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How To Run A Successful Outbound Recruitment Campaign To Hire The Best Talent

22 min read
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The pandemic changed the trajectory of the business landscape and caused several economic drawbacks such as the great resignation, mass layoffs, talent shortages, and so on. As a result, the labor market went out of equilibrium which made a recruiter’s job more challenging. 

As the world slowly reopens, and economies recover steadily; the job of a recruiter plays a significant role in restoring the equilibrium in the labor force. 

In the HR world, two concepts known as ‘Inbound’ and ‘Outbound’ recruitment are creating a lot of buzz. In a nutshell, Inbound recruiting is when candidates come to you i.e. apply for a job they are interested in, through job portals or the company website. Outbound recruiting entails the organization initiating contact with a prospective candidate that they think is suitable for the opening. 

A survey conducted by LinkedIn found that only 25% of candidates are actively looking for jobs. 80% of prospective candidates are not looking for new jobs, but they want to know of all the available opportunities and are willing to talk to hiring managers. The success of a recruiter lies mainly in their ability to recruit passive talent (people who are not looking for jobs). 

Outbound recruiting can be harnessed to its fullest extent for those two particular groups. 

Career FOMO (fear of missing out) is an actual phenomenon that occurs in the real world. Most candidates don’t want to miss out on a dream opportunity, so they are willing to hear you out. Additionally, when recruiters reach out with praise and compliments, candidates feel flattered. Your outreach is perceived as a compliment, and it makes you more likable. In fact, research conducted by LinkedIn Talent Acquisition revealed that 63% of prospective candidates feel flattered when recruiters reach out to them. 

So before we delve into effective tips for running a successful outbound recruiting campaign, let us first understand the difference between inbound and outbound recruitment. 

Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Recruitment

Inbound recruiting can be regarded as an old-school method of hiring talent. It is a recruiting strategy whereby HR managers seek to continually recruit suitable candidates with the intention of making them choose a particular organization as their place of employment.

Inbound recruiting consists of three stages for the candidate: Awareness, Consideration, and Interest. With this type of recruitment, you are able to build a talent pool and select the best candidate possible for the job. 

Outbound recruitment, on the other hand, is an active form of recruitment whereby recruiters reach out to the candidates personally. It is similar to a cold-calling or emailing sales pitch. Outbound recruitment requires the company to search for candidates that would qualify for the job vacancy for a company.

Outbound recruitment is deemed as more beneficial as it saves time and resources. Instead of waiting for the right candidates to look for your job, you are proactively reaching out to individuals that you know will be interested.

How to run a successful outbound recruitment campaign?

Outbound recruitment is similar to cold emailing; many of the variables involved in cold emailing and outbound recruitment operate on the same principle: reaching out to a prospect that you haven’t had any prior contact with but your research has revealed with enough awareness they will be interested in what you have to offer. 

When you are a recruiter, you have two options: 

  1. Contacting the prospective candidate via LinkedIn (or other job portals)
  2. Sending them a cold email 

Cold emailing is an incredibly effective and beneficial method of connecting with prospective candidates. Why? Unlike cold calling, cold emailing is far less intrusive and can be undertaken at scale. 

Messaging individuals on LinkedIn can be a lengthy and time-consuming process, especially when you have to send out messages manually. 

With cold emailing tools available, you can launch an outbound recruitment campaign at scale and reach out to numerous job seekers in a few simple steps without spending too much time or money. 

This blog explains how you can run a successful outbound recruitment campaign via cold emailing. 

10 strategies to run a successful outbound recruitment cold campaign

1. Sourcing The Right Candidates

2. Do Your Research

3. Validate Your Email List 

4. Personalize Your Email Content And Subject Line

5. Keep Refining Your Strategy

6. Explain The Benefits Of The Job For The Candidate (WIFM – What’s In It For Me?)

7. Add a CTA at the end

8. Focus On Numbers (Analysis of email campaign)

9. Include A Follow-Up Email

10. Use the right tools

1. Sourcing The Right Candidates

outbound recruiting strategies

The success of your overall campaign is largely dependent on who you are emailing. If you email everyone on your email list then you might be setting yourself up for failure. 

