Why tips for the perfect direct approach? That should actually be quite simple, shouldn't it? 

But what if

❌ you don't have a good example for your candidate approach and recruiting in the company has been rather passive so far?
❌ there is no clear procedure for writing cover letters for candidates and likewise no tips from the team in sight?
❌ the first attempts were not successful because, for example, there were too few responses to the speech.

In this article we would like to show you how, with three simple changes, you can improve your Active sourcing more successful.


First of all, here's an example of how not to do it in a direct approach:

I came across your interesting profile as you are currently working in recruiting. 
I am currently looking for a recruiter for our team to oversee the entire application process and attend interviews.
My company sees itself as a "start-up in the group" and offers you the opportunity to actively participate in the processes.
You will work here in a very interesting and dynamic environment.
Have I aroused your interest?
Feel free to give me an appointment to whom we can exchange information over the phone.
I look forward to your feedback.

Platitudes and 'standard' do not bring recruiting forward

This cover letter probably won't even lure the applicant with the greatest needs out from behind the stove:

  • Spelling mistake
  • Very vague
  • No deeper example to the tasks
  • You don't get a picture of the corporate culture / vision
  • Full of phrases ("interesting", "dynamic")

Another example:

During our search for suitable candidates for the recruiting department, your profile caught our attention. 
We are a dynamic team looking for new recruiting support.
We are a company specialized in IT recruiting and consulting with headquarters in Munich. With our know-how and excellent industry expertise, we are the reliable partner for international clients in the DAX30 environment and currently manage over 400 open staffing projects in the IT environment. 

Your tasks:
- You acquire suitable candidates for positions with new and existing customers
- You specialize in freelancers or permanent employees
- You maintain an active relationship with our customers and consultants as a competent contact person 
- You will approach potential applicants by phone, through social media channels, and in face-to-face presentation appointments
- You optimize existing work and placement processes on your own responsibility
- You train additional recruiting and sales staff

Your profile: 
- You have successfully completed your commercial training in human resources or your studies in economics and social sciences
- You enjoy working with people and convincing them
- You are conscientious in dealing with personal data and work independently and reliably
- You have very good knowledge of the German language and can express yourself well in writing and orally
- You can also communicate well in English
- Ideally, you have already gained some experience in recruiting IT professionals

Have we aroused your interest?
We would be happy to hear from you and meet you in person.

The bottom line is that this is a copy of the job ad, and this is precisely what we want to prevent in the direct approach, because job ads in their classic form are riddled with clichés and phrases.

This speech also mixes the 'you' and 'you're' forms, which is a clear sign of a copy and paste "strategy" where you haven't checked the sent text closely enough for errors. Doesn't look good. Furthermore, anyone familiar with the world of IT service providers will quickly notice that any differentiation is missing here. This is also how 100 other IT service providers could write their job ads.

So what does an example of a successful candidate approach look like to make active recruiting work even better?

For the right cover letter to potential candidates, we have a few tips for the perfect direct approach that should get you more responses and applications:

Tips for the direct approach of a successful active sourcing

Interest in the person behind the profile

This is the top priority!
As an internal recruiter, you should definitely take a few minutes to carefully study the profile of the discovered talent.
Where are there professional or personal points of contact? What reference point does a person provide in relation to previous career stages?
If someone has linked to a website or social media profile, go directly there and see what you can use for a suitable conversation opener / subject for your offer. For example, if you refer to a candidate's post or tweet that they left "somewhere on the web," you can be sure of attention. Interest in people also works in active sourcing:

I had discovered in one candidate's profile that he likes to listen to certain podcasts and then asked him if he would like to listen to these a specific episode from this particular podcast had already heard.
We already started talking and for the candidate my offer was not just soullessly slapped down copy & paste stuff, but a serious request.

⌛Task for you: Write to 20 candidates and no two cover letters should be alike. Each cover letter should contain at least two individual sentences. Creative writing for recruiters, so to speak 👍.

Scoring points with talents through visions

The big mistake that is often made by internal and external recruiters is that too much is written about the requirements of the company. One should be able to do this and that and bring along this and that professional experience and exactly this kind of character. What helps here is the user orientation known from design thinking, among other things, and to ask oneself:

What are the talents really interested in?

Here I can score as a company with a special vision, a great product and a special company culture.
But please be as specific as possible so that you don't drift into phrasemongering.

With the following introduction to one of our cover letters, we as active sourcing experts were able to fill several positions at a small IT consultancy, although the prospects were not exactly rosy. Lots of travel all over Germany, medium salary, no career opportunities. But every company has a trigger you can pull.
So this consultancy had the trigger of specializing in insurance and health insurance consulting and we linked that to a vision that the company itself had worked out using various creativity techniques.

Here is the introduction:

"Your potential next employer has set out with a vision of dusting off the insurance, Social Security and Medicare industries, some of which are lagging behind.

Do you want to be part of it?

This introduction contains a clear vision, shows the pioneering spirit of the company and contains a direct question right at the beginning, which on the one hand is a call to action and on the other hand is intended to excite the candidates.

Who wouldn't want to be there when the stuffy (sure, it's sometimes just a cliché!) insurance industry gets rolled up digitally?

⌛ Task for you: Put together an interdisciplinary team, e.g., from HR, marketing, IT, and controlling, and work out together what really makes your company interesting for talents and what really sets you apart from the competition. You can then use these results to craft your perfect approach.


These were the most important tips for the perfect direct approach. You can find more about creating the persona here.

Tips for the perfect direct approach

Our offer for you in IT recruiting

If you want to reach the best IT professionals, contact us. indivHR helps to become even more successful in IT recruiting and to avoid common mistakes.

As IT recruiting specialists with many years of experience, we know exactly how to design the candidate journey so that you are always ahead of your competitors. So that you get the best employees.


Our job offers