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    Text Recruiting: What You Need to Know

    If you’ve worked in recruiting and staffing for a while, you already know how great it feels when you find the right candidate. Unfortunately, when you use traditional recruitment methods, finding that one individual who seems perfect for a position can take a lot of time, effort, and resources.

    On average, it costs a business over $4,000 to hire a new employee. Part of that cost is due to recruitment efforts, including job postings on various websites. While that can be an important tool to use, you could be honing in your efforts and directly contacting your best candidates by using text messaging.

    If you work in recruitment, the process of finding someone for a job is often a lengthy one. But, using a text recruiting tool, such as a mass messaging service, can make it easier as long as you’re doing it the right way.

    Let’s cover a few of the pros and cons of text message recruiting, so you can determine if it’s the right fit for your talent acquisition efforts.

    What Are the Advantages of Text Messaging for Recruitment?

    You undoubtedly have a variety of channels you already use for the recruiting process, including email, social media, and the good, old-fashioned phone call. So, why bother with texting? Is it more beneficial or easy to use? Mass texts can help to make recruiters’ lives easier with the following advantages: 

    There is a Higher Response Rate

    A whopping 85% of Americans own a smartphone, and the average person spends over 5 hours on their phone each day. So, when you send a text message, it’s more likely to get viewed quickly than an email or a post on social media.

    Text messages almost always get read. In fact, studies have shown that over 98% of messages are read, which is an extraordinarily higher open and click-through rate than the majority of emails. Even if your text message doesn’t get a response, you can rest assured that most people you send it to will, at the very least, see it.

    SMS is also great for ensuring job seekers get the information they need. You won’t have to worry about it going to a ‘SPAM’ folder and getting lost. Instead, the information is being sent, almost literally, to the palm of a person’s hand.

    It is a Faster Process

    hero-img-staffingAs a recruiter, you probably already understand how long and tedious the hiring process can be. Texting tends to speed up the process because people are more willing to reply to text messages right away. One of the great things about Text-Em-All’s texting service is that once someone responds to your message, it turns into a private conversation.

    As a result, you can easily start to communicate one-on-one with the people who are interested in your position and streamline the process.

    It is a Cost-Effective Option

    We stated earlier how expensive it can be to hire a new employee, and how simply posting a job can cost both time and money.

    Our credits plan is just 5-9 cents per message, and our monthly subscriptions allow you to send as many messages as you would like. If you break down the cost, as well as the ROI, SMS recruiting is actually an incredibly cost-effective method that can find the right people faster.

    Texting Feels More Personal

    Now more than ever, people are craving connections and relationships with businesses. While this is true when it comes to marketing strategies for businesses to consumers, it’s also true when it comes to recruitment efforts.

    SMS recruitment both humanizes and personalizes the candidate outreach process. Think about the text messages you receive on a daily basis. Chances are, most of them are from family and friends. Because of that, texting is often viewed as a personal form of communication, and you can capitalize on that.

    Texting allows you to relay a lot of information in a short format. So, weaving a personal-yet-professional tone into your messages can help you effectively engage candidates. You can even use customized templates to let the recipient know who you are from the very start, so they feel a sense of comfort in both reading and replying.

    What Are the Disadvantages?

    Even though there are many advantages to texting for recruiting, no platform is perfect. Some people believe that text messaging is too impersonal for candidate outreach, and some even feel that it can be too invasive.

    We’re not including those issues in this “con” list, because they are problems that can be easily solved if you follow certain guidelines and best practices for your messaging efforts. You control how and when you send your messages.

    But, there are some potential drawbacks that should be considered if you’re thinking about using text message recruiting.

    Choosing The Wrong Tool May Limit Your Success

    best-resultsText-Em-All has been partnering with staffing firms since we opened for business in 2005. In addition, our founders worked with staffing companies long before that. We like to think we have a pretty good understanding when it comes to the needs of staffing firms. Over 95% of reviewers on G2 Crowd ranked us as the #1 tool for achieving the best results. This is exactly why choosing the wrong tool can limit your success.

    Prioritizing your own needs is the first step to making sure you identify the right solution for your firm. Here are a few questions you need to ask.

