Texting should be a part of your recruiting process! This is why!

There has been a lot of controversy about the increase in automation as it relates to recruiting. Some see it as a demise of the industry and I quite disagree. I don’t imagine robots and automation eliminating jobs but rather, I see them decreasing the necessity of certain tasks and thus allowing recruiters to perform other duties. As I say this, I realize how often that mantra is repeated by proponents of technology. So, allow me to speculate 15 minutes into the future on how recruiters and automation operate in concert to hire great talent.

RECRUITERS ARE MASTERFUL NETWORKERS

After attending a company-wide town hall meeting, the recruiter understands the vision of the CEO and the overall direction that the company is heading towards. This knowledge is ideal because it helps the recruiter know where he/she should be focusing their networking efforts. If the future is widgets, then one sure step is to build relationships with all related widget user groups and their community leaders.

Not only that, they would reconnect with past applicants inside the company ATS by sending a group text to all who opted in to receive such notifications. Perhaps a text saying, “Hi (Candidate’s name here), I was in a meeting with the CEO and he has widgets on his mind. At a glance, you seem to have an expertise in widgets. Are you still open to new opportunities related to widgets? If so, text “I’m in” to 123-4567 and I will keep you up to date on those specific job opportunities. Thanks! – (Insert Recruiter’s name here)

While networking at a user group – Widgets Rock USA, the recruiter speaks with several passive candidates. They seemed interested at the event but, who truly knows. Would they pick up the phone if called tomorrow? Who can say for sure? To mitigate the chance of losing a connection with a potential hire, the recruiter creates a card with multiple short codes on them.

As the recruiter mingles, short codes on cards are passed around and passive candidates interested in widget jobs can get notified of widget jobs as they become available and subsequently answer a few basic questions about their related experience. With this process, the recruiter can focus on the more qualified candidates yet, still retain a connection with those that cannot be placed at the moment.

RECRUITERS ARE MARKETERS

The Recruiter does not end his efforts with networking as there were certainly other rivals present at the event and no doubt, attempting to hire the same people. This is why a significant amount of time is spent analyzing data concerning the talent market.

  • Where is the talent likely to work?
  • Where does the talent likely live?
  • What is the average market rate for the skillset of creating widgets?

Armed with this information and other data, the recruiter know the best places to advertise his jobs. At the same time however, the recruiter is aware that life can sometimes get in the way of the job search. So, in addition to making the application painless, there is also an option given to apply later. In this way, candidates who choose this option will get reminded later to begin or complete the application process on the role they had an interest in.

RECRUITERS ARE BRAND AGENTS

Recruiters understand that for many candidates, company culture trumps salary expectations. So, they are sure to involve themselves in company programs that reflect a sensitivity to a societal cause that the company supports; breast cancer awareness or supporting our veterans, for example. This will help them when speaking to candidates as they will be able to relate a first hand account of how the company gives back to the community.

CANDIDATES APPRECIATE THE AUTOMATION

For as long as companies have been posting jobs online, the most persistent point of exasperation has been the blackhole of resumes; commonly referred to as an applicant tracking system. In times past, it was an accepted evil by jobseekers to apply for jobs and mostly hear nothing back beyond a canned response that the role was filled. Now with automation, such days are gone. Candidates now have the option to opt-in to text messages that notify them of jobs and update them on the status of their application, in addition to other campaigns such as company news updates.

Imagine a candidate journey to hire that proceeds along this wise:

· Candidate sees recruitment advertising and opts in to be notified of new openings.

· Candidates gets a message about a job that interests them. Subsequently, the candidate answers a few questions via text to further qualify them for the role.

· Candidate receives a text from the recruiter that allows them to book time on a recruiter’s calendar to further discuss the opportunity.

· The day before the interview, the candidate receives a text with directions to the office an itinerary of scheduled interviews and a link to a YouTube video where the company culture is shared.

· The day of the interview, a reminder text is sent mentioning who the next interviewer is and a short list of their hobbies, for small talk purposes.

· A day after the interview, the candidate is sent a text to complete a survey about their candidate experience.

· A few days later the candidate is called by the recruiter to discuss an offer that they accept.

· On the first day of work, the candidate is given an onboarding itinerary and a choice to opt out of future job notifications with the company and/or to opt-in to other text campaigns like company updates or requests for community service volunteers.

TEXTING IS GOOD BECAUSE TEXTING CONVERTS PROSPECTS (CANDIDATES) INTO BUYERS (OFFER ACCEPTS)

To some reviewers of this process, it might look like an inordinate amount of texting. I disagree. Several data points I have discovered point to the success in customer conversions as a result of a well implemented texting campaign.

For your consideration, I will share the more compelling data.

· Texting a prospect after initial contact can increase conversion rates by 112.6%. (Leads360, Crazy Egg)

· Sending 3 or more follow-up text messages to prospects increases conversions by as much as 328%. (Leads360, Crazy Egg)

· The average SMS campaign conversion rate is 45%. (Salesforce)

· SMS verification conversion rates are 250% higher than email verification. (Salesforce)

Creating efficiency for recruiters and an improved candidate experience is a compelling reason for experimenting with texting in the recruitment process. While texting may not be the magic bullet for every recruitment campaign, I certainly see it as a solution for some. Allow me to encourage you to try something that would likely work verses residing in the safety of the status quo, as your competitors past you in the fast lane.

Beep, beep!

About the Author

Over the past decade, Jim Stroud has built an expertise in sourcing and recruiting strategy, public speaking, lead generation, video production, podcasting, online research, competitive intelligence, online community management, and training. He has consulted for such companies as Microsoft, Google, MCI, Siemens, Bernard Hodes Group and a host of start-up companies.

During his tenure with Randstad Sourceright, he alleviated the recruitment headaches of their clients worldwide as their Global Head of Sourcing and Recruiting Strategy. His latest project – “The Jim Stroud Podcast” explores the future of work, life and everything in between. More details highlighting his career and industry influence can be found on his blog – JimStroud.com

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