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Examples of messages to contact a candidate Exemplaire



Promoting a job offer by contacting a candidate directly can seem a daunting task. Imagine the scene: you’re sitting in front of your computer, ready to send a message to a potential candidate. You know his or her professional background, skills and qualifications. But you’re still wondering how to convince the candidate to apply for your job?

In an ideal situation, you’d like to arouse enough interest in the candidate to get them to agree to an interview. And this without even giving the impression of being assaulted by an unsolicited proposal. As recruiters, these are questions you need to ask yourself. They become all the more crucial when the candidate is already in post.

In fact, by contacting a candidate who already holds a position, you activate what’s known as “headhunting” mode. In this mode, the stakes are high: there’s no room for error. A bad first impression can close the door on a fruitful conversation, and even tarnish your company’s image.

This article will guide you through this tricky jungle. You’ll find concrete examples of how to contact a candidate. The aim here is not to encourage you to copy and paste these message templates, but rather to help you understand how an approach message is constructed.

A/B testing will also be an invaluable tool in this quest. Why? Because each individual is unique, and each person is sensitive to different arguments. A message that works with one candidate may not have the same impact with another. So testing different approaches can help you refine your strategy and maximize your response rate.

So how do you successfully contact candidates? How do you establish that crucial first contact in a way that arouses interest and invites conversation, rather than provoking rejection? Let’s dive into this world together to discover the techniques and tips that will help you master this art.contact a candidate

contacter un candidat
contacter un candidat
contacter un candidat

Candidate prospecting VS job boards

Finding the ideal candidate is a major challenge for every company. To meet this challenge, two approaches predominate: candidate prospecting and job boards. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

Job boards are platforms on which companies can publish their job offers. In doing so, they adopt a rather passive stance, waiting for candidates to come to them. While this approach may seem easy and practical, it does have its limitations. The most important of these is the dependence on the quantity and quality of candidates browsing these platforms.

On the other hand, prospecting is a more active approach. In this case, the company goes directly into the field (or rather, onto the Internet) to look for candidates who match its needs. Although this method is more laborious, it can produce more effective results. Indeed, at Stepward, we have found after several tests that “candidate hunting” offers a better recruitment rate for the time invested. What’s more, the quality of candidates found through prospecting is generally superior.

It’s important to stress that these two methods are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they can be used in complementary ways to maintain a constant flow of applicants. However, it’s crucial to understand their differences and know when to use each one.

The advantages of job boards

Job boards offer many advantages for both recruiters and candidates.

Job boards are a valuable source of information on the job market for candidates. They can :

  • Post their CV and make their profile visible to recruiters,
  • Respond quickly to numerous job offers,
  • Keep abreast of job market trends and opportunities in their city or region,
  • Be alerted to new opportunities in their specialist field,
  • Receive HR advice to improve their image and attractiveness on the job market.

For recruiters, job boards are a valuable tool for attracting and recruiting candidates. They allow you to :

  • Increase the visibility of their recruitment offers, by exposing them to a wide audience of job seekers,
  • Optimize recruitment time, by bringing together a large number of candidates in one place,
  • Find qualified profiles on specialized job boards, which attract candidates in specific fields,
  • Build up CV pools in their HR software, by collecting and organizing candidates’ CVs,
  • Enhance their corporate image and employer brand, by showcasing their values and corporate culture,
  • Increase the SEO of their job offers, by making them more visible on search engines like Google and Bing,
  • Improve their sourcing, by gaining access to a wide range of candidates.

Despite these advantages, job boards are no substitute for a proactive approach on the part of the recruiter. Prospecting for candidates remains an essential means of finding quality talent and staying one step ahead in today’s competitive job market.

Les avantages des Jobboards

Let’s move on to an essential aspect of the candidate search: candidate prospecting. To understand the importance of this approach, it’s crucial to distinguish it from classic sourcing. But what is sourcing?

Sourcing involves contacting candidates who are, more or less, looking for work. These people don’t hesitate to post their CVs and contact details on dedicated web platforms. It’s a widespread and generally effective approach. However, it has its limits.

