Why Text Recruiting is Talent Acquisition’s New Norm

Today's job seekers are looking for better ways to connect with employers.
By: | September 19, 2018 • 4 min read

In the midst of these chaotic times, the landscape of recruiting technology continues to undergo one revolution after the next. This reality has motivated progressive companies to embrace nimble hiring software that can keep pace with the changing expectations of job seekers and recruiters alike.

Today’s consumer-minded candidates demand convenience and a premium experience when it comes to the application and hiring process. And because mobile communication has been a game changer in every industry, it was only a matter of time before it permanently changed the way that employers and job seekers communicate.

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For too long, job seekers have witnessed their resume entering a “black hole” when applying online, with sometimes weeks going by without hearing back from the employer one way or another. This is a terrible experience for the candidate that leaves a poor impression on your employment brand.

Just a few years ago, having a mobile-optimized career site was enough, but now job seekers are looking for more ways to open the lines of communication and stay connected with employers. With research indicating that more than 90 percent of people read a text message within the first three minutes of receiving it, text messaging is becoming the preferred method to communicate with not only your friends, family and colleagues, but also your job candidates.

Faster Response Rates

Candidates want to use text messages and mobile apps as an extended tool in addition to common methods of communication like telephone and email. Text messages are great for basic screening, scheduling times, and reminders for important paperwork, and they’re the most effective method of communication, considering response times average just 12 minutes. And being able to quickly respond to recruiters is essential. According to a recent survey conducted by iCIMS, almost all recruiters surveyed have forgone hiring a qualified candidate specifically because their communication wasn’t timely enough. By integrating your recruitment platform with a texting solution, employers can quickly and easily update candidates on various stages of the hiring process, and it offers candidates a quick and simple way to reply.

The most progressive companies are changing their processes and adapting to the increased use of mobile devices, including brands like Trilogy Health Services, Aramark, Enterprise Holdings and Sodexo. Many of them are seeing response rates from texting outperform open rates via email and response rates over the phone. Although traditional methods of communication likely won’t be completely dissolved in the near future, the use of text messaging for recruiters has become inevitable, especially for quick tasks and reminders.

Take a company like Trilogy Health Services, a provider of senior living and long-term healthcare services that is currently faced with a diminishing labor market and ever-changing industry regulations. With the healthcare talent shortage; a paper-based, manual recruitment process; and no way to connect with mobile, deskless candidates who spend most of their time on their feet, Trilogy struggled to fill vacancies for the specialized and diverse positions it desperately needed.

To arm its recruiters with better candidate-engagement tools and avoid have to constantly play phone-tag with hard to reach, on-the-go job seekers, Trilogy began incorporating texts into its hiring strategy. Its most recent text response rate is now 44 percent, with an average response time of just one hour, because it allows Trilogy recruiters to quickly identify themselves and offers a convenient way for candidates to text back and schedule an interview, if they’re interested.

Avoiding Risky Situations

Beyond convenience, a formalized text recruiting program adds much-needed compliance to what can be a risky situation if not properly planned and monitored. We’ve all heard horror stories of inappropriate text exchanges between colleagues and business contacts. By tracking recruiting texts within a talent acquisition platform, employers can keep an audit trail of candidate communications for analysis and legal assurance. This also protects recruiters from having to share their personal phone numbers — something they’ll really appreciate.

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Natural language processing and artificial intelligence are additional spokes to the current recruiting-communication revolution. Repetitive, time-consuming tasks like answering frequently asked questions, setting appointments, and sending reminders are where recruiters can take advantage of AI’s help in the form of chatbots. Candidates embrace chatbots because they value on-demand help navigating careers sites, learning about new openings, and being guided to the proper channels for information. Chatbots help candidates and recruiters by being a 24/7 information source when a human recruiter isn’t available.

The truth is, the recruiting industry will always be chaotic, but the companies that win have the dedicated tools in place to filter the chaos and streamline the hiring process with the latest innovative technology. Today, it’s texting, but no one quite knows what trends will emerge tomorrow, which is why it’s so important to select a recruitment software partner that prioritizes the quickly evolving TA space and can comfortably embrace every revolution.

Susan Vitale is the chief marketing officer for iCIMS.