5 key elements of successful text recruiting

Jun 25, 2019 - Cat DiStasio

You’ve probably heard that over 75% of Americans have a smartphone. Did you also know that texting is the most widely and frequently used app? Because texting is already an integral part of everyone’s day, text recruiting can be a valuable addition to your conversational recruiting strategy. Texting can improve the candidate experience, strengthen your employer brand, and even save you time and money by reducing time to hire.

But in order to fully enjoy these benefits, you have to use text recruiting wisely. We did the research and identified five reasons to add text messages to your talent acquisition efforts. In this post, we’ll walk you through the best practices of successful text recruiting so your company can learn how to communicate with candidates more effectively and speed up the recruiting process. 

Brand voice

As with all your candidate communication, your text recruiting needs to reflect your brand voice. When we wrote about best practices for recruiting chatbots, we explained the importance of branding your chatbot to reflect your company’s personality. Because text messages lack the visual elements of a chatbot or website, it’s even more important to nail the brand voice. Candidates want authenticity from prospective employers, and a clear and consistent brand voice across all channels is one way to deliver on that demand. 

Using a clearly defined and represented brand voice in your text recruiting can also help improve the candidate experience and strengthen your employer brand. Most job seekers (over 60%) talk about their recruiting experiences with friends and family, and a whopping 83% are likely to research company reviews and ratings before deciding where to apply for a job. So, approaching text recruiting in a way that supports your employer brand can help attract and retain attention from your ideal candidates. And about that candidate experience? A satisfying experience can improve the chances a candidate will accept a job offer by as much as 38%

And one last quick tip. When texting, remember that you are talking to another person. And you are a person. So even though you are in a professional setting, try to avoid sounding rigid or robotic. Candidates don’t appreciate that tone. Instead, be professional and write text messages that sound authentic. It’s easier than you think. My advice: pretend you are at a networking event chatting with professionals you’ve just met while enjoying apps and drinks, and use the same conversational tone in your text recruiting.

Personalization

Today’s candidates want more information and a personal touch - and, given the tight talent market, employers had better deliver. According to Careerbuilder, job seekers reported that being in the dark about their standing is their top frustration (48%) and, in a separate survey, 43% of job seekers say they have higher expectations for how employers treat them as a candidate due to the current labor market. A thoughtful approach to text recruiting that keeps candidates up-to-date on their status is a great way to fill in the gaps and build trust to keep them interested and engaged in the recruiting process.

Still not convinced you should be personalizing your messages? Check out this video discussion with two TA leaders at Amazon Web Services about whether it is better to personalize your message or send out a blast to all your candidates at once.

Length of messages

The timing and content of your text messages is important to candidates but don’t overlook message length. Your candidates are busy people, just like the rest of us, and they don’t have the time or inclination to read a novel’s worth of information in a text message. Keep text messages on the shorter side by focusing on one core point and including only pertinent information. If you need to share more detailed information with a candidate, consider using text messaging as a heads-up that a longer email is on its way or simply to invite the candidate to call you to follow up. 

Timing

When you send a text message to a candidate could matter almost as much as what you send. In a survey by SoftwareAdvice.com, job seekers said the biggest texting turn-off was receiving messages during non-business hours (14%). That’s important feedback, but the right time to text a candidate will vary depending on your industry and target talent audience. Nurses and other healthcare professionals who frequently work outside regular business hours, for example, might welcome an evening or weekend text message. Other candidates may only be able to read and respond to messages after hours, if they are job hunting while currently employed. Your responsibility as a recruiter is to understand your audience’s needs and preferences and factor them in as you plan your communications. Sending text messages to candidates at the wrong time could alienate talent that you’d rather keep in your pipeline.

Relevance

When writing and sending text messages to candidates, it’s crucial to make sure those messages are relevant to the stage of the recruiting funnel they are currently in. It wouldn’t make any sense to send new job alerts to a candidate who has just received an offer, just as it wouldn’t be logical to share onboarding instructions with a job seeker who has just completed an initial phone screening. Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes and think about the questions they might have at each stage of the recruiting process. Create text messages that communicate the information they need and want the most. Being proactive and considerate throughout your conversational recruiting efforts will show candidates that you care, and make them more likely to accept an offer.

Text recruiting to the rescue

As the tight labor market increases competition in almost every industry, recruiters have to find new ways to attract top talent, build relationships, and keep conversations going with viable candidates. By following these best practices, you can maximize the benefits of text recruiting and take full advantage of the most widely used form of communication in America. 

Now that you know the key elements of successful text recruiting, learn five ways to use text recruiting to continue conversations with candidates.

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