It seems like everyone in recruiting is talking about texting lately and with good reason. We’re checking our phones dozens of times per day, and we most certainly read text messages more often than email. With talent that is often employed and very busy, communicating via text is a powerful way to increase engagement, decrease ghosting and improve your fill rate.
But, texting brings with it a new set of “rules” and expectations to use it successfully for your business. An occasional texting faux pas here or there may not seem like a big deal, but consistent mistakes can hamper your engagement efforts and can have a negative impact on recruiting.
Maximize your texting ROI and improve your candidate engagement by avoiding these all-too-common, texting faux pas:
This is a big one. Most people don’t realize that texting is included in many spam laws and regulations, which means that sending unsolicited texts could potentially open you up to some issues. Plus, it’s simply good etiquette to ask for permission before sending personal messages to someone’s phone.
Whether it’s included in your ATS, or you build it into your recruiting process, be sure that your recruiters always ask for permission before sending text messages. A simple, “Sometimes we’ll communicate short messages or important information via text -- does that work for you? “ will suffice. Since many candidates are too busy to regularly check email on their phones, your opt-in rate should be incredibly high.
Once you have that permission, though, it’s important not to betray the implied trust between you and your talent. A huge texting faux pas among recruiters is sending extremely long text messages. In other words, sending emails, but via text so that they’re more likely to be read. If it can’t be effectively communicated in two sentences or less, it should merit a call or an email.
While you are a professional and you are dealing in professional service, the reality is that our smartphones are highly personal devices. It can feel “off” to send extremely professional messages using a personal communication method. Plus, candidates are much more likely to feel important if you talk to them like they’re, well, people! It’s okay to sound a little human once in a while.
There is no magic formula for texts. Generally, avoid sounding too stuffy. Avoid an overload of acronyms or emoji (although a strategically-placed emoji from time to time is fine). And if you need to use a bevy of acronyms or abbreviations, it may be time to revisit the email format. Most of all, be friendly. Your text messages should feel like an extension of your in-person or phone conversations.
If you’ve been communicating with your talent via texts and suddenly...stop...it can make candidates feel undervalued or unimportant. Drop-offs in any sort of communication can spell trouble for candidate engagement. Be sure to touch base with your active candidates at least every few days, even with a quick, “Just letting you know that I haven’t heard back yet” text. When you can, let your candidates know when they can expect to hear from you again with an update.
This can be really tempting, but avoid sending the same information through text, email, and voicemail. It may be important, and you think that covering all your bases will ensure the message is received. In fact, you may be smothering candidates. At the very least, blasting them with multiple, repeat messages shows a lack of respect for their time.
If you are sending a message that is extremely important and you want to be sure it’s seen, consider sending the details in an email or leaving a voicemail. Then, you may shoot a very short text with something along the lines of, “Hi [NAME], I just wanted to let you know that I sent over a really important email with details about XX. If you have any questions, just let me know!” This is to be used in extremely unique circumstances, though, and should not be the norm for every communication.
At BrightMove, our ATS is constantly evolving to meet your needs, including texting. To learn more about our platform and see how BrightMove fits into your recruiting efforts, contact us to schedule a demo.
About the Author, Jimmy Hurff
Jimmy is a seasoned technology executive & entrepreneur noted for leading business transformations. Over his 25+ year career, Jimmy has developed multi-platform expertise in the domains of engineering, data analytics, security, compliance & business transformation. Starting in 1995, Jimmy worked with his best friend, David Webb, to develop one of the world's first Internet job board and resume bank applications. From then to now, Jimmy has been consistently helping his customers to build great teams, using best practices and world-class technology.