    • Do you need to contact many candidates at once, or just individuals?
    • How many of your candidates prefer communication by phone?
    • How fast do you need to get your messages out?
    • Do you need customization? If so, build it with a partner - not a salesperson.

    Your Messages Could Be Misinterpreted

    One of the great things about texting is that it allows you to be concise with your messages. But, if you have a lot of information to give and only a limited number of characters to give it, some messages might be confusing.

    Writing effective text messages takes skill. It’s important to make sure you’re sending the right information with the right tone every time you push a message out to potential recruits.

    In addition to potential misinterpretations, not everything can (or should) be sent via text. There are some things that will always need to be communicated over other channels, like email. For example, you should never share confidential information in a text. If you start a one-on-one conversation with someone via text messaging, you both will likely benefit from eventually switching over to an email or phone conversation, so you can talk more freely without character or tone limitations.

    You Can Get Overwhelmed With Replies

    Another advantage of texting is that it is a much faster process. But, if you’re sending out a message to 100+ people about a job, you could, potentially, get 100+ replies. While that might seem like a good thing, it’s important to consider that people view text communication differently than email.

    Simply put, most people expect a reply to a text message quickly. An email can easily sit in your inbox for a day or two before you have to worry about a reply. But, because people are so used to text message conversations and the quick back-and-forth that goes with them, they may expect a reply from you right away.

    When you have multiple people to respond to, that can easily get overwhelming and even stressful. But, not responding right away could make your recruits frustrated, or give them the idea that you aren’t as professional as you seem.

    There is a Learning Curve

    When you work in talent acquisition, you have to be able to utilize different tools and resources for recruitment. Using a text messaging platform like Text-Em-All is another tool you’ll have to learn. While it’s easy-to-use, it’s important to be in the right kind of growth mindset before you introduce another recruitment tool.

    It’s not just about learning how to use a different kind of software. It’s about being able to manage it. Remember, you could be inundated with replies after sending out a message about a job. It’s important that you’re willing to dedicate yourself to replying and putting in all of the extra work that is associated with a new tool.

    If you don’t have an open mind about using a new product, you likely aren’t going to take advantage of its features, and you could be missing out on some wonderful potential recruits.

    Best Practices for Text Recruiting

    While text recruiting is an effective tool for a variety of reasons, if used improperly, it can result in a blocked text number, or even a complete loss of legitimacy for your company. 

    #1 Avoid Blasting Spam

    Unfortunately, as text recruiting becomes more popular, the tool is often being abused to spam entire contact lists with job postings. Quite frankly, this practice is predatory, annoying, and detrimental to your business.

    In efforts to crack down on spam, carriers are making it extraordinarily easy for contacts to report spam. And if enough job seekers report you as spam, your number will be blocked. Although it is possible to unblock your number, it’s a lengthy process and texting services such as Text-Em-All cannot help you because the FTC has marked the number as spam.

    It’s possible to acquire another text number, but if you begin sending out the same messages to large groups of people, you will be marked as spam and blocked again.

    #2 Keep Your Database Clean and Target Your Contacts

    That being said, it’s extremely important to clean your contact lists and target your recipients before sending out a variety of random job postings.

    To clean your contact list, only use contacts who have responded and/or signed up in the last year or two. This will limit your talent pool to those who are still interested in receiving messages about new job postings. 

    If you don't want to clear your contact list that drastically, you can use our Text Surveys feature to easily clean your list.

    Examples of yes or no questions you can ask to clean your contact list:

    • Is {First Name, Last Name} still at this number?
    • Would you still like to receive messages from {Company Name}? 
    • Are you still looking for an open position? 

    To target your contact list, filter your candidates by qualifications, and only send job listings to qualified candidates. 

    #3 Include Opt-Out Instructions in Every Mass Message

    While including opt out messaging on every mass message may seem like overkill, this practice could save your number from getting blocked. Including opt out instructions on each message increases the probability of your contact opting out instead of reporting your number as spam.

    For convenience, you can make your opt out instructions a reusable template. After creating the opt out template, you can easily attach this to each mass message you send.

    Text-Em-All's system automatically detects inbound messages which clearly show an intent to opt out, and we opt these contacts out for you. In addition, contacts can opt out by using the keywords: STOP, END, CANCEL or UNSUBSCRIBE.


