Recruiting is a communication profession. You’re constantly communicating with candidates, hiring managers, other recruiters, researchers, etc. More people have smartphones, which means more people are using them, which means more recruiters are going to use them. However, while some recruiters use email that integrates with their recruiting software. Over the telephone is, of course, the chief way, in fact in communicating with prospective clients. Thus, there is no doubt that texting has become more commonplace for recruiters and the recruiting industry.
Texting as New Medium of Recruiting
Imagine a scenario: Charles, a recruiter has been trying to fill in a position for his organization for a month now. His biggest frustration is the fact that it takes him one full day to set up an interview schedule simply due to the fact that he is not able to connect with the majority of candidates. Every time he tries to contact a candidate the call straight away goes to voicemail. The number one reason for the non-response by the candidates can be attributed to the lowest levels of unemployment across the globe. The majority of the candidates that Charles is trying to source already have a job. Unfortunately, every time it is not possible for the candidates to talk about a job interview on the phone call.
The best workaround for this situation is to start using texting as a way to contact the candidates. According to a Software Advice report, “43% of job seekers younger than 45 years old considered recruiters who use text messaging as a professional.” For recruiters like Charles texting will open a whole new avenue to communicate with the candidates. The great thing about texting is not only many candidates like it, but it is also very swift, effortless and typically useful in getting a quick response.
Text messaging is a valuable communications tool that recruiters can use to easily connect with candidates. It helps increase engagement and improves the hiring process through faster delivery of information and effective management of expectations. it may sound appealing but, there are candidates who might consider texting to be unwelcome. This makes it all the more important for you as a recruiter to know the boundaries when it comes to texting candidates. To help you ensure you are effectively communicating with candidates via SMS, we will walk you through 3 rules of text messaging etiquette that you must not avoid.
3 Rules of Text Messaging Etiquettes
1. Take permission from the candidates before texting them
Before sending a text message to the candidate do not forget to get permission from them. Many candidates will be fine with this style of communication. Others may prefer if you didn’t. Next, ask if there’s any specific time or frequency that works best for them. Finally, when sending texts, remember to include your name so they know who the sender is. Always remember, an unasked text message might not be the best way to contact candidates. You do not want to come across someone who is arrogant that can make you swiftly lose interest in the minds of the candidate.
The best workaround to this situation is to include a form in the job applications wherein the candidate can specify their preferred communication method. If they say yes to texting, keep the tone of the message professional and send the message during the working hours strictly. Also, once you get the preference of the candidate’s communication, record it in your recruiting software. This will assist you to remember and respect the preferences of the candidate.
2. Use Texting as an Option for Sending the Right Type of Message
Texting should not be used for all types of news. It goes without saying that you should not text information that is not related to recruitment. The text messages should be about meeting time reminders or to answer a quick question. Never use text messages to inform the candidate whether they got the job or not. Also, never inform them about the advanced level of interviews through texting. This should be reserved for a phone call or email.
You can use text messages:
- To get in touch with the candidate – (Format) Are you looking for a job in the <<POSITION>> role with <<ORGANIZATION NAME>>
- To schedule an interview – (Format) Hi <<NAME OF THE CANDIDATE>>, Can you come for an interview at <<ADDRESS OF THE ORGANIZATION>> on <<DATE>> at <<TIME>>?
- To confirm interviews – (Format) Hi <<NAME OF THE CANDIDATE>>. Your interview has been scheduled with <<ORGANIZATION NAME>> on <<DATE>> at <<TIME>>. Does that work for you? Reply simply with a YES or NO.
- To share just-in-time information – (Format) Hi <<NAME OF THE CANDIDATE>>, We have scheduled the interview today. Please find here the directions to our office <<MAP URL>>
- To follow up with the candidates and ask for their feedback – (Format) Hi <<NAME OF THE CANDIDATE>>, It was great having you for the interview. Please share your thoughts about the meeting here <<INSERT SURVEY URL>>
- To qualify candidates with simple screening questions – (Format) Do you have a minimum of 2 years experience working in the Java development environment?
- To answer candidate questions – (Format) Hi <<NAME OF THE CANDIDATE>>, We do provide monthly transit pass as a part of the benefits package.
- To ask candidates for referrals – (Format) For example; Hi <<NAME OF THE CANDIDATE>>, Do you have any peers and colleagues who would be interested in <<POSITION>> with <<ORGANIZATION NAME>> IN <<NAME OF THE LOCATION>>. We offer attractive referral rewards.
Never message candidates when:
- You are unsure about the mobile number of the candidate;
- You have not taken their permission for texting;
- When sharing complex information;
- When sharing potentially distressing information.
3. Keep your Tone Professional
Texting in today’s times is seen as a casual way of communication. As a recruiter, you need to keep your message to a professional level by avoiding any shorthand, slang or acronyms. Always proofread your messages before sending it to the candidates so that you avoid any awkward or embarrassing autocorrect issues.
Some of the other things to remember while messaging candidates:
- Text within business hours as no one would like to receive a message in the middle of the night.
- Sign off your name, title, organization name in the first message. There is nothing more disconcerting than receiving a random message being asked: “How long have you been working at XYZ Corp LTD.?”
- Never use any jargons, lingo, or contractions in the message.
- Always pass on the right message without any implied meaning. Use emoji to communicate tone and non-verbal context.
- Make sure your spellings in the message are correct, especially the ones that are autocorrected.
Texting the candidates who are open to it is a great way to keep up the communication during the hiring process thereby enhancing their candidate experience. It can help you stay in touch with them, efficiently follow-up with them and engage more freely with them. But, it is important to understand that this medium is not right for everything. This makes it important to follow the email etiquettes given in this blog for creating a streamlined hiring process.