Text to Recruit? Maybe!

If you’re active in the Talent Acquisition field, chances are you have already read the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) article “Text Recruiting Is the Future” from this past April. The blog cites one company, CDW, that instituted text message recruiting in 2017 and has had brilliant success with it in terms of speed and efficacy. 

We wanted to dive into this topic further because in an increasingly messenger-focused world, we believe that texting might be the secret sauce many companies are missing in their hiring strategy. Here we go!

Let’s Start with Some Facts

You may be wondering why someone would consider texting as a valid recruitment tactic. Here are some statistics that we think will get your fingers and brain cells moving in that direction:

“68% of Millennials, 73% of Gen X-ers and 75% of Baby Boomers are willing to receive job opportunities via text.”ClearCompany 

“More than 78% of recruiters use text messaging to schedule interviews.” –ClearCompany 

“More than 76% of recruiters use text messaging to confirm these scheduled interviews.”ClearCompany 

“Furthermore, 80% of recruiters use text messaging to follow up with candidates after their interview.” 

“Text messages are read over 95 percent of the time, while emails only receive an average 20 percent open rate.”Recruiting.com 

“The average person checks their phone over 150 times a day and 91 percent of people report always having their phone within arms reach, meaning your message is sure to be seen.”Recruiting.com 

“A survey by Software Advice found nearly 2/3rds – 66% – of job seekers consider it acceptable to be contacted via text message by a recruiter.” Software Advice

“When comparing the two side by side, the advantage of text recruiting over email is evident. Nearly all mobile recruiting texts (98%, to be exact) have a successful open rate. In comparison, the open rate for emails is just 20%.” Jobvite 

Ways to Get Started

Are you excited by the idea of text message recruitment, but are unsure where to start? Here are some ideas! 

1. Develop Template Responses 

While some communications can be more personal, developing a standard of texting etiquette and stock responses for initial content will prevent embarrassing gaffs due to clumsy thumbs and heat of the moment reactions. We suggest creating an initial reach out text, one for setting up an interview and one for checking in with a candidate.

2. Start Small

If you want to try out text messaging, start with a beta group. Pick twenty individuals and see how they react to your new strategy. But remember! Be personal, use their names and make sure not to misspell them.

3. Choose a Delivery Method 

One of the key points in any strategy is method of delivery. You can have recruiters sends texts via their company-paid cell phones, or you can choose a text messaging service provider like TextRecruit

*TextRecruit was the company highlighted in the SHRM article and the above mention is not meant as an endorsement.

4. Talk About the "When"

If you have ever set a marketing goal, you are familiar with the concept of “the right content at the right time.” Text messaging is no exception. Make sure to pick a window of time when you feel it is appropriate to send messages. According to Ideal., “Most candidates prefer to be contacted earlier in the day: 29% prefer to be to texted between 8-10am and 29% prefer to be texted between 10am-12pm.” 

5. Add a New Field

None of this text message goodness will be possible without candidate consent. The best way to achieve this is by adding a new field on your Contact Us or Apply Now form that asks potential hires: How Would You Prefer to be Contacted? This field will automatically weed out those who prefer vocal communication or email contact, and it will allow you to build your text messaging beta list!


What do you think? Is text message recruiting in your future?

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