How you communicate with passive candidates has a significant impact on your talent management strategy. It is easy to send out an email to your entire mailing list and hope you get a response, but you probably should not base the success of your talent sourcing strategy on a one-size-fits-all technique that has been shown to be largely ineffective. Here are some tips to help you personalize your candidate communication to show that you value the differences and unique qualities a top candidate brings to the table. 1. Use specific language rather than generic platitudes. Hearing that you have an “impressive background” may seem flattering the first time a top candidate hears it, but by the time they hear it from you, it is about as meaningful as “how are you?” and “I’m fine.” Take a bit of time to find out something specific about the candidate’s background—where they went to school, an outside interest, or a contact in common, for example—and mention that in the email to pique their interest and show that you are not just sending mass generic email bait and hoping to get a bite. 2. Email like a human. Writing an email similar to how you talk in real life will stand out to a candidate used to getting emails full of recruiting-speak like “The opportunity I have for you synergizes with your resume perfectly.” No one wants to come work for a robotic company that communicates primarily in meaningless jargon. Being relatable will get a much better response. 3. Use visuals and multimedia. People are accustomed to seeing visual images and multimedia when they are online, so it will be easier to get their attention if your email includes multimedia content as well. You have digital assets you use in marketing materials, and you should have digital assets for reaching out to top talent as well. 4. Give a clear call to action. How does a top prospect contact you? What is the next step if he or she is interested in hearing more? What should candidates do to get more information if they are not yet at the point of making a phone call? If there is no clear call to action, your response rate is guaranteed to be lower. 5. Use the recipient’s name in the subject line if you can make it sound natural. Emails that have the recipient’s name in the subject line are up to 20 percent more likely to be opened, but if the subject line reads like spam, the email may end up in the junk folder or be deleted rather than read. Try to make the subject line intriguing even if you do not use a name. It is the first thing recipients see and a good line will make them curious to see what the email contains. 6. Keep it short. Top talent is way too busy to read long emails that take more than a sentence or two to get to the point. If you give a long diatribe or spend hundreds of words trying to draw candidates in, chances are your email will end up in the trash box before you get your point across. If you need a better system for candidate communication, contact us for more information on ThriveTRM, which can track all your personalized candidate communications so you do not miss a step in attracting and keeping top talent in your organization.