Recruiters are constantly trying new ways to get positive responses from candidates and to increase their response rate on their InMails. But a higher response rate does not mean more candidates.
Like other recruiters I am also trying to find new ways to increase my response rate and get more positive feedback on my InMails. Of course, the quality of the message certainly plays a role, but the language in which the message is written plays an even bigger role.
The first step to improving your response rate is to start collecting data because you need to collect data to find out what is working and what is not. That’s why collecting and analyzing your data is always a great first step toward improving your messages.
But even if you start collecting data, it's always advisable to double-check your findings with others so you can see if your findings are correct; that is why I asked friends at Visage team if they could share with me some of their data to confirm my theory. The reason why I approached them is that their sourcing tool combines human and artificial intelligence, and their community has more than 4000 global sourcers. That’s why their data would be a large enough representative sample to help me to verify my findings and compare my data with theirs.
During my research I focused on three locations: Czech Republic, France, and Germany. I chose those countries because they do not use English as a native language and I am familiar with their labor market.
How Do You Increase Your Response Rate?
How can you double your InMail response rate? You can easily double the response rate of your next campaign by translating your message into the native language of your recipients. And data from the Visage team confirms that.
I am aware that there are dozens of factors that might be affecting results, like the type of role you are presenting, the type of audience, the date on which you are sending your message, the overall quality of your message and many other things. But the data they shared with me was connected with the same position, and had a similar type of audience. The only difference was the month when the message was sent and that was translated into the local language of their recipients.
What is also important to mention is that their response rates only include positive answers. That means that people express their genuine interest to learn more about the opportunity. And the Visage team doubled their response rate when they sent the email campaigns to candidates in their native language.
Why is it important to mention that these were only the positive responses? Because you probably saw several webinars or presentations where recruiters and vendors were sharing their tips and tricks that helped them raise their response rate to 40–60%.
Even though those numbers look great, they were overall response rates on their messages and not only the positive responses. That means that the 40–60% increase is a combination of positive and negative responses. So any response from candidates asking a recruiter to be removed from the sequenced mailings campaigns or replying, “I am not interested,” increased their response rate. That is why many of the data presented are misleading.
Why This Is Working So Well
Based on the Common Sense Advisory report, 75% of consumers said they were more likely to purchase goods and services if the corresponding product information is in their native language. And 87% of consumers who don’t speak and can’t read English won’t buy from an English website.
Communication occurs only when the message has been understood and understanding occurs in the mind of the receiver. That is why any message in the native language of a recipient will help you to increase your chances of getting an answer. People also feel way more comfortable answering messages in their native language because they do not need to think about the right phrase, the correct grammar, or be afraid that they will make a typo. And answering the message in their own language will be way faster for them.
When you are approaching candidates in markets where English is not the native language, you never know what their level of English will be. And you can expect that many candidates will not respond to your InMail if it is written in English because they expect it to be a job offer to work abroad or another unsolicited message from a recruiter. That is why they may not even open it and will skip it in their mailbox.
Statistics say that 35% of people will only open your message if the subject line resonates with them and it will resonate with them more if it’s in their local language. In one country my response rate was close to zero as many candidates there were expecting that my message was some unsolicited InMail offering a job abroad. But translating the subject line not only improved the open rate, but it raised my overall chance that candidates would read my message. This simple thing helped me to increase my response rate from 3% to 22%.
Bear in mind that if you are going to translate your whole message, your recipients will assume that you also know and understand their language. If you are not willing to communicate through Google Translator or Deepl and risk avoiding miscommunication, you could try translating only the subject line as I did. And if you add a clever explanation as to why the subject line is in their language you can use this approach to your advantage.
There are many other ways to increase your response rate and to turn candidates’ negative responses into positive ones, but contacting your candidates in their native language will increase your response rate for sure.