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Recruiters guide for effective Candidate Nurturing

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

recruiting funnel
recruiting funnel


Candidate nurturing is the process of developing relationships with potential candidates throughout the recruitment cycle. It's about providing an engaging, helpful, and personalized experience for candidates through both automated and manual outreach.

By taking the time to understand a candidate’s goals, interests, and skills, employers have a better chance of finding the perfect fit for their team. Candidate Nurturing is ultimately the process of engaging, nurturing, and being deliberate about actionable results across the recruiting funnel.

For the purpose of this post, we will discuss all the steps that a typical recruiter uses in their daily workflow and how best to use each of those for the most optimum results.

Before we dig deep into each of these steps let's highlight all the steps involved.

  1. Effective Email Communication

  2. Creative Email Subject lines

  3. Incentives for lead nurturing

  4. Avoiding overused words and phrases

  5. Maintaining originality and professionalism

  6. Maintaining a respectful tone

  7. Utilizing Humor

Importance of effective communication in recruitment

Recruiting the right people for your organization isn't just about finding someone with the skills and experience to match the job description - it's about getting a great fit for your company culture too. But how can you make sure you're getting this right? The answer, of course, is effective communication!

Communication during the recruitment process is a two-way street: not only do you want to ensure that potential candidates feel informed and are given every opportunity to ask questions throughout their application; but it's also important that you have a clear understanding of who they are and how they'll fit into your team.

Good communication helps you foster positive relationships with applicants and build an image of professionalism – so don’t forget to take the time to interact with each candidate and make sure they feel heard.

And don't forget: communication isn’t just about words – it's also about body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. So, if you want to make sure your recruitment process runs smoothly, remember: effective communication is key!

Tips to improve email communication with prospective candidates

candidate nurturing
candidate nurturing

Using language that conveys urgency

When communicating with potential candidates, it’s important to convey a sense of urgency. After all, the recruitment process can be time-consuming and you don’t want to miss out on great people due to delays in responding or scheduling interviews.

So make sure you always use language that conveys a sense of immediacy – otherwise, your perfect hire may just slip through your fingers! Making sure you communicate efficiently is the key to success in this area – so why not take advantage of every available tool at your disposal? Email reminders, text messages, and even voicemail are all great ways to ensure that everyone involved knows exactly what's going on.

Tips for crafting urgent language
Use strong verbs

Strong verbs, deadlines for responses, and a witty tone of voice will go a long way toward creating an efficient and successful process.

Here are some examples of how to use strong verbs in recruiting emails:

When requesting something:

  • Request: "I kindly request that you submit your resume and cover letter by Friday."

  • Ask: "I'm asking if you could provide me with some additional information about your previous work experience."

When providing information:

  • Advise: "I advise that you review the job description before applying for the position."

  • Inform: "I want to inform you that we have decided to move forward with another candidate."

When making a suggestion:

  • Recommend: "I highly recommend that you tailor your resume to highlight your relevant skills and experience."

  • Propose: "I would like to propose that we schedule a phone interview to discuss your qualifications further."

When expressing disappointment or dissatisfaction:

  • Disappoint: "I must say that I am disappointed with the lack of attention to detail in your application."

  • Dissatisfy: "The experience you described in your resume dissatisfied me."

When expressing gratitude:

  • Thank: "I wanted to take a moment to thank you for applying for the position and expressing interest in our company."

  • Appreciate: "I appreciate your prompt response to our request for additional information."

Indicate a deadline for response

Setting deadlines for responses can be a useful tool for managing the hiring process and ensuring timely communication with candidates. For example, you might set a deadline for candidates to submit their application materials, such as their resume and cover letter. You might also set a deadline for candidates to complete pre-employment assessments or to respond to interview invitations.

Communicating clear deadlines to candidates can help to create a sense of urgency and encourage them to prioritize their application. It also helps you to manage the hiring process more efficiently by ensuring that you receive the information you need from candidates within a reasonable timeframe.

However, it's important to be realistic when setting deadlines and to be flexible when appropriate, particularly if candidates have extenuating circumstances that prevent them from meeting the deadline.

Examples of urgent language

Using urgent language can be an effective way to grab their attention and encourage them to take action. Phrases such as "Immediate response required" or "Time-sensitive opportunity" can convey a sense of urgency and importance that can motivate candidates to prioritize your email over others in their inbox.

Additionally, highlighting the benefits of the opportunity can further incentivize candidates to act quickly. For example, using language like "Don't miss out on this exclusive opportunity to join a growing company with competitive salaries and benefits" can persuade candidates to act swiftly to avoid losing out on a potentially great job. By separating your email from the clutter in candidates' inboxes and utilizing urgent language, you increase the likelihood of catching their attention and encouraging them to take the desired action.

