Your E-Mails Are Creeping Out Candidates

In the past decade or so, e-mail has emerged as the communications channel of choice for recruiters, becoming the medium for almost every recruiting message employers are sending to candidates, applicants and hiring managers.

From “talent communities” to CRMs to InMails, e-mail remains the standard for talent acquisition organizations everywhere, and it seems in our quest for even more automation, most are doubling down on this bet.

But if you think that more e-mails and more automation are going to help change the future of recruiting or improve the candidate experience, think again. In fact, a recent survey of those much ballyhooed “Gen Y” workers just last month showed that a majority of Millennials, in fact, agreed with the statement that “e-mail is creepy.”

Uh, oh buddy.

If that doesn’t concern you, or even scare you, as a recruiter, I want you to stop and think about the last 10 candidates you communicated with. How many of those contacts were initiated or sustained via e-mail? What would you do if suddenly, e-mail were to disappear or you lost access to your inbox tomorrow? How would you source, screen or select top talent without it?

You, like most recruiters out there, would probably be pretty screwed. Scared? OK, glad you’re with me now, since you damn well should be.

Now, as a marketer, I’ve already gone through my own mobile panic attack as I’ve spent several years watching email conversion rates drop off within the B2C world, a shift in mentality that’s only now being mimicked within the world of recruitment marketing and outreach, a shift largely driven from our move from desktop ubiquity to mobile domination. Don’t let those marketers tell you otherwise – they’re struggling to figure this out, too.

Even if your organization hasn’t optimized mobile recruiting or created a truly mobile candidate experience, there’s probably a pretty good chance that you’ve used your cell to call or text a candidate, respond to a work e-mail or figure out the answer to some question instead of relying on the limitations of legacy HCM systems and their complete lack of mobile flexibility and functionality.

Mobile recruiting happens, whether or not it’s an enterprise initiative or not – and the fact that organizations are lagging so far behind individual recruiters in adoption seems just silly, really. This is the way of the world now – we want instant gratification, and almost every (non-HR) consumer will pick their phone over their desktop to access information or initiate engagement any day of the week.

And remember, the only difference between recruitment marketing and consumer marketing is that the purchasing decision involves a job instead of a product. Other than that, there’s not much difference between consumers and candidates, a fact that the lagging mobile recruitment adoption curve only seems to be underscoring.

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Candidate Generation and Nurturing recruiting Recruitment Marketing Advice Workplace Trends

Kat Kibben View All →

Kat Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.

Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster,, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.

Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.