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Candidate texting in your hiring process: 5 best practices

OMG, JK, LOL – texting is more than simple acronyms these days. Today, texting can be a valuable tool used by HR and talent acquisition professionals in their daily hiring and recruitment processes.

Amanda Gutierrez

Amanda Gutierrez

Content Marketer at Verified First

Many candidates are already using their phone in their job search even if the company they’re applying at isn’t. According to HCM Technology Report, nearly 70% of jobs applied for in 2021 were submitted through a smartphone application.

By defining candidate texting, unveiling its usage, and laying the steps for how to get started, our friends at Verified First are sharing how candidate texting can improve communication and streamline the hiring process at any organization.

What is candidate texting?

Candidate texting is really all in the name – texting candidates throughout the applicant journey as a way of communication. Texting candidates can take the place of formal emails or phone calls or can be used in addition. These messages can remind applicants of important steps in the application process like:

  • Completing job application forms
  • Messaging to and from hiring team members
  • Scheduling interviews
  • Meeting deadlines (i.e. for completion of assessments)
  • Filling out information for background checks
  • Providing reference information
  • Verifying personal information

This form of communication is all about meeting candidates where they are and reaching out to them with concise messages that get your point across quickly and effectively.

Why opt for texting

Candidate texting is all about efficiency. According to Indeed, candidates will respond to texts from recruiters in about three minutes. This span of time makes it five times more effective than a formal email response time. In doing so, candidate texting is more likely to get the ball rolling on the application process and shorten your overall time to hire rates.

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Additionally, Aptitude Research’s Talent Acquisition Technology Buyer’s Guide found that companies who used texting as their primary form of communication with candidates improved their retention rates by 69%, and their time to hire was reduced by 70%. When it comes to the numbers, texting candidates could be the ideal move to improve turnaround times and beat out the competition for top talent.

Companies using texting as their primary form of communication with candidates reduced their time to hire by 70%. (Source: Aptitude Research’s TA Technology Buyer’s Guide)

How to incorporate texting in your process

Getting started with a new step in any hiring process can be tricky. Fortunately, utilizing candidate texting can be implemented in a short period of time once you know where to start. Here are some tips to help you build your candidate texting strategy and prepare to hit ‘send.’

1. Keep it short and to the point

Just like with texting outside of work purposes, a short message goes a long way. Texting candidates is ideal for specific information that can be asked in a few sentences. If you have questions that require a more detailed response from a candidate, save them for a formal interview.

Or if these questions can’t wait, a phone call might be the best method of communication.

2. Send messages only during business hours

It’s easy to text at any hour on personal time, but texting for business purposes is a little different. Texting candidates outside of business hours could come off as invasive or rude. Plus, candidates will expect a faster response time since it’s such a quick form of communication.

If you receive a text outside of business hours, be sure to either respond with an answer to their question or request, or send a response letting the candidate know that you’ll respond in more depth during business hours.

3. Text with a tone that reflects your organization

Texting etiquette is important when communicating with candidates. You might be itching to abbreviate phrases with simple acronyms, but it’s best to write out exactly what you mean. You can still curate a voice that is unique to your organization (and yourself) while remaining professional.

Some companies might allow for extra exclamation points or even emojis. It’s best to consult your brand voice strategy on how to curate your personal tone.

4. Ask candidates to opt-in

Although many people prefer talking via text, some candidates may still feel strange when recruiters text them without permission. During your preliminary points of contact, ask candidates how they would prefer to be communicated with.

If they’re open to texting, have them formally opt-in to your service. The point of opting in and out of any sort of communication format is to ensure that candidates feel that they have options.

5. Utilize screening capabilities

Texting candidates about completing their background check is a great use for this technology. Utilize your background screening provider and send applicants an applicant invite to complete their background check. Doing so through your provider will give you significant time back in your hiring process.

In conclusion

Texting candidates is a great way to streamline communication and decrease time to hire in your hiring process.

To learn more about candidate texting in your screening process, learn more about the Verified First and Workable integration.

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