Creative email subject lines

candidate nurturing
Creative email subject lines

Purpose of email subject lines

Subject lines are a critical aspect of recruitment emails because they serve the purpose of capturing the recipient's attention and motivating them to open the email.

A strong subject line can provide a glimpse into the content of the email, and entice the recipient to read further. When recruiting candidates, the subject line is the first thing they will see, and it can make or break the email's success.

It is important to ensure that the subject line is concise, informative, and attention-grabbing. It should convey the essential details of the opportunity, such as the job title, location, and any key qualifications or benefits.

By using an effective subject line, recruiters can increase the likelihood of their emails being opened and read by prospective candidates, ultimately leading to a more successful recruitment process.

Tips for crafting creative subject lines

Crafting creative subject lines for recruiting candidates can be a great way to stand out and grab the attention of potential applicants. Here are some tips for creating effective subject lines:

  • Keep your subject line short and to the point, ideally no more than 10 words

  • Start with a keyword that is relevant to the role you are advertising

  • Include action words such as "Discover" or "Grow"

  • Try humorous or witty phrases, if appropriate

  • Use numbers when applicable

  • Avoid overused cliches

  • Offer something intriguing that will make the reader want to find out more

  • Personalize with the name of the company or position they're applying for

  • Showcase any unique traits that make your job different from others

Examples of creative email subject lines

Creative Subject lines can differentiate your entire outreach strategy. Based on the types of candidate generations (Bay Boomers, Gen X, Millennials Z, Gen Z) you can choose to use a different tone of voice subject lines like professional, casual, or funny.

Here are a few examples of different types of subject lines with the tone of voice to reflect professional, casual, and funny.


  1. Unlock Your Potential with a Tech Role at [Company Name]

  2. Make the Most of Your Tech Skills with Our Job Opportunity

  3. Grow in the Field of Tech at [Company Name]

  4. Discover a Challenging Tech Role at [Company Name]

  5. Jumpstart Your Career in Tech with Us!


  1. Come Join Us in the Tech World!

  2. Get Ready for a Fun Tech Adventure with Us

  3. Swing by and Learn What We Do in Tech

  4. An Invitation to the Coolest Tech Team Around

  5. Join Our Awesome Tech Crew Today!


  1. Ready to Take Your Tech Skills to the Next Level?

  2. Seeking a Top-Notch Tech Wizard

  3. Got Geeky Talent? Come Join Our Team!

  4. Step into the World of Tech with Us

  5. We'll Give You a Hand Up in the World of Tech

Importance of testing subject lines for effectiveness

Are you looking for a tech-savvy candidate that can help your business reach new heights? Testing subject lines for effectiveness is an important part of any recruitment strategy. It allows you to determine which words and phrases will have the most impact in drawing in potential candidates.

By testing different subject lines against one another, recruiters can see what words generate more interest and engagement. For example, if you're running a campaign about recruiting software developers, try “Join Our Growing Team of Software Developers” versus “We Need Talented Coders Now” to compare and contrast results. A/B testing your subject lines also creates opportunities to tailor messaging to better connect with target audiences and improve open rates – resulting in higher numbers of qualified applicants.

Incentives for different parts of candidate nurturing

candidate nurturing

Recruiting top talent often requires going the extra mile to stand out from competitors. Offering incentives during different parts of the recruitment process is one way to do this. For example, you can offer referral bonuses to current employees who introduce promising candidates to your team.

Similarly, offering creative gifts as part of a job offer may be enough to sway someone's decision-making. During the interview process, you could reward candidates for participating in skill-building tasks or assessments with rewards such as gift cards or merchandise.

Incentivizing different stages of recruitment can help you attract and retain high-quality applicants and ultimately help your organization reach its goals.

Setting up rewards at key points in the recruitment funnel is a great way to increase engagement and maximize ROI. This process will help motivate candidates throughout their journey, from initial application to onboarding.

Consider providing incentives for completing tasks such as assessments, interviews, or even employee referrals. You can also encourage repeat applicants by offering discounts and rewards for taking part in further recruitment activities.

Finally, any successful recruits should be rewarded accordingly - with monetary bonuses or perhaps by granting them free access to certain services or products. By establishing rewards at key stages of the recruitment funnel, you’ll be able to attract more quality candidates and fill positions faster.

Setting up incentives to complete assessments, interviews, and referrals is a great way to increase engagement and help the recruitment process run more smoothly. Assessments can be incentivized with rewards such as gift cards or merchandise. During the interview process, offer candidates exclusive discounts or promotions that may sway their decision-making in your favor. Finally, consider offering referral bonuses to current employees who introduce promising candidates to your team. By setting up incentives at key stages of the recruitment funnel, you’ll be able to boost applicant motivation and attract higher-quality applicants to your organization.

