In our current labor market, delivering the most positive candidate experience possible is top of mind among enterprise talent acquisition teams. As the Talent Board notes in its North American Candidate Experience Awards Research Report, employers continue to identify “improving candidate experience” as their top recruiting initiative for 2020.
With this in mind, and in recognition of #CandExperienceDay2020—which aims to celebrate exceptional candidate experiences and their impact on positive employer branding and recruiting outcomes—I’m highlighting the essential role that texting can play in a better candidate experience across three key areas:
- Encouraging target candidates within your existing databases to apply
- Communicating instantaneously with top applicants
- Dramatically shortening time to fill
Encouraging Target Candidates to Apply
If you’re like most enterprise recruiting teams, you already have access to interested, qualified and available talent through continued nurturing and engagement of your talent communities, as well as existing databases that include current employees and silver medalists (who should always be added to an appropriate talent community!).
Texting target candidates when the right opportunity becomes available and encouraging them to apply directly from a mobile device can increase response and completed application rates. Many job seekers already prefer to manage their search from a mobile device, and research from Glassdoor indicates that certain groups, such as mid-career professionals, hourly workers and women, exhibit an even greater likelihood to search for jobs from a mobile device.
Of course, providing a mobile-ready application will undoubtedly make a big difference in completed applications. Doing so delivers the seamless experience required to get the most out of texting target candidates about relevant opportunities.
Communicating Instantaneously With Top Applicants
Once you have secured the interest of talented individuals through their completion of an application, use texting to engage them throughout the hiring process with more immediate communication. The sheer visibility of texts lends recruiters a huge advantage in terms of engagement. As Mobile Marketing Watch reports, unlike email and voice mail, SMS text messages have a 98% open rate. Given this, leverage texting to schedule interviews or to remind applicants they need to complete an assessment test as part of the hiring process. Texts are also ideal for updating applicants on next steps as they move through your pipeline, including any delays as there’s nothing worse from the applicant perspective than radio silence after a phone screen or interview simply due to a delay on the employer’s end.
Shortening the Hiring Process
As the Talent Board points out in its 2019 report, a lengthy recruiting process was among the top three most negative reasons that candidates withdrew from a hiring process. Unfortunately, this is not surprising as we know that time to fill averages have remained stubbornly high even as recruiting teams have adopted technologies that promise to automate tasks and streamline processes. The good news is that texting can give employers an edge here as well.
An analysis by Aptitude Research indicates that texting (and chatbots) have a far greater impact than email in terms of reducing time to fill. Employers who used texting were twice as likely to fill positions within two weeks than employers who relied on more traditional channels—an outcome that is essential to making sure that top talent doesn’t drop out of the process or accept another offer just because your organization took too long to hire.
At the same time, texting shouldn’t replace all other forms of candidate communications. Consider candidate preferences when it comes to learning of their rejection. Here, the Talent Board notes that, “Delivering a rejection over the phone—as opposed to mass email or text message—can leave the candidate with a positive impression—29% higher than email messages.” Thus, the best approach is to use texting when it complements the overall candidate experience, as opposed to simply making it a blanket replacement for all communication.
Looking for other opportunities to make your hiring process more efficient and, ultimately, deliver a better candidate experience? Check out these GR8 tips from Informatica and Precision Medicine Group.