Every business owner and HR expert in the staffing industry knows that employees are the greatest long term asset in any organization. Therefore, the recruitment process is an essential assignment that builds a platform capable of making or breaking the entire company.
The staffing industry is continually evolving, and recruiters must make sure to embrace the latest and greatest technologies to ensure they attract the best talent from the employment market during the selection process. Texting candidates through SMS job search alerts and correspondence is one of the most important features for staffing agencies.
If your company or staffing agency plans to start texting job candidates, you must prepare for the job search selection process by adopting the right practices for your hiring needs.
Why Texting Staffing Candidates Works
Texting candidates with automated SMS alerts may not stand out as the best option for communicating with prospective employees. After all, it can seem a little impersonal. In reality, though, recruiters texting candidates with bulk messages and automatic replies is one of the biggest developments to hit the world of recruitment and staffing agencies in the last 20 years.
The statistics don't lie, and the following stats underline some of the reasons why leaving a text message for candidates can deliver stunning results for your hiring needs:
- Over 96% of Americans now own a cell phone of some kind.
- Millennials spend 3x more time texting on their mobile phones than emailing or calling each other.
- SMS messages have an open rate of 98% or higher.
- The average response time to text messages is just 90 seconds.
- Over three in four people already use SMS for business interactions.
Text messaging candidates is, therefore, one of the most convenient long term solutions at any recruiter's disposal. It's less invasive, more convenient, and less intimidating for the recipient, which subsequently leads to increased response rates while simultaneously setting a better atmosphere for hiring decisions.
For staffing agencies working on behalf of many businesses, automated SMS communications additionally rule out inaccuracies and encourage quicker speeds during the selection process. The benefits additionally extend to personalization opportunities, as well as the chance to gain valuable feedback while making hiring decisions. A positive feedback loop is essential for development and success.
The Best Practices for Text Messaging Staffing Candidates
Virtually all staffing agencies can benefit from incorporating SMS interactions into their strategies, not least because it is a very flexible arena. Nonetheless, its potential can only be unlocked when the right protocols are in place. Here are the key steps that will lead staffing firms to greater response rates while, crucially, identifying the best talent far sooner.
#1 Making Initial Contact with Candidate
It is highly unprofessional to start texting candidates about job openings or with an interview question without first gaining permission. Therefore, staffing firms need to make sure that you ask for their preferred method of interaction during the first interaction, whether that be in-person, text, or via email, following their confirmation of interest in the role.
The harsh reality is that an unsolicited text will leave a bad impression. The negative response from candidates will consequently harm your chances of finding the best talent on behalf of the client's business, resulting in lost contracts for your staffing agency.
#2 Knowing What to Send
Firstly, you must remember that candidates have signed up to hear about the job roles and the status of their applications - nothing else. Therefore, a staffing partner must make sure to avoid the temptation to send unsolicited marketing communications on behalf of your staffing agency or the client's brand.
Perhaps more importantly, you must remember to keep information brief, including any interview question. Each text should only cover one main issue (confirmation of application, interview appointment time, etc.), especially if you require a reply from the recipient. Otherwise, ambiguity and confusion will cause issues.
#3 Scheduling Automated SMS Messages
Before composing a message for candidates, you must think about the timing. Just because you can send information directly to their pocket on a 24/7 basis, causing a disruption late at night will damage the client relationships.
It is important to keep correspondence to business hours unless there is an urgent matter. With the right platform, you can schedule the timing without actively sending messages at the desired time. Spamming clients with unnecessary messages is another considerable issue to avoid.
#4 Tone is Important When Texting Candidates
The tone of any message should be kept professional. Therefore, you should avoid the use of emojis, abbreviations, and other text elements that could harm the impression you are trying to create.
It may be advisable to avoid capitalizing words and sentences too. The use of texting in all caps to grab attention, to convey importance or urgency, or emphasize a thought is a common stylistic usage in the internet age. However, it can also convey an aggressive tone.
When sending out bulk SMS messages to candidates, you should spellcheck everything before sending too. Make sure all words are spelled correctly so that you don't confuse what you're trying to say. Otherwise, it can leave a bad impression, while some talent may doubt whether the message is genuinely from the brand your agency represents. If you frequently send similar messages, think about using templates to minimize errors
#5 Make It Personal, But Secure
In reality, it's likely that most messages will be mass sent. Nevertheless, a little personalization goes a long way to creating a stronger bond with the talent. When recruiters text candidates during the hiring process and on behalf of a company, using their name is essential.
Other personalized attributes of the text could be appointment times or dates. Of course, the bulk of an SMS will follow a template for all recipients.
Crucially, you must avoid sending links to personal info because text messages are not encrypted. It is a matter of data protection. Also, texting is less private than talking on the telephone or in person. Words live on forever, so if you have something particularly personal to talk about, it's probably best done on another channel.
#6 Use A Text Template
One of the key benefit that a staffing company can gain from texting candidates or potential job seekers is that you can “Text Em All” at once. Templates are a handy text feature that helps a staffing firm save time and maximize your messaging impact with personalized fields and many other exciting features.
Templates help a staffing firm standardize their messaging. They eliminate the errors and miscommunication that comes from a cut/paste workflow, allowing you to reuse stored text messages again and again.
When you create a template, you are essentially creating a saved message that you can reuse later without having to retype, copy, or paste the message over again.
A template may look something like this:
Dear [CANDIDATE'S NAME], this is [RECRUITER NAME] from [COMPANY NAME]. I am messaging with regards to your application for [POSITION]. I'd love to invite you to an in-person interview; what is your availability on [DD\MM]?
Creating templates for each stage of the recruiting process (after the first interaction, job description, interview scheduling, hiring decision, etc.) will allow you to unlock the full potential of SMS interactions.
Finding Success With Text-Em-All's Service
Finally, every staffing agency, staffing company, or staffing firm must pay extra attention to the company they partner with. Otherwise, some of the key features may not be possible.
Text-Em-All delivers a user-friendly platform that allows you to easily manage high volumes across multiple groups while also providing personalized attributes for job seekers. Using an automated messaging service like Text-Em-All helps minimize the work when it comes to filling jobs. You tell us who to contact and when, and we will send out your automated text message. Beyond that, you're in complete control of the settings of your text messages. That includes personalization fields, message responses, and more.
Better still, we offer all of this at an exceptional price.
Skip the job boards and take the first steps to gain a comprehensive service for texting job candidates and improving the hiring process by starting your free trial today!
Kaitlyn Orred is the Digital Marketing Specialist at Text-Em-All, a mass texting and automated calling company that provides solutions for small and medium sized businesses, large corporations, membership organizations, community groups, and individuals. She has 7 years of experience in content creation, and you can catch her practicing yoga, curling up with a great book, or hiking with her Mini Aussie, Koda.