Best Practices and #GR8Tips for Text Recruiting

Diane Tarbell is a product manager at GR8 People, where she plays an integral role in the continued evolution and advancement of our One-Experience Talent Platform. Here, she talks about the platform’s natively-built text recruiting solution and what the functionality can mean for recruiters and candidates alike.

Recruiters already use a range of channels to communicate with candidates. Why should they add text recruiting to the mix?

We know that reaching candidates when—and how—they prefer is critical to moving the hiring process forward and securing top talent. With text recruiting, talent acquisition can send updates and receive responses from candidates in minutes, compared to hours or even days. When you’re trying to keep the hiring momentum going, using a channel that has open rates as high as 98% can really add up in terms of time saved for each individual search as well as across the entire organization’s hiring activity.

Plus, just like email, texting gives recruiters the flexibility to communicate directly with a single candidate through person-to-person (P2P) messaging or to use application-to-person (A2P) messaging to communicate with a group of candidates. The benefit of A2P messaging is that recruiters can include text messages within batched workflow activities. The automated alerts, reminders and notifications are ideal for timely communications and eliminating time consuming tasks.

For those new to text recruiting, what is key to establishing a strong foundation for success right from the outset?

I think that, just like any other channel, the greatest success is realized when text recruiting is viewed as part of talent acquisition’s larger communications strategy. You need to be deliberate regarding which communications are ideal for text messaging. For example, you wouldn’t want to negotiate the salary being offered via text or send a final candidate who invested considerable time in your hiring process a rejection via text. But, as a means for alerting candidates to matching job opportunities or sending an interview reminder with a link to important details.

Texting can quickly become one of the best ways to engage candidates and get your messages read. As a result, you also have to think carefully about how you’ll manage text communications, particularly as related to compliance. Ideally, your text recruiting application will be built natively into your talent acquisition platform, which is what GR8 People chose to do. It reflects our belief that having all tools and solutions available in a seamless platform leads to far more efficient and effective recruiting practices. Having text recruiting functionality built natively within the system lets recruiters manage all text communications directly from their main dashboard and benefit from immediate access to both conversation history and essential text recruiting metrics.

If this isn’t an option, you’ll want to understand what is and isn’t possible given the text recruiting provider’s standard integrations so that your team is clear on any limitations or additional administrative work, like managing yet another vendor contract and jumping between tools for important data, that may be required to fully enable the functionality that your team is expecting.

Are there any special requirements for text recruiting that need to be kept in mind?

Yes, there are two important aspects to remember. First, talent acquisition will need to confirm that candidates have opted to receive text messages. Make sure you embed highly visible links to the opt-in process across all current forms. For example, prompt candidates as they’re completing a profile for your ATS, joining a talent pool in your CRM, or registering for a virtual recruiting event. You can also include an opt-in prompt on recruitment marketing emails, such as monthly job digests, as a means for increasing your organization’s percentage of text subscribers.

Second, you’ll need to set “quiet times” for your text messages. The last thing you want to do is inadvertently disrupt candidates with a text message in the middle of the night, so set quiet times within your system that block messages from going out between 9pm and 8am in the recipient’s local time zone.

Any other GR8 text recruiting best practices that you’d like to emphasize?

I highly recommend taking advantage of templates to support both consistency and personalization when texting. Text messaging templates, which can be quickly accessed by recruiters whether they’re reaching out to or replying to candidates, are ideal for common interactions with job seekers because they allow for quick substitutions that accommodate the personalized messages that elicit even faster response.

Finally, look to your vendor to help you determine an effective text recruiting strategy—one that includes how best to invite candidates to opt-in to text messaging and the phone number strategy that makes the most sense for your recruiting team given that system administrators have the option to select the area code for each recruiter’s individual number, which means you can use numbers local to the recruiter’s region or that of the company’s headquarters.

Get more GR8 tips for how your recruiting team can get more out of its talent acquisition technology—visit our Resources library and check out our latest tools and templates.