Let’s face it: finding a job is time-consuming, which is why the value of frequent, consistent communication during the recruiting process can’t be understated. When candidates get kept in the dark, the quality of their experience degrades – and quickly. Their minds start to wander and begin to question the journey. Case in point: the myth of the robot recruiter and all the fearmongering that comes with misconceptions about recruiting technology. 

By putting communication at the center of the experience, hiring teams can overcome potential candidate crises and ensure everyone involved remains aligned.

Ideally, from the initial point of contact through to the offer letter or subsequent disposition, candidates should know where they stand and when they can expect to hear back. Doing so not only reassures candidates at a vulnerable moment in life but also lets them know their efforts are recognized by the potential employer. Of course, staying in regular contact means more work for already stretched recruiters reluctant to take on anything else, so texting comes in handy here, too. 

Reasons to Text

Having already discussed text messaging for the purpose of candidate engagement and the application, it becomes possible to leverage such solutions further down the recruiting funnel to send notifications and encourage follow-up. But first, consider the why. 

The Candidate Experience (CandE) Awards program has captured candidate sentiment for over a decade. Year after year, the CandE Award-winning organizations deliver above-average candidate experiences, with more timely and consistent communications being an influential factor in the ratings. 

On top of that, the 2021 CandE benchmark research found that with regard to post-application stages, “Candidates at CandE-winning organizations said they received post-application information about next steps 13% more often than the average for all candidates. Mobile text messaging campaigns – which can contribute significantly to an employer’s ability to communicate quickly and effectively – have increased a whopping 380% since 2018, with slightly more CandE winners investing in this type of communication.” 

Knowing that texting is the preferred method of communicating for roughly 75% of job seekers, texts get read over 95% of the time AND that companies employing these campaigns are able to provide better communication throughout the process, the why becomes crystal clear, which leads to the how and when. 

Finding the Flow

Similar to the steps outlined in the piece on the apply flow, using text for notification and communication begins with candidate consent. By asking candidates if they want to receive text messages, it is possible to communicate more often, eliminating the need for playing phone tag or leaving voicemails. Instead, candidates get updates on their phones with the choice to opt-out at any time. 

Text notifications for hourly employees and other high-volume scenarios might focus on moving candidates through faster and require fewer touchpoints. At the same time, knowledge workers or leadership roles might necessitate extra steps and warrant more personalized contact.

Templates promote consistent messaging while allowing customization along the way. In addition to automated status updates and mass texts about upcoming hiring events, this approach also empowers recruiters to send ad hoc messages to chat in real-time, present feedback and keep candidates interested. 

Through tailored engagements that emphasize the free flow of information, hiring teams have the ability to differentiate the experience they provide, offering more or less communication based on their hiring strategy. It is the out-of-the-box thinking that distinguishes the average employer brand from above average and even outstanding. 

In the Loop

To facilitate ease of use and reduce the administrative burden associated with increased communication, text messaging platforms help send, respond and track interactions. That last part is essential, Dr. Robin Erickson, formerly of Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and now Vice President of Human Capital at The Conference Board, told Human Resource Executive magazine.

In addition to compliance and regulations, Erickson shared that having the right technology in place helps hiring teams measure response rates and response times, determine when candidates are most likely to respond and compare the results of text outreach versus email communications to see what worked best. In the long run, having that level of data supports more efficient processes and improves hiring outcomes. 

Texting at the outset is about capturing candidates’ attention and helping move them to the top of the recruiting funnel, but don’t leave them hanging. Just because candidates were willing to engage and apply doesn’t mean they will see it through – unless they have a reason. Giving them the option to receive text notifications is a way to stay connected, from start to finish and maybe even beyond.


Authors
Jim Buchanan

Jim has been involved in the talent acquisition industry for over fifteen years and has seen both changes and advancements in the recruiting process. The dream of Cadient was conceived several years ago as he saw a great opportunity in the distributed hourly hiring sector.


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