Should HR Be Texting Applicants?
If anyone in the HR industry would have told you that texting applicants would be the most effective method for applicant engagement five years ago, corporate recruiters would have laughed in their faces. Well, times have changed.
Texting applicants is now not only one of the most efficient means for communicating with job seekers, some applicant tracking platforms have included texting applicants as one of their features.
If you're an HR professional who has been involved in the business for many years and you play a role in mitigating compliance risk, the idea of texting applicants is likely to make you a little uncomfortable. It probably makes you a little suspicious, too.
Let's explore the intricacies of texting applicants and dive head first into the research supporting why companies can't afford to skip this vital step for job seeker engagement.
What does "texting applicants" really mean?
If the idea of texting applicants is completely foreign to you, then you probably picture a nightmarish scene of either you or one of your colleagues having to send individual texts to each applicant through your personal cell phone. If this were the reality, then texting applicants would be a very daunting and impractical task. Fortunately, with advanced hiring software, that's not the case.
Hiring Software platforms use a feature built directly into their system that allows you to type text messages to your applicants. It's designed to mirror a lot of the functionality of email, but much more efficient at reaching and engaging job seekers.
What does the data say about texting applicants?
Texting applicants is still in its infancy, but texting as a means for communicating important information to clients and customers has been considered mainstream for years now.
I'm sure most of us have used (or have been presented with the option to receive) text messages to inform us of upcoming healthcare or service based appointments. According to data, "it takes the average person 90 minutes to respond to an email and only 90 seconds to respond to a text message!" That's a marked difference in someone's response time. And, if you think that's impressive, consider that "text messages are read on average in under five seconds."
So, even if your applicant doesn't respond to you right away, you can feel confident knowing that your applicant at the very least has read your message. Especially when compared to email which is opened only 20 percent on average.
Why should HR be texting applicants, anyway?
The most obvious question when texting applicants steps onto the scene is why? What's the benefit to using text messages to reach out to and connect with future employees?
The simple answer is that text messaging works to engage job candidates. In a thriving job market that favors applicants, employers face a lot of competition, especially for entry level positions with high turnover. If you want to hire the most qualified applicants, not only do you have to act fast to get them hired so you don't lose them, but you have to engage them enough to keep them interested in working for you so you don't lose them to one of your competitors.
Additionally, if you work in an industry that hires individuals with a limited skill set then not only are you competing with others in your industry for these applicants, but you're competing with all the businesses that hire people for positions that have similar compensation and also require a similar set of skills.
Using text messaging enables enables you to stay in constant contact with qualified applicants and can also help you schedule/confirm job interviews as soon as possible so you can get those superstar candidates onboarded as quickly as possible lowering your time-to-fill.
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