With more jobs to fill and fewer recruiters to fill them, companies need to reevaluate how to effectively attract and hire talent. According to Aptitude Research, 68% of companies are rethinking their approach to candidate communication this year. Traditional forms of communication including email can negatively impact the employer brand, provide a poor candidate experience, and prevent recruiters from reaching their hiring goals. As companies look to improve communication, Text Recruiting is a strategic priority. Forty percent (40%) of companies have increased their use of text in talent acquisition this year.
Text Recruiting humanizes and personalizes the candidate experience while lifting the administrative burden placed on recruiting teams. Unlike other areas of talent acquisition, Text Recruiting provides an immediate ROI – impacting every aspect of the candidate journey. It offers a significant, measurable impact in a short period of time.
Although text is widely adopted in other areas of business, talent acquisition has been slow to respond. Email is still the preferred method of communication, and 58% of candidates receive no response at all when they are screened out of the process. Text Recruiting can provide improvements to conversion rates, efficiency, and engagement. According to this study, companies using text see the following results:
As the demand for text increases, companies must consider a platform that can help track and manage all communication in a consistent and meaningful way. This report, based on data collected in 2022 from both the candidate and employer perspective, will explore the impact of Text Recruiting and answer the following questions:
Most companies rely on email as their primary form of communication in talent acquisition. Yet, mobile usage has increased over the past year and 43% of candidates do not always open their emails. Email limits how a company can engage with talent, slowing down time to fill, and providing a negative experience for both recruiters and candidates. Text improves response times and overall efficiency.
Many companies look at text to support the apply process or recruitment marketing efforts. Text can also play a role in everything from employer branding to onboarding. When asked what areas companies would use text, 1:1 communication and scheduling were top priorities. Text can help lift the administrative burden placed on recruiters in these areas and provide consistent communication when used throughout the process.
Companies using text see significant improvements and an immediate ROI in efficiency, experience, and effectiveness. Aptitude Research found that companies using text over email were two times more likely to fill positions in two weeks, and more likely to improve time to fill, candidate experience, and quality of hire. Companies increasing their use of text in talent acquisition see improvements in open rates, clickthrough rates, and response times.
The recruiter experience is greatly impacted by using text. Recruiters save time in communicating with candidates, improving efficiency and better identifying quality of hire. Text allows recruiters to spend time on more strategic areas of talent acquisition while providing personalization to each candidate.
Candidate behavior has changed since the pandemic. More people are working remotely, and candidates rely on their mobile device to research jobs, connect with brands, and apply for a job. According to this study, 62% of candidates are using their mobile device more this year than last. Candidates want to be able to use one device to communicate with a potential employer, and text meets the needs of the mobile-only mindset by providing faster response and personalized engagement in real-time.
In a tight labor market where most recruiting teams are under-resourced, many candidates are not receiving consistent communication from recruiters. Companies must consider solutions that will provide more personalization and two-way communication at scale. Text recruiting platforms give every candidate an opportunity to engage in a bidirectional conversation, from applying for a job to scheduling an interview to onboarding. Sixty-six percent (66%) of candidates surveyed would respond back to a recruiter over text.
This study found that 86% of recruiters are using text in some way to support talent acquisition. Most of these recruiters are using informal, random text messages from their personal devices. This type of texting jeopardizes a company’s compliance, integration, and measurement strategy. It also puts companies at risk for introducing bias into the talent acquisition process. Text recruiting platforms help companies track and manage all text communications to stay compliant, integrate with existing systems, and measure the ROI of those engagements.
When asked to select the top three priorities for 2022, companies identified improving efficiency, finding candidates faster, and finding more candidates. Speed is the currency for success in talent acquisition. Companies that move quickly are better able to attract, recruit, and hire talent. And strong candidate communication gives companies a competitive advantage, allowing them to make connections and build more meaningful relationships in an efficient way.
