When Is the Best Time to Contact a Candidate?

I recently did a study to see if I had a change in response based on the day or time that I contacted candidates. Should I reach out to candidates between 5-8 a.m. before work, should it be during lunch hours of 11 a.m-3 p.m., or after dinner between 7-10 p.m.? Is candidate outreach better Monday to Friday or does it make a difference if you reach out on Saturday or Sunday? I think the answers will surprise you.



I reached out to 120 candidates, 40 candidates between 5-8 a.m, 40 candidates between 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and 40 candidates between 7-10 in the evening. Of the 26% of candidates that responded to InMails, there were eight that responded between 5-8 a.m., 11 that responded between 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and 12 that responded between 7-10 at night. This statistic, of less than a one percent change in times of day, tells me that it does not matter what time of the day you send an InMail. It would appear that any time of the day gets somewhat the same amount of response.

In another study, I messaged 60 people during the weekdays and 60 people on the weekend, of the 21% of candidates that responded, it appeared that ten responded during the weekend and 15 responded on the weekend. This is a one percent change favoring the weekend. But again, to me, this is not sufficient evidence that the weekend is better than the weekdays.

I think a more impacting approach would probably be the contact within the InMail. To be discussed in another article.



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Emails seem to be a different case study. Ben Slater from blog Beamery states that candidates read an email within the first 60 minutes of delivery. I conducted a case study of my own to determine whether I had a better response on a weekday for the weekend. I sent out 50 candidate outreach emails during the week and 50 candidate outreach emails during the weekend. The emails utilized were all personal email addresses. Of the 36% that responded, 27 responses were received on the weekend as opposed to nine responses during the week. In this case, the weekend is a better time for candidate outreach. The theory behind this is that there is less competition during the weekend than during the week. Candidates are receiving fewer messages on the weekend than during the week, hence making your message stand out more on the weekend to receive that click. Yesware conducted a study sending out 500,000 emails and data proved that the weekend was indeed a better time to reach out to candidates.

Also, research shows that the best time of for emails is during the early morning or in the evening. Candidates tend to be less caught up in work at these periods of the day. Also, in theory, there are a larger number of messages sent midday which could potentially get your email buried and unopened.

Is this information surprising? Share your statistics with me on this subject; I would love to know if any of you have found the same to be true!


Natalya Kazim is a Sourcing Consultant with 15+ years of experience in the Recruitment world. She has had the opportunity to work in several Fortune 500 companies to help lead the initiative to develop their sourcing function.  Natalya is passionate about learning new, innovative, and efficient ways deliver the best quality results.  She has served as both a Mentor and Trainer sharing her wealth of information to help others succeed. She has a strong background in advanced sourcing, competitive intel research, organizational charting, market analysis, candidate information retrieval, and passive candidate engagement . Natalya resides in the Washington, DC Metro Area.