10 essential recruiting email templates

85% of recruiters rely on email as the top channel for reaching out to, and interacting with, potential hires. Recruiting emails are your first, and sometimes only, means of contact with potential candidates, so it’s important to get them right.

While email templates can be a powerful time-saving secret weapon for busy recruiters, they must be carefully calibrated to meet the individual needs of the candidates. A study by IBM reported that more than 1/5 of all job candidates don’t feel well-informed during the hiring process, which contributes to a poor hiring experience. If your emails are leaving out crucial details or are perceived as formulaic, the candidate may start to feel more like a burden than a valued potential employee.

Email templates are a great place to start and simplify a lot of the repeat, often monotonous tasks that come with candidate communication. Personalize the following email templates to create clear, friendly, and informative emails so that candidates feel excited and confident about each stage of the hiring process.

Essential recruiting email templates

We’ve created 10 templates to cover the most pivotal communication touchstones in the hiring process. Customize them to match your company’s style and tone; then personalize them for each candidate.

1. General sourcing

Recruiters can find exciting candidates in many different places, including employee referrals, social media, and even through personal blogs. Wherever you source candidates from, a good introductory email can help get them interested in your company.

When cold emailing a passive candidate, personalize your email so that prospects actually stop and read it, instead of glazing over it or thinking it’s spam. An effective sourcing email starts with a killer subject line that grabs the candidate’s attention. If it’s not feasible to come up with a clever subject line for every candidate, go for something informative and direct.

Keep the email short and to the point. Including only the most essential information increases the likelihood that a busy prospect will take the time to read it. And end with a specific ask: to set up a phone call, for example. Make it easy for the potential candidate to take the next step.

Email Subject: [JOB TITLE] position at [COMPANY NAME]

Email body:

Hi [CANDIDATE NAME],

I noticed your professional profile [EXPLAIN WHERE YOU FOUND THEM]. I’m at [COMPANY NAME], and we’re looking for an excellent [JOB TITLE] to join our dynamic team.

Your experience is outstanding and a great fit for this role. I’d love to tell you more about it and hear more about you.

Would you like to connect by phone? If so, let me know when you’re available for a quick call.

Best,

[YOUR NAME]

[YOUR JOB TITLE]

2. Sourcing (rediscovered candidates)

For every position a company fills, there are multiple “silver medal” candidates who might make excellent future hires. Re-engaging previous candidates is one of the most efficient and inexpensive ways to fill a new position. Your ATS can help identify these candidates and keep your correspondence organized.

When reaching out to rediscovered candidates, never blast a group email. Instead, contact each candidate individually and let them know exactly why you’re reaching out. Acknowledge your past interactions, explain the new position, and end with a specific request.

Email Subject: New [JOB TITLE] position open at [COMPANY NAME]

Email body:

Hi [CANDIDATE NAME],

I hope you’re doing well. It was great to speak with you about our [JOB TITLE THE CANDIDATE PREVIOUSLY INTERVIEWED FOR] position a while ago. Thank you again for your time.

We moved forward with another candidate for that particular role but kept you top of mind. A new [JOB TITLE] position just opened—and your expertise makes you a particularly good fit.

[MORE INFORMATION ON THE POSITION AND WHY THEY ARE A GOOD FIT]

Are you interested in learning more? If so, please let me know when you’re available for a quick call.

Best,

[YOUR NAME]

[YOUR JOB TITLE]

3. Phone screening rejection

Phone screening is an efficient way to single out great candidates and disqualify those who aren’t a fit. Send a thoughtful and polite email when rejecting candidates, even if your interaction was brief. When you treat an applicant with courtesy and respect, they’re more likely to perceive the experience with your company as positive and share positive feedback with their networks and on job sites.

Send phone screen rejection emails soon after deciding the candidate won’t be moving forward, but take the time to be kind and thoughtful. You don’t need to go in depth on why you’re rejecting them but provide a broad explanation: not enough experience, overqualified, unrealistic salary expectations, etc.

Email subject: Your application for [JOB TITLE]

Email body:

Hello [CANDIDATE FIRST NAME],

Thanks very much for your interest in [COMPANY] and for meeting over the phone about the [JOB TITLE] position. I appreciated the chance to learn more about you and your professional experience.

I regret to tell you, however, that we won’t be moving forward with your candidacy for this particular role. [INSERT BRIEF REASONS HERE]. We’ll definitely keep your information on file and will reach out to you when another opportunity arises that might be a good fit.

