• Candidate recruitment: the 411 on txt

    Posted by Lisa B. Radloff on February 21st, 2019


    In a recent Deloitte study, 89% of mobile users reported that they check their phones within the first hour of waking up, with 62% claiming to look at their phones within 15 minutes. And what are they most likely to check first? Text messages. Of course it follows that text message campaigns can also be leveraged as a powerful recruiting tool.

    Numbers tell the story.

    According to TextRecruit, recruiters using text messaging are achieving 99% open rates and 28% response rates, with average response time under 15 minutes. So, how do you craft your messaging and manage a text campaign? What are key rules and best practices associated with text message recruiting?

    Optimal length. The Global System for Mobile Communications, which sets the standards
    for the global mobile market, standardized 160 characters for the length of a text message across all carriers. However the ideal, industry-standard length for a recruitment text message is 100 characters or less. Here is a sample text recruiting message:


    Brevity. In text recruiting, concise content is king. This is not an online job posting or an email communication; your goal is to craft a brief message with basic facts, and always include a link for candidates to follow up. Text message links typically direct candidates to a landing page promoting an event, an RSVP portal or directly to your ATS to apply.

    Opt-in only. Unless you’ve been explicitly invited to communicate with candidates via text, you don’t want to go there. If you do, you risk legal ramifications, not to mention you’re going to do nothing but irritate potential candidates. You’ll need to find candidates who have opted in for text messages either through your Talent Network or a list vendor.

    Although text message recipients are opt-in, it’s still considered spam to send additional follow-up communications that are not driven by initial candidate reply. In addition, if candidates invite you to communicate with them, it doesn’t mean you should text them every time a new job appears. Think of it like the initial stages of dating: make the first connection and if they don’t respond, no answer is your answer.

    Texting continues to be the top communication service,
    with 93% of consumers using it.

    – Deloitte 2018 Global Mobile Consumer Survey

    Be mindful of your targeted demographic. In our experience with clients across a vast range of industries representing a diverse array hiring needs, metropolitan areas with more tech-savvy mobile users tend to elicit a high response rate. Conversely, rural areas pose a unique challenge in that there may not be enough qualified candidates, in which case text campaigns often result in a low response rate.

    You’re in control.
    Text recruitment allows recruiters to reply to responses through a dashboard on their desktop or mobile device that transmits via text back to the candidate’s phone, while masking the recruiter’s personal contact information. Text recruitment portals offer unique advantages:

    • Both recruiters and candidates are able to log in and opt in/out of content based on preferences
    • Two-way, real-time communication between recruiters and candidates is possible
    • You can view and manage reporting metrics to quickly measure the success of the campaign
    • You can also personalize each text message to maximize engagement potential

    Recruitment texting in action.

    Our client, a managed care services provider for the healthcare marketplace, needed to ramp up their hiring needs for RNs within the state of Florida. The request was inclusive of immediate turn-key solutions to drive traffic to their respective event and to address a variety of modalities/specialties (mostly in the Healthcare/Clinician space).

    We moved very quickly in order to meet the demands of both the client and the timing of the event that they were hosting. We immediately considered the overall strategy – from all related job titles, locations and targeted radius to copy/design elements supporting the collateral; a landing page strategy to drive traffic to (and track RSVPs for the event); and collaboration with our distribution partner to execute the time-sensitive campaign.

    As a result, we sent out 1,469 texts which yielded 277 clicks (19% click-through rate), making the event a successful endeavor for our client.

    The bottom line.

    Text recruitment has rapidly evolved as an effective, personalized communication tool in the recruitment landscape. A recent Pew Research Report revealed that after taking photos, texting was the number one activity on smart phones. The reality is that to market to candidates, it is to your advantage to connect with them via their preferred method of communication. For many, that is increasingly text messaging. Text messaging is on every mobile device, and your next great hire may be just a message away.

    Lisa B. Radloff

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