How to approach talents in Germany and France correctly


How to approach talents in Germany and France correctly

Directly approaching talent in France and Germany can be a challenge. With both labor markets stretched out very thin, few people are actively looking for a new job. The more qualified a candidate is, the more messages they receive from recruiters on a daily basis. The quality of your message makes the difference between the candidate ghosting you, or responding politely with a proper application. We explain the basics of how to write a solid teaser message to entice qualified profiles in France and Germany.

1. Save time by targeting the right people

The first step in any contact is to identify suitable profiles. For example, a Key Account Manager has no good reason to reply to your message about a Junior Sales Manager position. Ideally, the industry or specialisation should also match the candidates' previous experiences. The better the fit, the higher the response rate.

Among the mass of professionals, only a handful are actively looking for a change. Then there are those who are passively "open to opportunities" and those who won’t leave their company, regardless of your offer. If you can distinguish between these profiles before you even make contact, you will save valuable time in the recruiting process.

You can use the following signs to recognize how likely it is that a candidate will be responsive:

LinkedIn profile: The "open to work" frame on the LinkedIn profile picture, a post with the CV or a detailed profile description in which the target professions are mentioned are clear signs of an active applicant (with the Recruiter subscription, you can view even more detailed information about the candidate's current search).

Recent uploads or updates: The CV on the relevant CV board has recently been uploaded or changed. Even employees who are not actively searching frequently upload their CVs to specialized job boards if they are secretly open to other offers.

Business news: You should be aware of the trends and events in your industry. When certain companies are restructuring, closing branches or experiencing other difficulties, their employees will be more receptive to offers.

"The better the fit, the higher the response rate."

Lea Orellana-Negrin


2. First impressions count: how to spark interest

A well-written message (preferably in the local language) can make the difference between being ignored and starting a conversation. Recruiters should therefore ensure that their first message is relevant, personal and engaging.

Statistics on candidate engagement

A study by LinkedIn showed that personalized messages have a 45 % higher response rate than general messages. SAP even found that personalized messages to passive applicants increased their response rate by 60 %. BMW states that their hiring rate has improved by 50 % since they individualized their approaches. So the increase will be anywhere from 45-60 %, which is considerable.

So if you think you're saving time by sending the same message to 100 candidates, you're wrong: for the same amount of time, it's better to get 20 responses for 30 messages than 10 for 100.

What's more, on professional networks, recruiters with a complete and convincing profile are 87 % more likely to receive a response.

Best practices for first contact

Here is a checklist of criteria that your contact requests should definitely fulfill:

Individualization: Personalization is crucial to attract the attention of passive applicants in France and Germany. Your message should be about the candidate first, not about you or your company. A message that is too general is easily ignored. Mention specific details about the candidate's work history, skills and accomplishments.

Setting the right tone: This goes with individualisation. For example, some candidates may appreciate it if you use a less formal tone and address them by their first name, while in other fields or positions, (Herr X / Frau Y) or (Madame / Monsieur) is mandatory. Be mindful of the polite forms (Sie / Vous) as well, only some candidates will show on their profile that they prefer the informal "Du / Tu".
This also depends on your company culture.

Keep it short and sweet: Your message should be clear and concise. Passive applicants often don't have a lot of time for other opportunities, so it's important to get straight to the point. If the most important information is already established, you can simply ask if the candidate is interested and save everything else for the rest of the interview. Ideally, you will arouse curiosity about the missing information.

Benefits and opportunities: Highlight what your company has to offer and what sets it apart from other companies, e.g. growth opportunities, a better work-life balance or benefits.

Call-to-action: End your message with a clear call-to-action, asking the applicant to discuss the position in more detail, schedule a phone interview or provide information about their expectations and criteria for a change. Your message should always contain at least one question that the candidate can respond to directly.