Buying email lists is a common trend noted amongst recruiters, to speed up the process. This is not advisable if you want maximum email deliverability. If you have too many bounced emails, you risk your sender reputation which will result in your domain being blacklisted.

Moreover, email lists don’t allow you to meaningfully personalize the content of your email, because you have very little information, to begin with. 

Instead, use platforms like Linkedin to build your own email list. By handpicking the potential candidates, you have personalization at your fingertips, which increases your chances of engagement. 

After you have collected information on the potential candidates, then you can use email finder tools to find their verified email addresses. For example, Saleshandy Connect is a LinkedIn prospecting tool that provides you with verified information about users on LinkedIn. 

When you are in the sourcing phase of your campaign, try to look for avenues to interact with the potential candidates. Perhaps you have a mutual connection that can help you pave the way. Or you can comment on their recent posts to express your interest. 

Reaching out to prospective candidates even with the smallest connection can increase the chances of your emailing standing out in their inbox dramatically. 

2. Do Your Research

outbound hiring

Before you reach out to candidates, you need to understand their professional work experience, background, interests, industry experience, etc. 

It doesn’t make sense to email someone for a coding job when their niche is in marketing. That email will automatically be deleted, or worse marked as spam and this has an impact on your sender reputation. (Remember, protecting your sender reputation is extremely important). 

Most individuals have some sort of online presence. LinkedIn is the best platform to gain more knowledge about the prospective candidate. A few other examples include Github, a platform used by coders, and Medium, a platform generally used by writers. 

However, to connect with truly top-tier technical candidates, leverage the seasoned networking and headhunting prowess like IT Executive Search firms. These specialized recruiters methodically mine extensive connections to identify the best talents who fit the company culture. They utilize targeted outbound tactics like cold calls and emails to proactively reach out to passive candidates who may need to be actively job-seeking. 

Here is a mini-guide to your research on prospective candidates: 

  • What skills and qualifications do they have?
  • What is their work experience like? Is it in line with the job description you are offering?
  • What is their current employment status? 
  • What are their career goals? 

The main aim of your research is to gather the information that is relevant to the job role you are hiring for. By understanding the background of a prospect, you are able to ensure that you are reaching out to the right person. 

3. Validate Your Email List

inbound vs outbound recruiting

Validating and verifying your email list is of utmost importance to fetch the desired results you sought. If your outbound campaign is not procuring the results you have set, then your email list could very well be the problem. 

Your email list could have spam traps, incorrect or inactive email addresses then your email deliverability will suffer. 

Email verification is the process of validating the accuracy and quality of the email addresses you have on your list. The process of email verification starts with checking the syntax of the email address. 

Email finder and verification tools come in handy to ascertain the validity of the email addresses. Once the tool has vetted the email address, it will be then classified into categories such as ‘Safe to Send’, ‘Role-Based’, ‘Invalid’, ‘Accept-All’, and ‘Free Service’. 

One of the biggest benefits of email finder and verification tools is that they reduce your hard and soft bounce rates. The entire point of your outbound campaign is to land up in the recipient’s primary inbox, so having a verified email address is pivotal in the success of your campaign. 

Here is a tool we recommend: 

Saleshandy Connect 

saleshandy connect preview

Saleshandy Connect is a LinkedIn Prospecting tool that allows you to find the email addresses of individuals on LinkedIn. The tool provides accurate data that will assist you in building a verified email list. With Saleshandy Connect, there is no need to use an additional email verification tool because all the data provided is accurate. 

Saleshandy Connect works as a Chrome Extension and is accessible once you have logged into your LinkedIn account. Simply go to the profile of the desired individual you wish to connect with, launch the Chrome Extension, and within seconds their email address will be displayed on the screen. 

Beyond this, you can automatically import the email address list to Saleshandy (a cold emailing tool) or to your CRM software for better scalability. 

