How Many Messages Should You Send to Candidates?

We've written a lot about communication. From the best time to send your messages, to the tactics to add personalization, to the perfect subject lines to use.

One thing we haven't really touched on though is communication volume.

If you want to nurture relationships and keep your pipeline engaged, you're going to have to communicate with people pretty regularly. But the question is: how much is too much?

Is there a magic number, or is it a case of "the more the merrier"? Will people unsubscribe if you contact them too often?

Actual vs. perceived volume

There's a difference between the _actual _volume of emails that you send candidates and the _perceived _volume i.e. the number of emails that someone _thinks _that they're receiving.

Intercom has developed a very clear framework to illustrate the  5 distinct factors that contribute to perceived volume illustration below, the actual number of messages that your team sends is only one piece of the puzzle. If you can find a way to get everything else right, then you can contact candidates as often as you like!

If you slip up in another area though, candidates will immediately feel like their inbox is under siege from your team. It's a delicate balance to strike.

Communication Star


Sending 4 emails a month i.e. weekly is fine. It's a regular cadence that candidates can get accustomed to and hopefully look out for.

4 messages in 2 days? Too much.

If you're sending a mix of scheduled and automated campaigns, you need to be careful to balance frequency otherwise you're going to get into trouble fast.

The best way to think about it is just to consider how many emails you'd like to receive from a company every month. It's an easy guide to the right frequency.


Are your messages tied to candidate behavior, or generic?

A simple example could be triggering a message to candidates when they view certain jobs or content on your careers page. If someone "raises their hand" and shows interest through online interactions with your company, helpful messages will never be seen as unwarranted.

We recommend you track these engaged prospects in separate talent pools so that there are no mixups when you're sending out campaigns.


This one is closely tied to behavior. Sending an email to a candidate about a job they looked at yesterday is much more impactful than waiting 2 weeks to do it, by that point, they're probably going to have forgotten ever browsing your careers site!

Similarly, if you host an event, the speed of the follow up is important. The less time it takes, the more likely candidates are to reply. The same rules apply to following up with prospects that you're trying to source. If you wait a month after the first message to follow up, it just looks like you've forgotten. Timing matters.

This is where automation is particularly important. If you're relying on your team to manually send all of these messages, things are going to slip through the gaps.


When candidates blame your company for contacting them too often, a lack of relevance is often the real culprit.

At the end of the day, it's pretty simple. Don't invite sales candidates to an event for chemical engineers. Don't send out news about your Barcelona office to people based in Austin, Texas.

Candidates should feel like every message has been thought through, and specifically intended for them. Get that right and you're well on the way to high engagement.


The actual number of messages that you should send to people depends on your business and the type of candidate that you're contacting. For example, given the general wariness that engineers have about recruiters, it's probably worth sending fewer emails to engineering candidates than other segments of your database.

Every campaign you send should have a specific goal. It could be "warming up" candidates who applied years ago in the past, it might be keeping your entire database engaged with future hiring needs in mind, maybe it's reminding people that dropped off during your application to go back and finish the process.

The number of messages you send should be tied to achieving this goal. Nothing more, nothing less. Oh, and if you're looking for a platform to help you communicate with candidates much _more effectively and run a lot of this on autopilot, is a good bet!

Communication: the complete guide

If you're looking for more advice on the best way to communicate with talent, the guide we put together on candidate engagement is going to be right up your street.

It covers every aspect of communication, from sourcing, to nurture, to re-engaging past applicants.

You can check it out here


Ben Slater

VP Marketing

Ben Slater leads marketing globally at Beamery. He typically writes about the future of work and talent transformation.

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