Have you ever considered texting a candidate? Though it’s new to recruitment, texting is steadily gaining in popularity, and for good reason. Texting isn’t just trendy, it’s practical, offering tangible solutions to common problems in the hiring process. Here’s 5 ways texting can be applied to your recruitment strategy and give you a competitive edge as an employer.
1. Improve Candidate Engagement
With texting becoming more and more of a daily social staple, is it any surprise that its use in recruitment would improve engagement? Text is actually the preferred method of communication for job seekers, over both phone and email. Candidates are also more likely to respond immediately to a text than an email, making for a fast and efficient method of contact.
The improved speed of contact is something recruiters are already taking advantage of. Candidate engagement platform Jobalign has recently rolled out their own texting interface, intended to prevent abandonment from candidates that arises from the frustration of long application processes and lags in correspondence with potential employers. They may be onto to something—texting could be the shortcut you need to streamline the hiring process and let you snag a promising candidate before your competitor.
2. Attract Millennial Candidates
What’s true for texting the masses is even more true amongst the Millennials. 53% of this generation says that they prefer texting as their main form of communication. They also have an affinity for reminders and alerts issued by text, with 75% of Millennials finding them helpful. This is due to the non-invasive nature of texting; after all, it’s discreet, short and sweet, and is quick and easy for the recipient to respond to over the course of their daily activities.
You would think that companies would be chomping at the bit to make texting part of their recruitment strategy (perhaps some are), but few have implemented it thus far. Even though texting has great appeal to the generation, only 30% of Millennials report receiving texts from the companies they communicate with. Introducing texting as part of your recruitment process could be what makes you stand out as an employer.
3. Answer Candidate FAQs
What are you to do with all this positivity surrounding texting? One application is to use it as a way to field questions from candidates. By opening up a dialogue by text, you can create an environment where candidates feel free to ask a question whenever it happens to arise during the hiring process, instead of feeling the pressure to get all their questions in at once during the interview.
The candidate can then maintain contact and engagement throughout the process, from the application stage up until the final hiring decision. You can even further streamline your process by utilizing a chatbot to answer common questions, taking some of the work out of human hands.
4. Keep in Touch with New Connections
If you’ve been frustrated with the response rates from potential candidates after a recruiting event, texting could be the answer you’re looking for. Heather Thomas, Recruitment Manager at Sodexo noticed that when she started texting candidates, she saw response rates in the 50-60% range. The response was so strong it prompted the creation of TextRecruit, a platform for candidate engagement that uses a variety of text-based messaging technology to aid with recruitment.
With such a personal method of communication like texting, it’s important to ask permission before making an appearance on someone’s mobile device unannounced. For your next event, consider encouraging your new contacts to sign up for text communications in order to stay informed about new job openings and learn more about the company.
5. Conduct Your Interviews Faster
Some companies have gone the extra yard and started performing interviews by text. While it may seem a bit avant garde, conducting text interviews has a long list of practical benefits for both interviewer and interviewee. Text interviews are a great way to make initial screenings of candidates without the huge time commitment of a face-to-face appointment. This makes them easy to schedule and gets your hiring process underway faster.
Interviewees benefit from text interviews as well. It reduces the opportunity for bias, as no one can judge based on appearance or accent. In addition, the discreet nature of texting makes for a much less stressful interview process for candidates who would like to avoid squeezing one into their workday or being overheard by their coworkers on a phone call.
A Word of Caution
Though text messaging has a lot to offer to your hiring process, there are some drawbacks to keep in mind. Texting by no means should be your be-all end-all method of communication, and you want to keep the content appropriate to the medium.
Make sure messages are concise and to the point, without unprofessional slang or emojis. Long-form discussions on the job description, salary negotiations, or announcements of your hiring decision should take place in an email, on a phone call, or in person. However, if you execute your communications correctly, texting could be the best new tool in your recruitment toolbox.