Here is a list of rewards that are suitable for assessments:

  • Gift cards to popular stores or restaurants

  • Discounts on merchandise or services

  • Exclusive deals and promotions

  • Bonus rewards for exceptional performance

  • Direct cash payments

  • Access to privileged content, such as videos or tutorials

  • Complimentary memberships or subscriptions to online services

  • Free items from an online store, such as downloadable tools or resources

Avoid overused words and phrases when recruiting candidates

candidate nurturing
overused words

When recruiting candidates, it's important to ensure that you are using a variety of words and phrases to convey your message. Overused words and phrases can sound repetitive and stale, which can discourage potential applicants from engaging with your posting. Here are some tips for avoiding overused words when recruiting:

  • Incorporate relevant industry keywords in descriptions and job postings

  • Use action verbs to provide a vivid description of the position

  • Avoid generic terms such as “fast-paced”, “detail-oriented”, or “team player”

  • Think outside the box for more interesting ways to phrase things

  • Be sure to proofread past postings and eliminate any redundant language used

Furthermore, it is important to avoid using overly-generic words and phrases that could be interpreted in different ways. For example, instead of asking "Do you have experience?" try asking specific questions such as "What experience do you have with customer service?" or "How have you handled difficult situations in the past?"

As an example here are 10 alternative words for "fast-paced":

  • Rapid

  • Intense

  • Swift

  • Hastened

  • Quick

  • Speedy

  • Nimble

  • Accelerated

  • Agile

  • Breakneck

Additionally, rather than use generic terms such as "hardworking" or "self-motivated", ask for detailed examples of how the applicant has demonstrated these qualities in the past. These more specific questions will help you get a better understanding of each candidate's skills and capabilities.

Maintaining originality and professionalism for candidate outreach

candidate nurturing

When outreaching candidates via email, it is important to maintain originality and professionalism. Here are some tips to help you achieve this:

  • Personalize your emails with the candidate’s name and relevant details.

  • Be concise and direct in your message, while still conveying a friendly tone.

  • Review each email for any typos or grammatical errors.

  • Avoid using generic, overused phrases such as “We look forward to hearing from you soon”.

  • Include a clear call-to-action that states what you want from the recipient, e.g., “Please respond by [date] if you are interested”.

  • Demonstrate your knowledge of their industry or company by referencing recent news or events.

  • Make sure that your subject line is clear and indicative of the content within the email

  • Focus on unique aspects of your company or job offer

Maintaining a respectful tone for candidate outreach

candidate nurturing
candidate outreach

Maintaining a consistent, professional, and respectful tone when outreaching candidates via email is essential. To ensure this, structure each email in a formal manner, avoiding overly casual language or slang. Use direct phrases that clearly state your intentions, such as “I am writing to inquire about [position]”. Additionally, it is important to demonstrate respect for the candidate’s time by keeping emails short and relevant to the topic. Avoid any messages that may come off as aggressive or condescending. Finally, be sure to use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation throughout your emails for a polished and professional look.

Importance of tone in email communication

1. Establishes the company's professionalism

2. Builds trust with prospective candidates

Tips for maintaining a professional tone

1. Keep the language clear and concise

2. Avoid informal language and slang

Examples of respectful language in email communication

1. Addressing the candidate by name

2. Thanking candidates for their time and consideration

Utilizing humor for candidate outreach

candidate nurturing

Utilizing humor appropriately when outreaching candidates via email can be a great way to establish a connection with the candidate and make them remember your message. However, it is important to use caution when doing so, as it can easily be misinterpreted. Make sure that your humor is appropriate and relevant to the context of the conversation. Additionally, verify that your joke is inoffensive to any groups or individuals before you send your message. This can help ensure that you are maintaining a professional and respectful tone in all of your email correspondence.

When to use humor in recruitment emails

1. To lighten the mood

2. When it fits the company culture

Tips for including humor in your email communication

1. Know your audience

2. Avoid controversial topics

Examples of appropriate humor in recruitment emails

1. A light-hearted introduction

2. A funny anecdote related to the job

Including a relevant joke or humorous anecdote in an email can be a great way to engage the candidate and make them remember you. However, it is important to do this appropriately by making sure that the joke is appropriate for the context of the conversation and inoffensive to any groups or individuals involved. Additionally, take care not to overly use humor as too much can become distracting and derail the conversation.

When using humor in email correspondence with candidates, it is important to ensure that the joke is appropriate for the context. Before sending your message, double-check that the joke is relevant and inoffensive to any groups or individuals who may be involved. Additionally, take care not to overly use humor as too much can become distracting and derail the conversation.


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