Email Still Rules

As recruiters increasingly rely on social media and experiment with texting to communicate with candidates, a new survey suggests a more traditional method may be the best vehicle for communication.

Email concept with laptop ang girl hands

The Adobe Consumer Email Survey Report finds email remains highly popular as a communication tool.

Survey Findings

Adobe, which surveyed more than 1,000 professionals from all age groups, finds most people check their work and personal email at least every few hours.
What’s more, 82 percent of work emails and 60 percent of personal emails are opened. Of those, 83 percent of work emails and 64 percent of personal emails are read.
More than half of all survey respondents, 52 percent, say email is their company’s primary communication tool. A full 80 percent say they use email regularly to communicate with colleagues.

Improving the Email Experience

The Adobe survey finds that spam filters and mobile viewing have improved email experiences over the past few years.
That said, many survey respondents read emails on a smartphone and would like emails to be better optimized for mobile. Attention should be given to faster image load, content that minimizes the need to scroll, and appropriate fonts, they say.
Nevertheless, companies appear to have made some inroads when it comes to mobile viewing. Twenty percent of survey respondents say improved mobile viewing has improved the email experience in the last few years.
Mobile and email go hand in hand, literally. The survey finds 59 percent of respondents check their personal email using a smartphone, and 35 percent check work email using a smartphone.

Email and Recruiting

For recruiters, the message seems clear: use email, optimize for mobile.
Is it really that simple? Perhaps not.
Remember, the survey finds 60 percent of personal emails are opened. This means that 40 percent are not. And, as the survey notes, spam filters create communication obstacles as well.
Therefore, connecting with candidates requires attention to email best practices. These include a recognizable email address, preferably one that includes a company name. A subject line that sparks interest, without triggering a spam filter, is also a must.
“Once in a lifetime career opportunity,” for example, may wind up in the same place as the “You are an instant winner” email. Experiment with subject lines. The more information you can provide, without going overboard, the better. If you’ve been referred by someone, for example, you may want to use his or her name in the subject line: “Referred by Joe Smith at XYZ Company.”
Emails get nabbed by spam filters – and get overlooked – so don’t assume a potential candidate isn’t interested because you haven’t heard back. After a suitable period of time, send the email to the candidate again using the forward feature, but this time change the subject line. Including the phrase “following up” often attracts attention.
If you still don’t get a response, try leaving a phone message that alerts the person to the email, or send a message via LinkedIn. Once you receive a response to your email, you can continue the conversation about the job opportunity.
Granted, email is not a perfect communication tool. However, because it remains the most popular, you don’t want to write it off.

Paula Paula Santonocito, Contributing Editor for Recruiting Daily Advisor, is a business journalist specializing in employment issues. She is the author of more than 1,000 articles on a wide range of human resource and career topics, with an emphasis on recruiting and hiring. Her articles have been featured in many global and domestic publications and information outlets, referenced in academic and legal publications as well as books, and translated into several languages.

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