Improve the Return on your Passive Candidates Approaches With These Steps

jobstreet singapore

Approaching a passive candidate is different from an active candidate. You only get an opportunity to make a first impression, and you’ll need different tactics if you wish to get their attention or replies to your email.

Not sure how to do it? Follow these steps to increase the return on your cold approaches when you’re recruiting on Jobstreet:

Start with a good subject title

When a person receives an email, the two things that they notice are the sender’s name and the title of the email. There’s a chance that the candidate has no idea who you are, so you have to make sure your subject title can grab their attention.

Avoid using titles such as “Career opportunities” and “New Job” as they don’t look genuine and may scare the candidates away. Meanwhile, subjects like “Private and Confidential” looks suspicious. There’s no perfect title that works on all candidates, but we suggest simply putting the candidate’s name and their current employer. It doesn’t mean anything; you just need them to open the email.

jobstreet singapore

Personalise your message

People are often sceptical of cold calls and emails. It feels like there’s a hidden agenda when you receive a generic message that most salespeople and recruiters often use.

First, you have to know who the message is for and customise your email according to the candidate. Do some research about the candidate’s job history and acknowledge their current position. Lastly, try to include a referral as it usually prompts a response, even if they are sceptical about it.

Don’t apologise

Never start an email by apologising for taking the candidate’s time. There’s nothing to be sorry about offering a job opportunity.

When you begin a conversation with an apology, you lose the upper hand. With your apology, the candidate can now ask for a higher salary or for you to reduce their commute. Don’t make yourself feel like dirt on their shoes.

What’s in it for them?

You reach out to this candidate because you thought they’re suitable for the job, but what do they get in return if they accept the offer?

It all comes back to your research. What opportunity can you present to them that makes them interested in working for you? If you can’t think of a good reason, they probably can’t think of one to work for you either.


It is crucial to remember that every candidate is different. There’s no unique formula that works for everyone. Test and test again if you must, and surely you’ll learn something from your experience as a recruiter.

Visit to start looking for potential candidates now!