Here is an example of such a message:

French German
Bonjour [nom], J'ai vu votre profil sur LinkedIn et j'ai été impressionné par votre expérience dans le domaine [secteur]. Chez [nom de l'entreprise], une entreprise leader dans la [spécialité] qui attache de l'importance à [valeur / culture d'entreprise], nous sommes actuellement à la recherche d'un talentueux [intitulé du poste]. Je pense que vos compétences et votre parcours conviendraient parfaitement ! Le poste offre [avantage 1], [avantage 2] et bien plus encore. Seriez-vous intéressé par un bref entretien afin d'en savoir plus sur cette opportunité passionnante ? Bien cordialement, [votre nom] Hallo [Name], ich habe Ihr Profil auf LinkedIn gesehen und war beeindruckt von Ihrer Erfahrung im Bereich [Branche]. Bei [Firmenname], einem führenden Unternehmen für [Spezialität], das Wert auf [Wert / Firmenkultur] legt, suchen wir derzeit nach einem talentierten [Jobbezeichnung]. Ich glaube, dass Ihre Fähigkeiten und Ihr Hintergrund perfekt passen würden! Die Stelle bietet [Vorteil 1], [Vorteil 2] uvm. Hätten Sie Interesse an einem kurzen Gespräch, um mehr über diese spannende Möglichkeit zu erfahren? Freundliche Grüße, [Ihr Name]

3. Should the first message state a salary range?

Salary remains one of the most sensitive topics when talking to applicants, and one where the French and the Germans don't have the same customs.

While German applicants sometimes like to clarify the salary question right away, so as to not waste anyone’s time. An attractive offer can ensure you receive a reply and your transparency will reflect positively on you in the candidate’s eyes.

In France however, this could be perceived as impolite. Income is treated as very personal information in France, so it is not necessary to talk about it immediately. The applicant first wants to understand your interest and get to know you and the company.

4. Other good practices for catchy messages

Here are some additional strategies you can use to make your teaser messages even more appealing.

testimonials and recommandations

Recommendations and testimonials from current or former employees add credibility to your message. Mentioning that other professionals have found success and satisfaction at your company can reassure passive candidates and encourage them to learn more.

Follow the trends and needs of the German market

Keeping up to date with trends in the local job market and the specific needs of professionals in your industry can help you tailor your messaging to make it more appealing. For example, if you know that software engineers are in high demand, you can positively highlight innovative projects or cutting-edge technologies that your company is working on, so as to set yourself apart from the competition.

French German
Bonjour [nom], J'ai vu votre profil sur LinkedIn et j'ai remarqué votre expérience dans le domaine [technologie spécifique]. Chez [nom de l'entreprise], nous travaillons actuellement sur des projets passionnants utilisant les dernières technologies telles que [technologie]. Seriez-vous intéressé par un bref entretien pour en savoir plus ? Merci beaucoup et cordialement, [votre nom] Hallo [Name], ich habe Ihr Profil auf LinkedIn gesehen und Ihre Erfahrung im Bereich [spezifische Technologie] ist mir aufgefallen. Bei [Firmenname] arbeiten wir derzeit an spannenden Projekten mit den neuesten Technologien wie [Technologie]. Wären Sie interessiert an einem kurzen Gespräch, um mehr darüber zu erfahren? Vielen Dank und freundliche Grüße, [Ihr Name]

Shooting your shot at the right moment

Timing can play a crucial role in the effectiveness of your teaser message. For example, messages sent at the beginning of the week and in the morning tend to have higher response rates.

According to a study by LinkedIn, InMail messages sent on Tuesday mornings have a 10 % higher response rate than those sent on Friday afternoons. In addition, an analysis by HubSpot shows that emails sent between 8 and 10 a.m. have the highest open rates.

Use the right tools and technologies

The use of tools and technologies can also improve the effectiveness of your teaser messages. For example, CRM (customer relationship management) solutions such as Salesforce or HubSpot can help you track and manage your communications with candidates.

Specialized platforms can make it much easier to reach the specialists you are looking for. LinkedIn and Indeed are general job boards. Other niche job boards such as Connexion-Emploi have made it their mission to compile a large database of french and german professionals. Recruiters who have exclusive access to such databases can connect with this talent more directly and easily.

In order to optimize your approach and effectively target potential applicants in Germany and France, it is essential that you personalize your approach, track market trends, choose the right time to send your messages and use the right technologies and platforms. In any case, in today’s labor market, investing Time and effort is inevitable to find the right talent.

If you outsource your recruitment, it is important to choose the right specialists for the job. Specialized recruiters know exactly what makes the profiles you are looking for tick and with the right methodology, they achieve the highest possible response rates.

Nikolai Rabald

Nikolai Rabald

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