Candidate communication has become the most critical job of today’s modern TA professional and too often, the most overlooked. Communication is what differentiates brands and experiences while creating greater loyalty with candidates. Unfortunately, in today’s labor market, recruiting teams are overwhelmed with new responsibilities that prevent consistent communication with candidates. When asked about day-to-day activities in Aptitude Research’s Talent Acquisition Technology and the Modern Recruiter study, recruiters are spending most of their time reviewing applicants, finding candidates in the ATS, and scheduling interviews. These time-consuming tactical activities take away from more strategic priorities.
Communication often takes a back seat to these administrative activities and responsibilities. The result is that candidates are ignored:
As companies look to the future of talent acquisition, they must reevaluate communication techniques. Candidate expectations have changed, and companies must adjust content and delivery accordingly. Before COVID, companies had made small improvements by providing a point of contact and status on the application. Yet, many of these companies have experienced a setback over the past year. Only 44% of companies make company information available now compared to 54% in 2020, and only 41% provide a single point of contact compared to 50% in 2020. With one in three recruiters looking for new opportunities and 30% feeling more burned out this year than last year, candidate communication has suffered.
Email is the primary form of communication for most companies in talent acquisition (see Figure 4). Recruiters send candidates email reminders to apply, schedule interviews, take an assessment, and sign an offer letter. Many ATS systems are designed to support only email. Unfortunately, email is not always the most effective way to reach candidates and for many high-volume industries, candidates do not have access to email. Although 96% of companies recognize that stronger communication drives results, most candidate communication is ineffective and inconsistent. In fact, only 43% of candidates read their email messages from recruiters.
The pandemic has changed candidate behavior and expectations around communication. Today’s companies have better options for communicating, including:
These forms of communication are more effective ways to engage with talent, saving recruiters’ time and enabling a better candidate experience. According to this study, 62% of candidates are using their mobile device more this year than last. Text is how candidates communicate in their personal lives. Travel, shopping, events, and delivery are all enabled through text. When comparing the usage of email to text, 2.2 trillion texts were sent each day in 2020 compared to 306 billion emails, according to Statista. Email has long been a source of frustration for candidates and recruiters. ATS systems provide email templates and libraries to help save time, but these templates lack personalization and engagement. Recruiters may spend up to an hour drafting an email to send to a candidate, while a text can be drafted in a few seconds. The figure below highlights some of the differences between email and text.
For talent acquisition professionals to compete for talent, they must meet candidates where they “live.” This study found that 40% of companies using text in talent acquisition plan to increase their investment this year.
With shifts in demographics, a more dispersed workforce, and remote work, the workforce has become more complex and so has the role of the modern TA and HR professional. Today’s leaders must juggle multiple hats to be successful. No longer focused solely on administrative tasks, the modern HR function requires a new set of skills and competencies. They must become more proactive and less reactionary in the way they communicate and engage with candidates and employees. Instead of simply pointing candidates and employees in the right direction, they must empower them with all the information, tools, and resources to be successful.
Transparency is a reality for today’s workforce. Companies are expected to be transparent about their employer brand, perks and incentives, financial performance, and engagement levels. Companies are expected to be transparent about the employee experience, career development, and company culture. While this level of transparency is positive, it requires more frequent, personalized communication.
Traditional TA and HR systems were designed to be tactical and not focused on the experience of candidates or employees. These systems are not fully integrated and do not consider the preferences and needs of today’s candidates or employees. Only 39% of companies are satisfied with their provider and would recommend them. There is a new set of technology needed that focuses on what the experience is and how it can drive stronger engagement, productivity, and performance.
Communication is the primary differentiator of a positive candidate experience and can also serve as the thread to employee experience. Companies need better tools to communicate with candidates early in the process when they are researching the organization, provide a progress indicator during the apply process, and convey next steps post-application. The following pages of this report will explore how text is impacting talent acquisition efforts and employee experience.
