HTML vs. Plain Text Emails in Recruitment

The debate between HTML and plain text emails has been ongoing for years, especially among sales professionals, communication strategists, and email marketers. Whilst each format has its merits, the choice between them can significantly impact your recruitment process. This article delves into the differences between HTML and plain text emails, their benefits in recruitment, and how to effectively use them.

Understanding the Formats:

Plain Text Emails: As the name suggests, these are simple text emails without any formatting. Typically they don’t support images or any design elements. They are universally accepted by all email clients, ensuring that every recipient can view them without issues.

HTML Emails: These are the Cristiano Ronaldo of email formats – powerful, flexible, and stylish. HTML emails can be highly stylised, supporting images, graphics, hyperlinks, and even animated GIFs. They offer a richer visual experience but might not be supported by all email clients.

Benefits of using Email Marketing in Recruitment:

Accessibility: Plain text emails are universally accepted. This ensures that every potential candidate, regardless of their email client, can read your recruitment message.

Cross-device Compatibility: With the rise of smart assistants and wearables, some devices might not support HTML. Plain text emails are more compatible across various devices.

Perception and Engagement: A simple plain text email can convey authenticity and closeness, making potential candidates feel like they’re communicating with a real person. This can enhance engagement rates.

Visual Impact with HTML: If you’re showcasing your company culture, office environment, or team events, HTML emails with their rich visual capabilities can make a lasting impression on potential candidates.

When to Use Which Format in your Recruitment Process:

Initial Outreach: When reaching out to potential candidates for the first time, a plain text email can seem more personal and genuine.

Job Descriptions: If you’re sending detailed job descriptions with bullet points, headers, and links to application forms, an HTML email might be more suitable.

Interview Invitations: A simple plain text email can be effective for interview invitations, ensuring the candidate receives and reads the crucial details.

Company Newsletters: If you’re sending newsletters to potential candidates showcasing company achievements, events, or updates, an HTML format with images and design elements can be more engaging.

Top Tips for Recruitment Emails:

For Plain Text: Use capitalisation, symbols, and white space to create a visual hierarchy. Ensure your message is clear and concise.

For HTML: Ensure your emails are mobile-responsive. Use engaging visuals but don’t overdo it. Always include a plain text version to cater to all recipients.

Both HTML and plain text emails have their place in the recruitment process. The key is to understand your audience and the purpose of your email. By leveraging the strengths of each format, you can enhance your recruitment strategy and connect more effectively with potential candidates.