Sourcing concerns all types of employment contracts, and profiles at all levels and in all professions. Whether you’re looking for a supply chain manager on fixed-term contract, a sales manager on permanent contract, or a web designer on temporary assignment, sourcing can help. However, headhunting, another form of prospecting, is there to target a passive pool of people with little presence on generic sourcing channels.

In this way, headhunting focuses exclusively on highly qualified profiles with very specific (and therefore rare) skills for permanent positions. In this respect, IT and digital profiles are perfect targets for headhunters. In 99% of cases, the focus is on people already in post.

While sourcing tends to focus on automation and efficiency in candidate management, headhunting is much more “candidate-centric”. In other words, the headhunter takes a much more personalized approach to potential candidates. He also takes care to protect the interests and confidentiality of the customers for whom he recruits.

In this sense, candidate prospecting offers incomparable precision and efficiency. It allows us to go and find the best talent, wherever they are, without limiting ourselves to candidates actively seeking employment. It’s a proactive approach that requires a good knowledge of the job market and the skills in demand.

At Stepward, we prefer this approach to candidate prospecting. And with good reason: it enables us to precisely target the profiles that correspond to our customers’ specific needs.

Now that we’ve explained why we focus on candidate prospecting at Stepward, we’ll share with you some examples of the messages we use to recruit the right profiles for our customers. These examples will illustrate the personalized approach we take to engaging candidates and maximizing our chances of success.The advantages of job boards

Examples of Linkedin messages

Messages tested

Balancing processing time and message length is a crucial step when writing prospecting messages. It’s all about finding the right balance between a short message, which might seem too impersonal and not provide enough information, and a message that’s too long, which might discourage the candidate from reading it in its entirety.

In addition, the manual prospecting method can be greatly improved by automating candidate sourcing. Sourcing automation tools can help to quickly identify potential candidates, personalize messages and track responses, saving valuable time. This allows you to concentrate more on creating high-quality messages and contacting potential candidates more effectively.

For more information on how to automate candidate sourcing, please consult this article: Automating candidate sourcing.

In short, balancing message length and processing time, combined with the use of automation tools, can dramatically increase the efficiency of your recruitment efforts.

Here are some examples of prospecting messages we use for our customers.

Head of Sales Recruitment

Message 1:

Hello {{first name}},

I hope you’re well. We’d like to recruit a profile like yours for XXX. We are looking for a Sales Director EMEA with experience in “Consumer Electronics” and a good knowledge of the retail world and its buyers.

In addition to the international aspect, a distribution network needs to be built, both in terms of strategic and operational thinking. Your mission will be challenging, as a technological leap forward is required to integrate a new product category. Our sales in 2022 reached 8.6 million euros, and we are projecting sales of 12 million euros in 2023.

We’re pioneering a new category of connected telescopes: eVscopes. XXX is based in Paris and Marseille.

Where do you stand professionally? 🙂

This message is direct and to the point, highlighting the key responsibilities and challenges of the position, which may attract candidates looking to thrive in a stimulating environment. It’s also essential to talk about the company’s successes, to show candidates the opportunity to join a successful and ambitious company.

Sedentary sales force recruitment

Message 1:

Hello {{first name}},

Thank you for accepting me into your network. You have a very interesting career path and I’d like to talk to you about joining us on an open-ended contract in a retirement expertise position.

This is a new position, so it may come as a surprise that I’m contacting you for this one, but we’re looking for people who are rigorous, organized and have already worked in professions where compliance with procedures is important 🙂 If you’re interested in the job, we’ve got a whole internal training program, so there’s nothing to worry about.

Can we discuss this in person so that you can tell me about your plans and I can tell you about the job?

Have a nice day and I hope to see you soon!

This message emphasizes the importance of organization and rigor, two essential qualities for a sedentary salesperson. It also suggests a discussion to talk more about the details of the job, showing a genuine interest in the candidate and his or her career path.

