SMS Recruiting: 5 Valuable Talent Acquisition Best Practices

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Some companies rely on social media to reach out to candidates. Others depend on interviews. But the majority are still resorting to SMS recruiting.

SMS recruiting might not be as groundbreaking as it used to be. But choosing to contact candidates through text is still quite of a nontraditional approach. In fact, it’s a powerful tool that boosts your mobile recruiting efforts.

Today, talent acquisition teams can seamlessly text candidates directly through hiring platforms. In essence, SMS recruiting makes it easier to reach top talent fast, wherever they are. It’s quick, easy, and popular.

People of all ages are familiar with texting. And unlike cold emails – they don’t end up in the spam folder. Because candidates are checking their phones numerous times a day.

So how can SMS recruiting boost your talent acquisition process?

We break it down for you in this blog post.

Keep it short

talent acquisition specialist

Did you know that text messages on average have a 98% open rate? While there’s nothing inherently wrong with being friendly or sparking up some small talk, there’s no need to digress off-topic with SMS recruiting. The same way nobody likes to read a never-ending email, nobody likes to read a lengthy text message. Prospect candidates are probably waiting impatiently to hear about the status of their applications. And let’s be real, they’ll most likely want talent acquisition specialists to jump straight to the point.

Other than not wasting time, adding irrelevant information will only make it harder for candidates to absorb important details at a glance.
For example, if you want to confirm an interview, or send directions to the office, a simple: “Hello [candidate’s name]. Here are directions to our office {map url}. Let us know if you need further help!” will do. As a rule of thumb, it’s optimal to keep it at a 140-character Tweet length. The point is, there should be a viable call to action in every message you send, or else it’s pointless!

Don’t spam candidates

Recruiter hiding behind a laptop

Roughly 70% of candidates prefer to receive 2 or 3 simultaneous texts from a talent acquisition specialist. Our advice? Only text when there’s a good reason for it. Such as reminding or confirming interview details and sending contact information. But bulk messages such as “We’re hiring! Check out our new vacancies.” Will do more harm than good and actually tarnish your employer brand. Keep in mind that these types of messages can simply be posted on your social media accounts instead. So be sure to send only the necessary texts, and above all, make sure you personalize them! In fact, you can also text passive candidates that you’d like to reconnect with.

For example, you can text them something like: “Hello {candidate’s name} my name is {your name} from {company name}. We’re participating in a job fair on {date} and we’d love to see you there to discuss our recent job openings. If you’re interested, let me know! I’ll be glad to share more information.”
Also, it’s important for talent acquisition teams to remember that it’s best to text candidates after they first initiate the interaction, when communication lines are open, or when you previously asked for their permission to text. Otherwise, it will come off as intrusive and maybe a little creepy.

Respond quickly to queries

recruiter using a hiring platform

There’s no doubt, that candidates aren’t raving fans of waiting. So when you respond quickly to a candidate’s burning question, you will undoubtedly move faster through the recruitment process. It won’t leave a remarkable impression on you as an employer when you take days – if not weeks – to reply to an important inquiry.

We know how busy talent acquisition teams are. We also know that being available to reply 24/7 is not easy. Luckily, an applicant tracking system can help with that. Built specifically for busy talent acquisition specialists, many applicant tracking systems make it monumentally easier for them to organize, manage and share automated texts. This is done through textbots that automate screening and allow you to screen candidates even when your talent acquisition team is off the clock.
What’s more, these textbots answer the most common inquiries. Talent acquisition teams can then seamlessly transition conversations from their desktops to mobile devices. This way, you can effortlessly boost the candidate’s experience and delight them all throughout the process.

Keep them in the loop

recruiter speaking on the phone

Since we’ve already established that keeping candidates waiting can disgruntle their experience, keeping them in the loop is the best option. After all, you don’t want them to get nabbed by the competition because they managed to do what you couldn’t. When you keep candidates informed with regular updates, you let them know whether they’re still being considered for the position or not.

As a result, you’ll make your scheduling more reliable which is a vital ingredient for successful recruiting. So when a candidate moves to the next stage in the hiring process, drop them a quick text that briefly updates them on the next steps. Perhaps it’s going to include progress details, interview updates, or assessment details. When talent acquisition teams get candidates up to speed through SMS recruiting, they significantly get the chance to mitigate no-shows and lateness.
And remember, keeping candidates updated extends to the ones you aim to reject as well. It’s only good manners to let candidates know if the application is rejected.

But here’s how this is an advantage.

When talent acquisition teams show courtesy to rejected candidates, it leaves them with a more positive impression and unbelievably boosts your employer brand. As a result, they will most likely reconsider your company for future positions and tell their friends too!

Choose your text time wisely

candidate using her laptop

Now although SMS recruiting is a wonderful way to reach out to candidates, sending a text at midnight won’t do your efforts any justice. In general, opt to never text candidates outside of working hours. In fact, research has shown that the majority of candidates prefer to be contacted between 8 am and 12 pm. The next optimal time slot is in the afternoon (during business hours)  between 2 pm and 4 pm. And better yet, you can even ask candidates about their preferred communication time. As a rule of thumb, talent acquisition teams should avoid texting after business hours unless it’s initiated by the candidates. When this happens, bear in mind that it may be due to the fact that they want to cancel or postpone an interview. And you can always text back letting them know that their message is received.

In short

SMS recruiting is a great and effective talent acquisition strategy, especially when emails have the tendency to get buried in the inbox. At the end of the day, SMS recruiting can elicit a response rate that is 3 minutes, in comparison to the email response time which is 46 minutes on average. Candidates crave engagement and connections. And with SMS recruiting, talent acquisition teams can expedite the talent acquisition process and give you a personal edge.
And if you’re looking to communicate in real-time with candidates and personalize their experience like never before, our hiring platform can help.
EVA-REC is an end-to-end hiring platform that automates and improves the hiring process with AI technology. From small businesses to industry giants – EVA-REC helps companies drive merit-based, objective, and fair hiring practices that minimize bias, without dehumanizing the hiring process.

Attract and hire top talent at top speed‏

Source, engage and make great hires faster. Whether you're looking to streamline the recruitment process or create a stand-out hiring experience, our award-winning hiring platform got you covered.
Post a job for free‏

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