Stop Using No-Reply Emails to Send Recruiting Messages

April 7, 2023
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After nearly a decade in HR tech, we’ve seen first-hand the importance of establishing strong lines of communication with potential candidates. But unfortunately, many recruiters and hiring managers continue to make the mistake of using no-reply email addresses to send recruiting messages. Below we’ll explain why this is a bad practice and what you should use instead to improve your hiring process.

What’s a no-reply email?

A no-reply email is a catch-all email address that doesn’t accept replies from recipients. This type of email is often used to send marketing emails, newsletters, or automated notifications. Recipients of these emails cannot reply to them or engage in a conversation with the sender.

Many modern applicant tracking systems default to no-reply addresses (e.g. for communication between companies and candidates.

Below is a list of popular ATSs and their associated no-reply address:

Ashby Greenhouse Lever Workable

Why is using a no-reply email a bad idea for recruiting?

Using a no-reply email to send recruiting messages is a bad idea for several reasons. First, it makes it difficult for candidates to ask questions or clarify any confusion they may have. A candidate who is interested in a job will likely want to know more about the position and the company. By using a no-reply email, you're closing off an avenue of communication that could lead to a deeper understanding of the candidate's needs and qualifications.

Second, no-reply emails are impersonal and can create a negative impression of your company. Candidates are looking for a personalized experience when they're applying for a job. By using a no-reply email, you're signaling to candidates that you're not interested in having a conversation with them or hearing their thoughts and concerns.

Finally, using a no-reply email can harm your reputation as a recruiter. Candidates who are frustrated with the hiring process are likely to share their experiences with others. This can lead to negative word-of-mouth and make it more difficult for you to attract top talent in the future.

Put yourself in a job seeker’s shoes. Most people find it difficult to keep up with their inbox during regular weeks, let alone when they're job searching. Job seekers are bombarded with hundreds of messages (initial outreach, scheduling links, calendar invites, assessments, take- homes, etc.) from prospective employers in a matter of weeks. 

By obscuring the sender of those emails behind a mysterious third-party domain, companies make it harder for job seekers to track conversations and stay on top of their search. Automating an interaction that should be personal also reinforces the power imbalance between employers and candidates.

What to use instead of a no-reply email?

Thankfully, most ATSs and other recruiting platforms let you send email messages from your company's domain; this is your best option. If you can manage it, try to use a real human’s email address (e.g. so candidates know exactly with whom they’re interacting. If that isn’t realistic for your company, then the next best option is to use a group email address (e.g.

Using real, recognizable addresses allows candidates to ask questions and gives you an opportunity to engage in a conversation with them. It also shows that you're interested in building a relationship with potential candidates and creating a positive experience for them.

Make sure to monitor the inbox of the email address you provide and respond promptly to any inquiries. This demonstrates that you're attentive and committed to finding the best candidate for the job.

When you start getting responses, look for patterns in the replies. If several candidates have similar questions, it is likely many other people who aren’t asking have the same issue.

Creating and sharing content based on frequently asked questions can help you minimize email replies while improving the candidate experience.

For example you could:

  • Add often asked questions to your careers page
  • Write a blog post about a topic that seems to confuse candidates
  • Create a long-form resource to educate potential candidates
  • Record a candidate-focused video resource about your recruiting process

Managing an overactive inbox

We understand that death by inbound volume is a valid concern and there are steps you can take to manage an overactive inbox.

The best way to avoid being flooded with email responses is to offer information before candidates realize they need it.

For example, after candidates submit an application, direct them to an FAQ page, or include a link to your help page in your initial outreach.

When you create content around the most often asked questions, make sure to include links to those resources in your emails. By being proactive about answering candidates' questions—and linking them back to where they can find their answers—you'll reduce overall email traffic and still provide them with the information they need.

In today's competitive job market, it's more important than ever to establish strong lines of communication with potential candidates. By using an email address that candidates can reply to, you're opening up a dialogue that can lead to a deeper understanding of their needs and qualifications. This can help you make better hiring decisions and create a positive experience for candidates.

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