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How to Get Candidates to Respond: 6 Principles of Influence

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If you are looking for a higher response rate from candidates, then you must understand how to be more influential in the messages you are sending them. Here are 6 principles of influence to follow to drive candidates to respond. 

  1. The Scarcity Principle - Make Things Urgent

Your goal should be to get a fast response by applying urgency in the message. You want to illicit fear that the offer you are presenting will expire soon.

 

People want what they can’t have. If something is readily available, we might not be as interested in it. But if something is available only to certain groups, or for a limited amount of time, suddenly it becomes much more desirable.

 

Apply a deadline for a response in your message to add that level of urgency to it. Or to take it even a step further, combine that with making it appear to be exclusive to a certain group of people– here’s an example:

 

“We are speaking to a few candidates this week, who like you, appear to be a great match for this role. There are only a small number of positions left on this critical team, let me know of some of available times you can speak by the end of today to ensure we connect before interview times fill up.”

  1. The Consistency Principle - Get a Small Yes 

When someone makes a decision, or takes a stand on an issue, they are likely to stay consistent with that stance because they trust their initial decision.

 

Therefore, one small agreement on a matter can lead to subsequent larger ones. So, if you’ve connected with a candidate in the past for a different role or at a different time, and they agreed to have a conversation at that initial point in time, then they’ve already determined they trust you, so they will be likely to do it again.

 

Make sure that you remind them of that past engagement in your message to them, and get specific with why they initially agreed to speak.  

 

Also think about connecting with them in a few different ways in order to build trust. Send them a connection request on LinkedIn to get that small yes, then follow up with an email. If they’ve agreed to accept your connection, they may be more likely respond to your email.

  1. The Consensus Principle - Use Social Proof

This suggests utilizing social proof, because social proof assists us in decision making. We are more comfortable to do things when we know that people who are like us made the same decision.

 

We assume there is something that is attracting them and that we would find desirable as well. One way to display this in a message is to talk about company growth. Mention for example that the sales team that is being built has added X new members over the past year. Or even touch on the number of individuals you’ve connected with in regard to the role and what types of people you are speaking to. Why do you think LinkedIn allows you to see how many people have applied for a job?

 

Then of course there is physical proof that you should have available when candidates do their research. This is done through video, pictures and testimonials on your career page and social pages. There is so much social proof and power to capturing your team in action even in a simple way.

 

  1. The Negativity Principle - Help People Avoid Mistakes

When used in the right context and in the right way – being negative can deliver really positive results. People are twice as motivated to avoid pain as they are to achieve pleasure. Instead of talking about benefits and all that you might achieve or gain from what you’re asking someone to do. Talk about what they will miss out on if they don’t. You want to help people avoid making mistakes.

 

For example, something like “Don’t miss out on the opportunity that could change the course of your career for the next 5-10 years. Then explain more detail. Or “I noticed you’ve been with your company for over 4 years now, ask yourself have you been able to gain all the skills you need there in order to be successful for the long term of your career?” I’m reaching out to you because I can offer what you may be missing.”  

 

However, don’t get this confused with being inherently negative. It’s not in your best interest to share displeasure over things like Mondays being a drag.  You want to still remain an upbeat positive voice in that sense.

  1. The Fantasy Principle - Stir Their Imagination

For all the creative writers out there – the beginning of the message is your opportunity to make a big impact. Use the opening sentences as a way to paint a picture in the reader’s mind.  If something can be imagined, it’s more like to happen.

 

Allow them to envision their dream job or have them think about what they don’t like about their current job. Here’s an example.  

 

“Let’s be honest…Have you grown tired of sitting behind a desk and hammering the phone for hours, attempting to sell the same thing day in and day out…? I am reaching out to you because I can put an end to that.”

 

  1. The Authority Principle - Position Yourself as Trustworthy

We’re taught to respect and trust authorities. If you’ve been fortunate to have been given prestigious honors in regard to your workplace have the logos on display within the career page and LinkedIn page and also mention it in the message.

 

For example Talent Retriever has been named to Inc and Boston Business Journal’s Best Places to Work in 2018, and you better believe we mention that in internal recruitment messaging.  If you’re not leveraging things of that nature every time, you’re missing an opportunity.

 

It’s also key to make sure your LinkedIn profiles are optimized and look legitimate like they should be. It will circle back to you, so make sure you put yourself in the best position. 

 

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