4. Personalize Your Email Content And Subject Line

outbound recruiting

Personalizing your outbound recruitment campaign will fetch you a higher response rate. If you use a ‘cookie cutter’ approach then it will appear impersonal; as a result, your engagement rate will suffer. 

The email content and subject both need to be tailored to the specific candidate. The research you have undertaken will come in handy over here. For example, mention how their current or previous job responsibilities fit the specific job description you are hiring for.

Using recommendations from previous employers can help you bolster your message.

{{name of previous employer/employee}}, mentioned that you have an insightful approach to content marketing. I especially liked how they praised your lead generation skills; we are looking for an individual with expertise such as yours to be a part of our organization. 

Every email you send out will strengthen the connection between you and the candidate. If the candidate has published blogs or articles, invest the time to read them. 

When the candidate feels like you actually care about them, and have taken the time to do your homework they will feel appreciated. 

The subject line should not be overlooked as it also plays a part in the success of your campaign. Here are a few factors to consider when crafting the perfect subject line: 

  • Length 
  • Personalization 
  • Non-spammy verbiage 
  • Mutual connections 
  • Clarity 

Pro Tip: Candidates are more likely to open your email if your name is displayed instead of the organizations’ name. First impressions matter a lot and can affect your open rate. Ensure your header information is set up correctly so you are able to form the right first impression. 

The overall experience of the prospective candidate determines the success of your recruiting efforts. Besides that, their interaction with you also determines the image they form of your organization, and that directly impacts how they will talk about your organization in the future. 

5. Keep Refining Your Strategy

outbound job

Your outbound recruitment strategy will constantly be evolving. Once you have data from a given campaign, you can analyze what’s working and what’s not. Undertaking A/B testing is a great approach to fully maximizing your efforts as well. 

Your strategy will keep evolving as you get more data and insights; however, here are 5 key variables that your strategy should have: 

  • Establishing the first connection with the prospective candidate should be undertaken with precision. Carefully explain the role you want to fill, provide clear job descriptions and details. 
  • Expand on the job description to pique interest. Mention the responsibilities in detail so they understand what the job entails. Additionally, mention the benefits of the position (for example: salary, health insurance, housing allowance, welcome kit, etc)
  • Showcase your organizational brand through company culture. Share positive reviews shared on Glassdoor or LinkedIn. Pictures of team bonding activities can also be shared. 
  • One last final check if they are interested in the position. 
  • Follow-up emails in case their availability or interest has changed. 

6. Explain The Benefits Of The Job For The Candidate (WIFM – What’s In It For Me?)

inbound vs outbound recruiting

Putting yourself in the prospective candidate’s shoes is important when writing a cold email. You need to showcase your value proposition i.e. why they should care about your email or organization in the first place. 

When you’re writing a recruitment email, you are trying to “sell” that particular job vacancy to them. So before you write the email, ask yourself “why should this potential candidate care?”

As your candidate reads your email they will ask themselves “What’s in it for me though”? And this is where you have to highlight what exactly you are offering. 

As you write each sentence, ensure it is very clear and evident how it will benefit the candidate. For example, if you mention a recent award you won, communicate clearly how this is beneficial for the candidate. 

As a recruiter, it is your responsibility to establish the uniqueness your organization is offering to the candidate. Recruiting is a lot like selling a product or a service. What makes you stand out from other organizations? What valuable benefits are you offering? Highlight all of that. 

7. Add a CTA at the end

outbound candidates

Your email needs to have an end goal in sight for the candidate. A good call-to-action is important for a cold email. 

Some examples of effective CTAs include: 

  • Would you like to learn more about this opportunity? 
  • Let me know the best way to connect with you. 
  • Do you want to set up a quick call to discuss this further? 
  • If you are interested, I can schedule a meeting with you. 
  • Reply to this email with any questions you have. 

