How To Increase InMail Response Rates Using Member-Generated Content

May 5, 2014

Don’t you hate it when you receive an InMail from a fellow recruiter simply saying, “Hey! It’s an exciting time to work at company XYZ. We’re looking for a <<fill in the blank>>.  I’m reaching out to you because of your background. Interested in this job?”

Me too. Not only do these generic InMails underscore that the recruiter hasn’t done his or her homework, but -- according to our data -- they garner really low response rates. Personalized InMails, on the other hand (ones that demonstrate you’ve read the member’s profile and understand how your job would help them advance their careers), get higher response rates. Increasing the likelihood of a response means increasing the likelihood of a hire. So, if you aren’t sending personalized InMails, you simply aren’t doing your job.

How To Use Member-Generated Content To Increase InMail Response Rates

I’m on a mission to change that; starting with explaining how LinkedIn becoming a professional publishing platform benefits recruiters like you and me, and how you can use member-generated content (like blog posts, videos, presentations and photos) -- not just member profiles -- to increase your response rates.

Over the last year we’ve introduced several new features to LinkedIn.com that help members showcase their professional brands — like the ability to publish postsphotos, videos and presentations to their profiles. Most recruiters review member profiles to determine whether or not a member has the experience, skills and expertise required for a job. What you may not realize, though, is that you should also review the posts, photos, videos and presentations they posted, InShared, commented on and ‘liked,’ the Groups they belong to, and the Influencers they follow.

This content can help you better gauge the member’s professional interests and smarts (it’s one thing to say you’re smart on your member profile, it’s another to provide an intelligent comment on one of Richard Branson’s Influencer posts). Plus, it can help you determine how to contact them in more meaningful ways than, “Hey! It’s an exciting time to work at company XYZ…”

So, next time you’re filling a role:

  1. Review the posts, photos, videos and presentations prospects posted, InShared, commented on and ‘liked,’ the Groups they belong to, and the Influencers they follow.
  2. If you share a connection, ALWAYS ask that person to make a warm introduction.
  3. If not, contact the prospect in a more meaningful way using all the content they’ve shared across LinkedIn -- not just what’s on their profile -- to increase the likelihood of a response and hire. For example, instead of saying, “Hey, interested in a job,” say something like, "I saw the presentation on your LinkedIn profile from your presentation at XYZ conference this year. Great stuff! It actually aligns with the way we think at XYZ...."

Case In Point

Great things happen using this approach. Just ask Rob Dromgoole over at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He had to hire a Ph.D. nuclear engineer who spoke fluent Japanese, yet was a U.S. citizen who could obtain a security clearance to help the NRC and PNNL respond to the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

After reviewing several relevant member profiles, Rob went the extra mile: he reviewed what the prospects recently InShared, commented on and ‘liked’ on LinkedIn. That’s when he noticed that one prospect created a LinkedIn Group about the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Rob joined the Group, read his comments, and knew he had his guy. Rob chatted with the prospect a few times about the Fukushima nuclear disaster and then mentioned the job opportunity. The prospect signed his offer letter five days later.

“If it wasn't for that LinkedIn group, and the information he shared in it, we may not have found our ideal candidate,” said Rob.

Rob’s results speak for themselves.

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