    Is Text Recruiting Better Than Other Strategies?

    There are certain recruitment tools that will always be necessary. You shouldn’t expect SMS to take those tools away or replace them. Rather, it should be used to enhance the recruitment process by getting information to people quickly and starting conversations. 

    If you do a lot of mass recruiting, you will still want to use platforms such as:

    • Email
    • Job posting boards
    • Social media
    • Job fairs

    But mass texting can be a part of that process. In many cases, you can view it as a sort of “teaser” for a job posting, so you can see who is really interested before you end up investing so much time and money promoting the job in other ways.

    With Text-Em-All’s mass texting software, you can do so much more than just recruit potential new hires. You can use it in other ways to make your daily HR tasks easier, including requesting missing time sheets from employees, confirming schedules, or delivering important announcements.

    Adding a personal touch to the way you mass recruit potential employees can help you to tap into a new audience. Don’t be afraid to be more relaxed and communicative in the way you recruit. You might find that people are more responsive and comfortable when they get back to you. As a result, you can start positive, effective conversations with interested candidates, until you find the perfect person for the job without all of the traditional hassle and expense.

    How To Use Text Recruiting To Hire

    Most people today are on their phones for much of the day. Some estimates put the number of times a phone is used at almost 50 a day, and the number jumps to almost 90 for younger users such as Gen Zers. But what was once thought of as a no-go for businesses — reaching people on their personal cell phones — is now becoming commonplace because it is, after all, where everyone is spending their time.

    In fact, savvy marketers have been opening the floodgates to text-based communication for years, and many consumers today would actually prefer to be contacted or to interact with a company via text rather than a cumbersome phone call that requires two people to be available at the same time. That's great because text recruiting is a lot easier to scale than making all those phone calls or reaching out on social media where people may not even look at their messages.

    Engagement rates for text recruiting can also be stunningly high as texts have a 98 percent read rate with nine out of 10 being looked at within seconds of receipt. Some companies have also reported up to a 50 percent reply rate with text recruiting, making it one of the most successful recruiting methods available to companies today.

    Here are some tips to help ensure that your text recruiting is successful.

    Leverage Text Recruiting for Former Applicants

    Most companies likely have a long list of former job applicants that may not have been right for the position at the time. With any luck, you could have hundreds or thousands of applicants that have all picked up skills and buffed their work history in the meantime. By reaching back out with text recruiting, you'll be able to bring them back into the fold and have a quick conversation to see if they would be a good fit for your needs today. 

    However, it’s important to screen the interest of these former job applicants with a survey, or only reach out to former applicants that you have been in contact with recently. In addition, you should make sure the candidates' qualifications match those of the job listing.

    Use Text Recruiting To Reach Out To Former Employees

    For anyone that has since moved on from your company, text recruiting software can easily enable you to get back in touch and see if they would be interested in a new opportunity. You already employed them before, so it's easy to see how they could be a great fit, and many will jump at the chance to catch up and talk shop with their former coworkers or superiors. 

    If you go this route, it’s imperative that you include opt out instructions and state your name in your initial message, or else these former employees could report you as spam.

    Build New Relationships With Text Recruiting

    Before reaching out or jumping on the phone, text recruiting enables you to build relationships with newer candidates so that you can get to know them better. This can help save time when it comes to the interview process, and it also gives you an excuse to touch base if you're looking to bring more people in during that next recruiting event or to share stories of your happy employees, increasing interest in and helping motivate candidates to look at your company in a new light.

    Don't Try To Do It Manually

    While it's physically possible to engage in text recruiting from a business or personal cell phone, you'll quickly become overwhelmed with all those replies and discussions. If you're doing it right, you'll want to put the feelers out to dozens, if not hundreds or thousands, and it's just not possible to manage all that on your own. You'll need a bonafide text recruitment platform to pick up the slack, and the best part is that you'll have a convenient dashboard to manage messages and replies.

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    Ron Kinkade

    Ron Kinkade is the Head of Marketing at Text-Em-All, an automated calling and mass texting company that provides solutions for small and medium-sized businesses, large corporations, membership organizations, community groups, and individuals. Ron has more than 20 years of experience with a proven track record of success. Ron enjoys bass fishing, beach vacations, and spending time with family.

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