When you have an open position become available, most people want to get it filled ASAP. Open positions mean your business may be understaffed, paying overtime to remaining employees, and lost productivity. But, hiring through traditional means can take time. In fact, it takes over 20 days, on average, to hire a new employee. However, with the evolution of technology comes new solutions for this problem that so many business owners face. One new tool that is featured in many job boards and Applicant Tracking Systems is simple but effective. Texting. While this may not seem like a new advancement, utilizing texting to interact with applicants is a relatively new feature. Let’s dive into why you should be texting applicants to speed up your hiring process and be competitive.
Texting is Faster Than Other Communication Channels
How often do you check your email? How many spam messages are there? Chances are you only check a few times a day and that includes deleting irrelevant emails. This is where texting is a faster course of communication than email or phone calls. Text messages are less likely to get buried and get checked much more often. In fact, a recent study showed that “it takes the average person 90 minutes to respond to an email and only 90 seconds to respond to a text message” (ctia.org). By cutting down your time to interact with applicants, you can speed up your hiring process and stay competitive in getting top talent for your business.
You Can Reach Candidates Whenever
While you may not have the time to jump on a call with a candidate every time you are interested, sending off a text message can happen practically any time of the day. In addition, if you see someone apply at 8 a.m., it may be too early for a phone call. But, it isn’t too early to send a text message. By utilizing texting as part of your applicant communication strategy, it extends the hours of communication so you can actively keep candidates engaged.
It Promotes a Closer Relationship
Using texting as a communication channel can promote a closer relationship with candidates. While the messages you send should still be professional, they can be more relaxed than a typical email with a greeting and signature line. Having a sense of a closer relationship during the hiring process can invite applicants to be more candid during their application process. This may include being more upfront on if they are interested or not, or inviting them to ask any questions about the position.
Tips to Keep in Mind When Implementing Texting Applicants
Before you move forward with utilizing texting as part of your applicant communication plan, it’s important to keep in mind a few guidelines for it to be an effective channel. You should also keep in mind that texting applicants should be done from a job board or ATS, not from an individual’s number.
Give Candidates a Chance to Opt-In
Because texting is a relatively new way to communicate during the hiring process, it’s important to give candidates the chance to opt-in. Most job boards allow employers to ask pre-employment questions as part of the application. You can create a question that asks their preferred method of communication; phone call, email, or text. Based on a candidate’s preference, you’ll increase your likelihood of getting in touch.
While your text messages to applicants are coming from your job board or ATS, it is still important to introduce who the message is coming from. This may be generic such as “Hi, this is [Company Name] of [Location]. Thank you for applying to [Position Name].” Or, your introduction could be more personalized from whoever conducts the hiring process. An example of this may include, “Hi, this is [Hiring Manager Name] and I’m the [Position Name] at [Company] of [Location]. Thank you for applying to [Position Name].” By introducing yourself/your company through text message it sets the stage for why you are reaching out and reminds them that they applied to your position.
Even though you are communicating in a generally relaxed channel, it is important to stay professional in your word choice. While you may be inclined to use emojis and gifs — stay away. We recommend sticking to the same type of language you’d use in emails to applicants.
Overall, texting applicants is a great way to quickly and effectively reach applicants to fill open positions.