In the meantime, I wish you success with your job search.

Best,

[YOUR NAME]

[YOUR JOB TITLE]

4. Interview confirmation

Sending a comprehensive interview confirmation email is a simple step that helps prepare candidates for their interview. Job interviews can be nerve-racking, and a detailed confirmation email gives the candidate every important piece of information they need to bring their best self to the table.

In the email, include obvious elements, like the time and place, but also make a point of including the names of all interviewers, the subject matter they plan to discuss, and anything the candidate needs to prepare or bring — such as a work sample. Pair the email with a calendar invite so that it’s included in everyone’s schedule.

Email subject: Confirmation of Interview: [YOUR COMPANY]

Email body:

Hello [CANDIDATE NAME],

This is a confirmation of your interview for the [JOB TITLE] position at [COMPANY]. We look forward to meeting with you.

In this email, you will find all the details you need to prepare for the interview.

Your interview is scheduled for: [DAY OF THE WEEK], [DATE] at [TIME].

The interview will take place at our office, [ADDRESS AND ACCESS INSTRUCTIONS].

You will be speaking with [NAME AND JOB TITLE]. We expect the interview will take [AMOUNT OF TIME].

During this interview, we will be assessing [PURPOSE OF THE INTERVIEW].

Please respond to this email to confirm that you will be attending. If you have any questions about the information above, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

Best,

[YOUR NAME]

[YOUR JOB TITLE]

5. Interview reminder

Follow up on the confirmation email by sending a simple interview reminder email the day before the meeting is scheduled. This should be a short and friendly note that repeats the most essential information about the upcoming interview. Refer them to the confirmation email for further details.

Email subject: Reminder: Interview for [JOB TITLE] role at [COMPANY]

Email body:

Hi [CANDIDATE NAME],

We’re looking forward to meeting you soon!

Here, for your convenience, are the details again. - Date: [INTERVIEW DATE]

  • Time: [INTERVIEW START TIME]

  • Duration: [INTERVIEW DURATION]

  • [Call-in information, if needed]

Please refer to your confirmation email for further details. If you have questions at any time before the interview, feel free to reach out to me.

Best,

[YOUR NAME]

[YOUR JOB TITLE]

6. Request for work samples

Prior to an interview, you may want to request some examples of the candidate’s past work for review: article clippings, sample presentations, or a portfolio of work. You may even ask them to complete a unique assignment.

When assigning sample work, be thoughtful about the volume of material and the time commitment required to complete it. Asking for too much unpaid labor at the beginning of the hiring process can turn candidates off, so make sure everything you’re asking for is truly necessary to aid the decision-making process.

Also, be specific about what you’re looking for in the sample work you’re requesting. For example: “Send us a writing sample that shows your skill explaining complex subjects.” Set a specific due date for the materials and specify how you would like them delivered.

Email subject: Request for samples of your work

Email body:

Hi [CANDIDATE NAME],

Thanks again for your interest in the [JOB TITLE] position. We’re looking forward to meeting you during the upcoming interview.

In the meantime, we’d appreciate it if you could share some samples of your work. Please email me and attach [DETAILS OF WHAT YOU’RE REQUESTING].

Could you please send me these by [DATE]? Let me know if you have any questions.

Best,

[YOUR NAME]

[YOUR JOB TITLE]

7. Positive interview thank you

Nothing is more dispiriting to a candidate than radio silence after an interview. After a good interview with a promising candidate, send a positive follow-up message to keep them interested and maintain momentum.

Convey your enthusiasm about their performance as a candidate. Let them know they’re doing well so far. Be clear about the next steps of the process: “We’ll be checking your references and will be in touch,” “We’d like to have you come back in and meet with the CEO,” or "We’ll be making a decision by the end of the week." You want the candidate to feel involved and knowledgeable about what’s happening next, so they stay excited and engaged with the company.

Email subject: Thank you!

Email body:

Hi [CANDIDATE NAME],

Thanks very much for spending time chatting with us. It was a pleasure to get to know you more and hear in-depth about your professional background and experience.

The team was impressed by your experience. We’ll reach out to you soon about the next steps.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about [COMPANY NAME] or the [JOB TITLE] position, please feel free to contact me.

Best,

[YOUR NAME]

[YOUR JOB TITLE]

8. OK interview thank you

Occasionally, a candidate doesn’t knock it out of the park in their interview, but you’re not ready to reject them. Use this template to let them know that you will be in touch soon with the next steps.

