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10 Tips for Recruiting with Text Messages

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As candidate pools are increasingly made up of people from instant-communication generations like Generation Z and Millennials, it’s important for recruiters and employers to find ways to get their messages across quickly. Recruiting candidates via text messages makes sense for that reason, and because it’s simple and more cost-effective than other means.

When used in combination with recruiting solutions like an applicant tracking system, texting can give you a significant edge over the competition. Here are some tips for recruiting with text messages.

Introduce Yourself

It seems simple enough, but it’s all too easy to skip the introduction. Candidates get all sorts of text messages, many of them unsolicited and unwanted. In the first communication, make it clear who you are, who you work for, and why you’re reaching out.

Use a Two-Way Platform

Research indicates that 94 percent of text messages get read. Text messages are thus very likely to be viewed by the recipient, but if the recipient is redirected to a website, for example, he or she is much less likely to respond. A text platform that allows the candidate to respond directly can be the beginning of a conversation rather than a dead end.

Determine Communication Preference

Ask the candidate how he or she would prefer to be contacted. Many will prefer phone or email communication while others will prefer text messages.

Be Brief

People don’t like reading through long walls of text on their smartphones. A good rule of thumb is 160 characters maximum. Messages of that length or shorter can convey enough information but not bore the reader.

Keep It Simple

Text messages as a communicative medium don’t do well with complexity. Any questions posed to the candidate via text should be easy to understand and answered quickly. Any information conveyed should be direct and succinct.

Make It Personal

Simple personalization of text recruiting messages can distinguish them from others sent by businesses. Including the candidate’s name increases engagement significantly. In some campaigns, making reference to the candidate’s skill set can demonstrate a real interest on the part of the employer.

Include a Call to Action

Include a short call to action at the end of the message. Candidates expect a call to action in communications like these. Make it obvious and intriguing, and you’ll get responses. Consider linking to a calendar where the candidate can schedule a chat, or include a question like “Are you available to chat tomorrow over the phone?”

Only Text Once

The perception of your company will diminish in the eyes of candidates if they receive lots of unsolicited text messages from you. Send a well-crafted message with a call to action once; if they don’t respond, move on to other candidates or other methods.

Track Your Communications

It’s important to be aware of the kinds of information you share via text and how text message communications are tracked. ATS tracking systems with texting capabilities can be of benefit here.

Spend Time Training

Recruiting with text messages is a skill. Some recruiters will need to be trained on how to use this medium before they’re effective with it. Resources spent on training recruiters to use the software will pay dividends in the form of better hires and shorter time to fill positions.

Text messaging can be an effective way to communicate with potential hires. ATS recruitment technologies can help you find, screen, and vet candidates and track communication over time. Give your company access to the best systems available to reduce hiring time and improve the quality of your workforce.


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