Back to blog

How to reach out to recently laid off people

Joey Britton
Senior Associate at Findem
October 12, 2022

Everyone knows that the landscape of Talent Acquisition is turbulent. Tech giants have announced hiring freezes, we see layoffs, and quitting is still at an all time high. It’s all over the news. Recruiters may feel uneasy about what’s to come.

While the weather on the horizon is questionable, now is the time to reach out to those who may have been affected by layoffs. As the employment wind blows, employees are often caught in the storm. As a result, when a company makes mass layoffs, there’s a critical opportunity to make their loss your gain. Here’s how to find talent from big tech’s layoffs and then add outreach to them as one of your top recruiting strategies.

Why reach out to people who were laid off

Even if these changes usher in a dark winter for recruiting, strategic outreach right now could bring in top talent to help you weather the storm and rebuild in its wake. Here are 3 reasons why the spotlight is on recruiters.

Your A-team is ready for action

In the action sitcom the “A-Team,” a talented group of individuals have been unjustly cast aside. Each person has a specialty and when called up to action, they fight together and advocate for principles of truth and justice. How does this apply to today’s recruiting atmosphere? Not every candidate will have a seamless exit from a previous employer. 

There are plenty of people in the “open to work” category who may be capable of extraordinary things, and are just victims of circumstance. To find them, you may need to go beyond a resume keyword search and source for attributes like “inspires loyalty” or “team player”. You could be just a few hires away from your own A-team.

Elevate your employee brand 

Companies making headlines for hiring freezes and layoffs took a branding hit. But the opposite can be true as well. Hiring recently laid off employees can show your brand as empathetic and responsive.  

In this world, your name is everything. And so is your brand. What are the immediate associations when somebody speaks your company's name aloud? What are the connotations? Are they positive or negative? Companies constantly seek to create atmospheres of inclusion and belonging, and this is a critical time to create a strong employer brand by putting those words into action. 

Timing is everything

Reach out now. The clock is ticking. Every moment that passes is a moment that a candidate may be on the search. Keep in mind that lots of recruiters are mining the layoff company lists to find talent. You’ll want to make people feel valued and let them know that you have been searching for them. Using attribute search and sourcing can help you hone in on people who have particular skills and life experiences that make your offer right for them and will bring value to your company. Why wait?

How to reach out with compassion 

Before you start your outreach, check your communications to make sure they address these concerns. 

  • Use empathy: Realize that there are human beings behind every profile you reach out to. Go beyond the resume. You are reaching out to them at a critical time. Recognize that wounds may still be fresh so be patient. Don’t be overly presumptuous. Instead, be delicate and understanding in your outreach.
  • Be transparent: Don’t rub salt in the wound through ambiguity and stringing people along. Be clear about whether positions are remote, hybrid or fully onsight. It will help you make sure they can commit to you and show that you are committed to them. Be direct in your conversations and illuminate candidates to the expectations of the interview process. The situation is still sensitive, so treat it as such. 
  • Be consistent: Don’t just send a single email or LinkedIn message. That might feel disingenuous. Follow up with 2 or 3 more messages. It’s easy to get drowned out by the noise of a candidate's inbox. Showing consistency is a key way to communicate to candidates that you are interested in them.

Email templates for reaching out to laid off workers 

Our research shows that it takes 3-4 emails before the best candidates begin to reply. We’ve put together this multi-touch email nurture to get you started! 

Email 1: The intro

Subject: Hi [NAME]! Interested in a new opportunity? 


Today’s job market can seem turbulent, and I certainly can empathize. I wanted to share that based on your experience, you would be a great fit for our [JOB TITLE]

If you’re open to it, I would like to learn more about you and your background and share a bit about our team and organization as well. Would you have 15 minutes to meet? We make it easy, click here to find a time [LINK find a time] that works for your schedule!  

I can’t wait to meet you!



Email 2: Request 15 minutes of time 

Subject: Hi [NAME]. At [COMPANY] we know how turbulent the job market can be

Given the recent circumstances, I thought it may be an auspicious time to reach out about [COMPANY]. We understand that today’s job market is difficult to navigate. That’s why we want to make it just a little bit easier. Based on your impressive experience, I feel you would be a great fit for [JOB TITLE] at [COMPANY]

Can you spare 15 minutes to learn more about this opportunity? Select some time on on my calendar here*.



Email 3: Highlight your company culture

Subject: Hi [NAME]! Looking for new opportunities? Look no further.

The world is ever-changing. As you look to your next horizon, I suggest that you look at [COMPANY]. With a company culture based on collaboration, we believe that you should be given the tools to not only excel in your role, but enjoy it as well. 

Based on your impressive background, we feel you would be a great fit for [JOB TITLE]

Would 15 minutes make sense to learn more about this opportunity? Select some time on on my calendar here*.



Email 4: Request referral

Subject: Let’s stay connected

Hey [NAME], 

Just wanted to let you know that I hope you find the perfect match for your next career step. If you know a colleague who is looking for a role as a [JOB TITLE]. Please share my information with them at [COMPANY]. 

I hope you will connect with me on LinkedIn [LINK to your profile] and let me know if I can be of help with my network!

Take care, 


A rise in tide lifts all ships

As layoffs rise in frequency, we are all looking for ways to weather the storm. Talent teams who are hiring can see this time of change as an opportunity to reach out and bring on critical talent who may otherwise go unnoticed. Consider this a chance to give someone a fresh start. And remember, a rise in tide lifts all ships.