While it’s OK to put off a decision for a few days, don’t leave candidates hanging for too long. This can be annoying and decrease candidate satisfaction with your hiring process — meaning they’re less likely to apply to a different position in the future or refer their friends to your company. To manage their expectations, let them know when they can expect to hear from you.

Email subject: Thank you

Email body:

Hi [CANDIDATE NAME],

Thanks very much for meeting with us. It was helpful to learn more about your background.

We’re still in the early stages of our search for [JOB TITLE] and have a number of other candidates to interview. I’ll reach out with an update about our progress in the near future.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about [COMPANY NAME] or the [JOB TITLE] position, please feel free to contact me.

Best,

[YOUR NAME]

[YOUR JOB TITLE]

9. Rejection

If a candidate has taken the time to sit down for a full-length interview, then it’s a good idea to send them a thoughtfully-crafted rejection letter. While they might not be right for this position, you still want to stay in their good graces and keep them as an ally going forward.

Many candidates find it helpful to receive feedback about why they didn’t get the job. No need to be super specific or brutal, but constructive criticism can help them improve and become a better candidate next time. Let them know your relationship isn’t over: ask them to re-apply in the future or tell them you will keep their resume on file. If applicable, consider recommending these candidates for other suitable roles.

Email subject: Your Application to [YOUR COMPANY]

Email body:

Hello [CANDIDATE NAME],

Thanks very much for your interest in [COMPANY NAME] and for interviewing with us for the [JOB TITLE] position. We appreciated the chance to meet you and learn more about your experience.

I regret to tell you, however, that we won’t be moving forward with your candidacy for this particular role. [JUSTIFICATION FOR REJECTION AND FEEDBACK]. Nonetheless, we’ll keep your information on file and will reach out to you when the next opportunity arises.

In the meantime, I wish you success with your job search.

Best,

[YOUR NAME]

[YOUR JOB TITLE]

10. Job offer

The job offer letter is the last piece of communication a candidate receives before they will make a decision about whether to accept or reject your offer, so it needs to be a perfect last pitch for working with your company. Instead of making it transactional, infuse it with personality and positive energy. Many HR managers prefer to break the good news with a phone call, then follow up with a well-worded offer email.

The offer letter can be in the text of the email or attached as a separate document. Either way, make sure the email shows enthusiasm! Put the good news in the subject line, and let the candidate know how excited you are about the prospect of them joining the company. Make sure the offer includes all the essential information the candidate needs to make a decision: the position title, employment type, compensation, pay structure, benefits, start date and location, and any contingencies. End the email with an explicit request for the next steps.

Email subject: Offer from [COMPANY NAME]

Email body:

Dear [CANDIDATE NAME],

Congratulations! We’re delighted to offer you the position of [POSITION TITLE] here at [COMPANY NAME].

[EXPLANATION]

You’ll work with [MANAGER’S NAME] on the [DEPARTMENT] team, initially focusing your efforts on [PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES].

Your first day of work will be [START DATE] at our [JOB LOCATION] office. As we discussed, this is a [FULL TIME/PART TIME] position with an [ANNUAL SALARY or HOURLY RATE] of [SALARY AMOUNT]. Your salary will be paid [WEEKLY/BI-WEEKLY/MONTHLY].

Your role includes [PAID TIME OFF], and you’ll also receive additional benefits in the form of [BENEFITS OVERVIEW].

Your employment with [COMPANY NAME] will be on an [AT-WILL STATUS] basis, and our offer is contingent upon [EMPLOYMENT CHECKS].

If you’d like to accept this offer, please sign, date, and return your copy of this letter by [OFFER EXPIRATION DATE/ AT YOUR EARLIEST CONVENIENCE]. Once we’ve received your response, we’ll send you a formal contract of employment.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions—and congratulations again! We’re excited to have you join our team.

Yours sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

[YOUR JOB TITLE]

One size never fits all

Email templates save time and effort when you have to correspond with many people, but always remember the positive effects of personalization. Candidates are more likely to remain interested if they feel that you are talking specifically to them in your emails and that they are more than just a cog in an impersonal hiring machine.

Whenever possible, take the time to incorporate personal details to make your email stand out. Use people’s names, mention details like what college they went to or an interest they spoke of in their interview (an ATS can help you keep track of these notes), and make sure to include a specific call to action or next steps at the end of every email. Just taking a minute to personalize your templated email can mean all the difference in making a candidate feel like a potentially valuable part of your team.

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