any fruit. This is especially true for the vast number of passive candidates out there that recruiters want to get in touch with. The only way to convincingly do it up until now has been to craft messages.

In an attempt to hook these candidates, recruiters end up spending a disproportionate amount of time drafting messages via LinkedIn, email, SMS and even phone calls. They do this because they assume a more personalized message is more likely to get a good response. What’s more, there is no shortage of tips and tricks online on how to write compelling messages. Don’t get us wrong, those are all great pieces of advice and they may have some measurable impacts. However, at the end of the day, if a recruiter is spending 20 minutes on a single message, they may only manage to reach out to around 20 candidates in a day when they were supposed to reach 50. This is a poor ROI in terms of productivity and effort.

The truth is, even if you contact those 50 candidates, only 10 or so will respond, and out of them, only three or four might get short-listed. This might not be enough in a market where candidates have multiple job offers in hand – the competition is high. The key to recruiting and hiring efficiently is to have several touch points along the recruitment process, but if we are being honest, the traditional route can only take you so far. Going forward, AI technology is the most effective way to create more touch points.

Recruitment Messages for better reach
AI tech can help create a wider reach with candidates.

Before you dive into leveraging AI technology for crafting those recruitment messages and creating those touch points, you need to keep in mind – quality. It is crucial to consider all the angles and to know when and why you are creating a touchpoint. Creating one just for the sake of it will just be more wasted effort. Three things matter in this regard: quality, quantity and how you manage the two. Having said that, there are three ways in which AI tech can be helpful in the quest to engage candidates.

#1 Creating a Wider Reach

One of the biggest advantages of using AI for recruitment messages is that it can reach out to hundreds of candidates on your behalf. All it needs is a little job description and a little adjustment in terms of preferences. Based on what it learns, it can contact and short-list candidates that fall within the parameters. Now, the response rate might not be 100% and in fact, might be lower than the manual approach. But with time and efficiency on your side, you could contact 500 candidates and even a 10% response rate means you get 50 candidates, which is huge.

“It’s also important to be objective and make an unbiased hiring decision.”

- Laszlo Bock, Former Senior VP of People Operations at Google

#2 Automate Drip Campaigns

You might have heard of such a thing as email drip campaigns. It can be a tedious process when done manually and there is a lot to keep track of. When you have an AI run the drip campaign, which is possible, you get much more bang for your buck. An AI can run drip campaigns with a series of automated messages that reach candidates at an optimal time. If the candidate shows interest then the AII will send follow-up messages to hook the candidate, and if not, the campaign is stopped without wasting any more resources.

#3 Better Message Timing

One of the biggest challenges that recruiters face is finding the optimal time to send the message to candidates. The best time of day or week to send a message to a candidate may vary based on a candidate’s seniority, job, location and so on. AI-driven automation can help optimize the message timing at an in-depth level. It collects millions of data points which are collected and analyzed to maximize the response from every candidate.

Recruitment messages can be taken a step further as AI can analyze career patterns and figure out a candidate’s tendency to stay in or leave a job. Based on this information it will target the relevant candidates.

The kind of personalization depends on the kind of quality you want and the time you can spare.

Time spent on recruitment messages


When all is said and done, human-generated content can indeed be more personalized, often to the extent of hyper-personalization. But then we run into the argument for time and efficiency, which begs the question: What kind of personalization matters?

If you don’t personalize enough, i.e with no human element, then it won’t be engaging. If you personalize too much the recruitment message misses the mark of efficiency. A happy medium is reached when AI-crafted recruitment messages have just enough personalization to reel in the candidates. As we mentioned before, AI can track and understand information about the role, the company, the candidate’s career path, interests and so on. With this information, it can generate relevant enough communication that relates to the candidate and gets them in a responsive mindset.

So, the future seems to be heading towards AI technology but still with a human presence for the moment being. A good example of this is Credibled, which is an automated reference checking platform that helps smooth out a traditionally tedious part of the recruitment process.