Keep your CTAs simple, the main goal is to elicit a response. Don’t overcomplicate your CTA by adding unnecessary items such as ‘Add me on LinkedIn’, ‘Read our company history here’, ‘Click here to learn more about the job’ ‘Watch this video on our company culture’. 

Once you have established trust with the candidate and have gauged their interest level, then you can add more CTAs that you know they will engage with. 

8. Focus On Numbers (Analysis of email campaign)

inbound and outbound recruitment

Numbers are everything! Making data-driven results will assist in your campaign performing well and fetching the desired results you are looking for. 

It can take you hundreds of emails to different candidates to fill open positions. By continuously checking your campaign analytics, namely, open rates, click rates, and conversion rates you will be able to optimize your outbound recruiting efforts. 

Outbound recruitment requires patience and constant effort. For example, if you notice candidates are more responsive when visual images are used as compared to emails with no visuals, then use more visuals in your content. 

A/B testing is a great way of finding out what exactly is working for your campaign. Reaching out to potential employees follows a similar process of sales. And in a sales environment, analyzing results from previous campaigns to optimize the current one brings in the best results possible. 

9. Include A Follow-Up Email

inbound vs outbound recruiting

Your prospective candidate may have missed your email on account of receiving too many in a day. Follow-up emails can dramatically increase reply rates. 

These emails don’t have to be complicated or long-winded. A simple, “Hey {{First Name}}, is something you are interested in?” will suffice. 

The reason you can get away with a follow-up email that consists of less than ten words is that you are redirecting their attention to the primary email. 

Here is how you can make your follow-up emails more effective guaranteeing responses: 

  • Mention your previous touchpoint 

“{[First Name}}, I tried emailing you last Monday, but I am yet to hear back from you”

  • Offer additional details about your organization and the job vacancy: 

“We recently received an investment from {{company name}}, and we are looking to expand our offices to {{add location}}. I know you live closer to this area, so you will be working with a completely new team at our new location.”

  • Express your interest in the candidate and highlight the skills that will be beneficial for the role making them a good fit: 

“Your background and experience as a {{name of position}}, is very impressive. I read your recent work on {{topic}} and I have to say this is exactly what our company is looking for.”

Your follow-up email should be sent in the same thread as the original message. This will make it easier for the candidate to refer to the message, instead of looking for it (because chances are they won’t bother at all). 

10. Use the right tools

outbound hiring meaning

Professionals in any given industry do not hesitate to use the best tools available for them in the market. Tools that help save time and resources assist in providing you with the best results. 

As a recruiter, you require a cold emailing tool with the right features to bolster your efforts. One important feature that you as a recruiter require is the option to send mass emails with personalization. Another important feature is automated follow-ups with different trigger actions, this will help you save a lot of time. 

There are a variety of cold emailing tools available for recruiters with a lot of unique features such as personalization with merge tags, automated follow-up emails, email sequences, email templates, etc. 

Here is a tool that will help recruiters automate their outbound hiring process that we recommend: 


Saleshandy is an email automation tool that allows you to personalize your email campaigns. Through the use of Saleshandys’ effective features, recruiters can run successful outbound recruitment campaigns. Here are some of these features: 

Automated Follow-Ups With Unique Trigger Actions

Outbound recruitment

Create email campaigns with automated follow-ups that have unique trigger actions such as ‘Not replied’, ‘Not opened’, ‘Opened’, etc. With this feature, no candidate will be neglected and this will increase your chances of a conversion rate (filling the vacancy). Instead of manually keeping a track of candidates that have replied or not replied, automated follow-ups automatically detect the trigger actions set by you, saving you a tremendous amount of time.

Merge Tags

Outbound recruitment

Merge tags are beneficial for personalizing email content. Import your data via a CSV file with up to 30 custom fields. When you are crafting your email, insert the merge tags wherever you see them and the data meant for that particular recipient will appear in the sent email. 

Email Templates

outbound hiring

Email templates can be loaded onto the platform your team to use. Templates can be created within the platform with unique variables such as merge tags or HTML codes. These templates can be accessed through the compose window for faster use.

