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It’s a well known phenomena that everyone wants to share their opinion. And while some of it may be helpful (some more so than others) most of it is just that, an opinion.

Part of being a recruiter means you have to connect with new people on a regular basis. But what’s the most successful way to go about it?




Even the “experts” seem to have different opinions on the matter. So, I decided to go ahead and find out myself.

For the past 3 months I’ve tracked my connection request on LinkedIn, trying 3 different approaches and 3,820,475,061 requests later, here are the results:

  1. The Hook – request with a personalised note mentioning something about them or their profile.
  2. Open To work – request with a note stating why I’m reaching out.
  3. No note.

Example of a hook

There are some pro’s and con’s to all 3. “The Hook” shows you put in an effort to reach out to your candidate and that they’re not just one of many. However… it can be a bit time consuming.

OTW” gets to the point and whoever accepts is probably interested to continue the conversation and see what you’ve got to offer. On the other hand, you’re playing with open cards which makes it 50-50.

Sending a request with no note at all gives you the opportunity to take the conversation any which way you like. But why would someone accept your request without reason?


The results

To keep it fair and for the most accurate results I sent out an almost even amount of requests for all 3 options.

  • The Hook” came in first place with 48% of the request accepted. The beauty of “The Hook” is that it get’s people’s attention and gets them talking. As I said before, it shows you put in an effort and people appreciate that!
  • OTW” came in last with almost 10% less than “The Hook”at 39%.
  • And sending no note at all came in second place with 46% of requests accepted.



So, making a decision based solely on the statistics “The Hook” has the best results. Taking into consideration time and effort, I’d have to give the advantage to connect

ing without a note, seeing that statistically there isn’t that much of a difference. However, if you’re the kind that just doesn’t like to beat around the bush – “OTW” still had some pretty nice results.


“Does quantity equal quality?”


BUT… and this is a big but… does quantity = quality?

What happened after the connect was accepted? Did we start a conversation or did it come to a halt after accepting? Would they remember me as a valuable connect or am I “just another person” in their network?

Looking at the bigger picture with the option of building future relationships, “The Hook” is definitely the way to go. It got my conversations started without having to send a follow-up note, I got great feedback, and even when they weren’t interested I still got a response.

And of course there are more options than just these 3, and yes there are different statistics that show otherwise. But it’s definitely worth a try!


Renee van den Heuvel

Helping people is something I enjoy and being able to combine this with my work is why I enjoy recruiting. Although recruiters have a bad reputation, for me recruiting is about being able to find someone a job they love and allows them to grow, as well as helping companies find the right person to help them move forward and grow stronger.

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Digital Recruiting - How to Connect

2 min