Although the use of text in talent acquisition has increased, most recruiters are using an informal or ad hoc approach to texting. They are casually texting with some candidates from their personal or even company devices. Eighty-six percent (86%) of companies state that recruiters have used text to support talent acquisition activities and 57% of recruiters have texted with a candidate in the past week. Yet, most of these engagements are random messages that are not powered by a secure, purpose-built text recruiting platform. This type of outreach can negatively impact the candidate experience and put a company at risk.
Text recruiting platforms empower TA to be more efficient in communication and integrate with existing technology. AI-enabled platforms help lift the administrative burden, provide recommendations, and improve immediate engagement. Companies using these solutions identified the following as the top benefits: efficiency, candidate engagement, candidate experience, and recruiter experience (see Figure 7).
Text can be used to support many use cases in talent acquisition. Yet, most companies view text as an extension of recruitment marketing. Companies can engage with talent, send messages, and provide opportunities to opt-in to talent communities through text. But the reality is that text can support the entire talent acquisition lifecycle from recruitment marketing to onboarding and beyond. When asked where companies would want to be using text, the majority of companies cited 1:1 communication, scheduling, and apply (see Figure 8 ).
Text can impact talent acquisition for high-volume as well as professional hiring. With faster response times and greater engagement, companies can better engage with candidates and reduce time to fill.
Talent acquisition is often the starting point for companies using text to support HR initiatives. Companies that are looking to extend the candidate experience into the employee experience should consider text as one option.
Communication is not an isolated activity. It is not something that starts and stops during the onboarding phase. Strategic communication needs to be consistent, frequent, and something that spans the entire employee lifecycle, which means 365 days a year. When asked to rank at which stages employee communication is the most critical, organizations cited performance management, career development, learning management, benefits, and rewards and recognition (see Figure 9).
The use of text has an immediate impact on talent acquisition by improving efficiency, experience, and effectiveness. According to Aptitude Research, the two most significant benefits include response times and time to fill:
Text impacts efficiency but it also impacts quality and experience. It helps companies connect with the right talent in a more effective way. Additionally, Aptitude Research found improvements to talent acquisition metrics and communication metrics. Companies that use text over email improved time to fill, quality of hire, candidate experience, hiring manager experience, and conversion rates (see Figure 10). Text connects employers and candidates in an immediate way, improving both efficiency and experience.
Companies that have increased their use of text are also seeing improvements in open rates, clickthrough rates, and response rates (see Figure 11). Marketing and other areas of the business track these metrics to show customer engagement. Companies looking to measure the ROI of their communication strategies should consider a similar approach.
Companies using Text Recruiting do not need to wait months or years to see results. Text provides an immediate impact on talent acquisition and integrates with the existing recruiter workflow to provide a better experience.
Candidate communication requires a better experience and improved efficiency. Companies that rely on emails or traditional forms of communication are failing to attract quality talent and losing candidates in the process. Text Recruiting provides an immediate ROI for companies looking to improve how they attract, recruit, and hire talent. It improves response times, engagement metrics, and the overall experience of both candidates and recruiters. Companies looking to leverage text in their talent acquisition strategies should consider:
Aptitude Research Partners is a research-based analyst and advisory firm focused on HCM technology. We conduct quantitative and qualitative research on all aspects of Human Capital Management to better understand the skills, capabilities, technology, and underlying strategies required to deliver business results in today’s complex work environment. To learn more, visit aptituderesearch.com
Emissary.ai is a text recruiting platform built to make text based candidate engagement and recruiting automation easy. Our texting software empowers enterprise recruiting and HR teams with efficient text recruiting tools that work in harmony with any ATS, HRIS or recruiting site. Emissary’s platform supports 1-to-1 texting, texting campaigns, chatbots, triggered messaging and much more. In addition, deep integrations with leading ATS vendors like Workday SAP SuccessFactors, Lever and more enable seamless data synchronization across platforms for enhanced productivity and compliance. Getting started with Emissary is easy with most customers up, running and integrated in a week or less. To learn more, visit emissary.ai