Should I text job candidates? That’s a question every business is asking.
Texting Job Candidates Can Decrease Your Time-to-Fill
Busy recruiters will often tell you that one of their biggest headaches is scheduling interviews. Employers and hiring managers want to interview in bunches, on specific days, while candidates have their own schedules to consider. Getting the timing right is difficult—you can spend an entire day just batting times and dates back and forth. In the process, you can lose the kinds of active professionals that you most want to hire.
Furthermore, according to a Jobvite survey, 50% of job seekers already have a job. That means they’re reluctant to answer the phone at work, or use their company computer to check personal email. Texting might be the only way they can freely communicate with a potential, new employer.
Job Candidates Like Texting as an Option
Texting, though, can be intrusive, and not everybody uses it the same way. Sent to the wrong person, texting can easily be construed as desperate and unprofessional. Companies and recruiters who text job candidates almost always have an opt-out mechanism so that people who prefer phone calls or emails can choose to be contacted that way instead.
Recruiters and companies that hire frequently often use applicant tracking software (ATS) systems to flow candidates through the hiring process. The best systems have an automatic opt-in or opt-out system that allows candidates to choose whether they want to be texted.
Phone, Email or Text: Which Do Your Job Candidates Prefer?
Savvy recruiters and HR teams pay close attention to the contact methods a candidate responds best to—and uses that method throughout the hiring process. If a candidate doesn’t answer the phone and takes forever to answer email—but responds within seconds to a text—make a note of it and continue contacting that candidate by text if they have granted permission for you to do so.
Sending an email, then calling them, then texting them, is not only unprofessional, but can even be viewed as harassing. Stick with one method, and do it well.
Text Timing Matters
As texting job candidates becomes more commonplace and acceptable, employers want to be certain that they only text candidates during appropriate hours. This can get complicated, particularly when job applicants might live in different time zones.
When using automated systems to send texts, be sure you know when and where your emails will be going out, and set them to go out during normal working hours. And if your candidate has opted out of texting, don’t send them one at all.
Use an Applicant Tracking System to Simplify Job Candidate Texting
Applicant tracking systems (ATS) can take a great deal of inconsistency out of job candidate texting. A best-of-breed ATS allows you to standardize your texts, so that all candidates receive the same messages when their status changes (i.e. “It’s time to schedule an interview” or “Your application has been received”), helping to reduce the possibility of inequities in the hiring process.
And even when you choose to send custom messages to individual candidates or group candidates, you can save the text as a template for future use. And perhaps most importantly, having a centralized place to host all your candidate information keeps all your communications in one place, reducing the risk of employer liability.
The easier you make communication for both yourself and your job candidates, the more likely it is you’ll bring the top talent to your organization. Contact a myStaffingPro sales representative to learn more about our job applicant texting add-on.