Email Sequences

outbound candidates

Email sequences with different steps can be created. These email sequences can be created with A/B variants, so you can know which emails are fetching results and which are not. The email sequences are keyed in and are labeled as ‘Step 1’ ‘Step 2’ ‘Step 3’ and so on. The time period between the ‘steps’ can be selected as per your liking.

Email Engagement Reporting 

outbound hiring

Once your email campaign is launched, you will be able to track every step of your campaign. You will be able to see how recipients are engaging with your email. This feature is important in making data-driven decisions. You can track email opens, link clicks, reply rates, bounced emails, etc.

Email Health Score

outbound recruiting strategies

The email health score feature provides a score that determines the ‘health’ of your email account. The score is based on the configuration of the email authentication protocols and other deliverability variables that protect your email account from being flagged as spam. The email health score also helps you protect your sender reputation.

Email Assistant

outbound hiring

The email assistant helps you in writing the perfect email for your campaign. As you type your content out, the email assistant automatically gives you tips on making it better, keeping the best cold email practices in mind.

Email Templates

#1 Connecting With Candidate You Found On LinkedIn

Hey {{First Name}}, 

I was browsing through LinkedIn for potential candidates for {{job title}} at {{name of company}}, and I stumbled upon your profile. 

I reviewed your profile, and I have to say I am very impressed with your expertise in the field of {{name of industry}}. I have forwarded your profile to our hiring manager as I think you’d make a great fit for our organization. 

{{Add a short description about the company}}

I know you are currently working at {{name of their company}}, so this email might be of your interest. 

We are a team of young professionals that are looking for esteemed individuals like yourself. 

{{Add job description and benefits}}

In case you are curious to learn more about this position, then we can have a quick chat at a time of your convenience. 

Let me know! 


{{Your Name}}

#2 Mutual Connection

Hi there, {{First Name}}

I recently bumped into {{name of mutual connection}} at an exhibition last week. I told {{him/her}} that our company is expanding and that we are looking for {{name of job title}}. 

{{He/she}} recommended you for the position and spoke very highly of your background and experience. I was impressed with what I heard, and I had to reach out to you. 

I browsed through your LinkedIn profile and I especially loved {{mention an achievement or a piece of their work you loved}}. 

{{Add introduction about your company}}

If you would like to know more about the job description then you can check it out here: 

{{add a link to website}}

I personally think you would make a great addition to our expanding team, and we would love to have you on board. 

If this is something you are interested in then we can schedule a short meeting. 

{{Add calendar link}}

Have a great day! 

Best Regards, 

{{Your Name}}

#3 Connecting With A Candidate Whose Work You Saw Online

Hello {{First Name}}, 

How are you doing? I discovered your {{website/blog page}} when I was looking for {{content marketers}}. I decided to check out some of your work and I found myself impressed by your in-depth research articles. 

They were very well researched and written, I was engrossed to the very end. Your analytical and writing skills are admirable, which is why I think you would be a perfect fit for our company. 

{{Add introduction about your company}}

We are looking to expand our {{content marketing team}}, and your skills and expertise would be a great addition to our organization. Together we can build something of value. 

Would you be interested in having a quick chat about this? 

Looking forward to hearing from you. 


{{Your Name}}

#4 Follow-Up

Hey there, {{First Name}} 

I know you are probably busy with the hustle and bustle of life. I thought I’d send you another in case you might have missed my first one. 

We are a {add description about your company}}, that is hiring for the role {{add name of position}}. 

Given your experience and background, we really think you would be a perfect fit for the role and our organization both. 

Do you have time for a quick 15-minute chat at a time of your convenience? 

Let me know, looking forward to hearing from you. 


{{Your Name}}


Launching an outbound recruitment campaign can be a tedious task initially. But with the right tools such as email finder and cold email tools, this whole process can be made efficient. 

By utilizing the tips and templates in this blog, you will be able to create the perfect outbound recruiting campaign that will find you the best talent for your organization. 

Good luck!

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