Developer recruitment


Hello {{first name}},

Thank you for accepting my connection request. I hope you’re well.

Your profile caught my attention. We’re looking for someone like you to join our team on a permanent contract in Rennes or Nantes. We have many ex-Parisians on our team who have appreciated the quality of life offered by Rennes or Nantes.

We’re looking for experienced developers or Tech Leads with solid development skills in technologies such as: VueJS, Flutter, React, NodeJS, Java, Gatsby, Strapi…

Do you want to give more meaning to your professional activity?

Here, we clearly specify the profile sought, the skills required and the location of the position. This is a good practice for attracting candidates who meet specific criteria. It’s also a good idea to show how the candidate could fit into the existing team.

Cybersecurity recruitment


Hello {{first name}},

Thank you for accepting me into your network. You have a very interesting career path and I’d like to talk to you about joining us on a permanent contract in Cybersecurity consulting on Azure 🙂

XXX has 36 employees, and our managers are former (and even current) cybersecurity consultants. We have a flat hierarchy, and our “Zero Taboo for Zero Turnover” policy isn’t just for show!

Can we discuss this in person so that you can tell me about your plans?

Have a nice day and I hope to see you soon!

The message emphasizes the company’s culture and values, which is essential to attract candidates who share these values. Mention of the “Zero Taboo for Zero Turnover” policy shows a commitment to transparency and employee satisfaction, which can be very attractive to a potential candidate.

Best practices :

Here are a few best practices to keep in mind when writing messages to contact a candidate:

  1. Personalize your messages: It’s essential that every message you send is tailored to the profile of the candidate you’re contacting. Use their name, refer to specific elements of their experience or skills they have mentioned in their profile.
  2. Be clear and precise: Candidates need to understand right from the start why you’re contacting them. What is the job on offer? What skills do you need? Where is the job located? It’s essential to provide this information from the outset to capture the candidate’s attention.
  3. Promote the company and the position: Don’t forget to highlight the strengths of the company and the opportunities offered by the position. These may include specific benefits, the company’s culture, interesting projects on which the candidate could work, etc.
  4. Propose an exchange: The aim of your message is not only to inform, but also to provoke an exchange. Suggest that the candidate discuss the position in greater detail, ask where they are in their career plans, etc.
  5. Keep it professional: While your message should be warm and welcoming, don’t forget to keep it professional. Avoid overly colloquial language and be sure to check spelling and grammar.
  6. Be patient: Don’t expect an immediate response. Candidates often have busy schedules and may take a long time to respond. If you don’t hear back within a week or two, you can send a polite follow-up message to remind you of your request.

By following these best practices, you’ll be able to write effective messages that will help you attract the best candidates for your vacancies.


Over the course of this article, we’ve explored the different approaches to effectively contacting candidates when recruiting. We distinguish between job boards, a passive method where recruiters wait for candidates to come to them, and candidate prospecting, an active approach where the recruiter himself looks for the ideal candidate.

It was emphasized that Jobboards offer advantages for both candidates and recruiters by providing a common platform for sharing job offers and CVs. However, candidate prospecting, while requiring additional effort, proves more effective by targeting a passive pool of highly qualified candidates who are not present on Jobboards. This approach is also more precise and personalized, enabling us to recruit specific profiles with rare skills.

In addition, we have provided concrete examples of messages for contacting candidates on Linkedin, showing how to personalize the approach depending on the position to be filled. These messages illustrate the importance of clear, attractive communication to pique a candidate’s interest.

Finally, we have discussed the importance of automating candidate sourcing, a technique that saves time while maintaining the precision of candidate prospecting.

In conclusion, while both approaches have their place in the recruitment process, it’s clear that prospecting for candidates is a more effective way of finding the best talent. However, without the right skills and tools, implementation can prove complex. That’s where Stepward comes in, supporting you throughout the entire process, from drafting approach messages to running the recruitment campaign. Our aim is to facilitate your recruitment process and help you attract the best talent for your company.

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