The Do’s and Dont’s of Texting Candidates

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Undeniably, technology is taking over the world. As a result, communication has evolved. Take texting, for example. About 18.7 billion texts are sent each day. It’s one of the easiest ways for us to connect. Naturally, it was only a matter of time before recruiters implemented this technology into their outreach efforts.

In a recent survey, 86% percent of young adults between the ages of 18-30 revealed that they feel positively when a recruiter communicated via text. If the way we communicate is, in fact, changing, we have to know what to do and what not to do. The last thing we want is to scare away clients and candidates, right? So, we came up with a list of the do’s and don’ts when it comes time to text a candidate.

DO: Ask the candidates if texting works for them

Before you go on a texting frenzy, first ask for permission. We don’t want to text a candidate who didn’t consent to it first. We also don’t want to come off too strong. As we know, some people may find it nice that you contacted them that way… others might be totally spooked. If you get the go-ahead, give them a heads up so they know you won’t abuse this privilege.

DON’T overcomplicate the text. Keep it simple and to the point

For those who agree to text, don’t send paragraphs. Keep it concise. Don’t ask questions that require an essay response. Texts should always be easy to read and easy to reply. No abbreviations or shortcuts. Find a balance between professional and casual. At the end of the day, everyone involved in this process is still a professional.

You’ll also want to make sure the text is personalized. People want to know they’re texting with a human—not a robot. Small tweaks such as your client’s name or where they’re from make a big difference.

DO: Keep messages organized and timely, and remember, we’re human

Although texting may be easier, never forget that we’re still people with real feelings. That being said, texting isn’t appropriate for the delicate staging of recruiting and interviewing. Any emotional communications, like a job offer, rejection, or sharing bad news with a client, should be said either on the phone or in an email.

Send texts at reasonable hours. Aim for an hour before the start of the workday until an hour or two after it ends. This way, you’re not texting someone while they’re in the middle of a meeting, eating dinner, or settling in for the night.

DON’T spam your candidates with text messages

Candidates don’t want to receive multiple messages from you throughout the day. Not only does it come off as unprofessional, but it’s annoying. Make sure to triple check the text before you hit send. The message should be thorough and contain just the right amount of information that you won’t have to send more than one. If anyone has questions, of course, you should reply as many times as you need. Just make sure that you’re not the one starting the chain.

DO: Have an intriguing opener

Text messages have a 98% open rate. Emails have an open rate of about 23%. Do you need more proof that texting in recruiting is the way to go? Once you have a phone number in-hand, craft an intriguing opener—just like you’d catch their attention in an email.

Sure, your number will be random, but if you’re “human” enough, compelling enough, and stand out from the sea of other texts, you’re more likely to see engagement. Some might think that writing in all caps is a way to stand out and express urgency, but it’s, well, a lot. Too eager. Avoid caps, introduce yourself, and leave your contact info at the end. Just remember: if your first text looks like spam, that’s what it’ll become.

Texting isn’t a new thing, but it’s relatively new in recruiting. There will be hiccups along the way before we really hammer out a solid strategy. Plus, everyone has their preferences. It’s important to listen to candidates and clients to make sure you understand each other. Always stick to the ground rules and schedules to ensure a smooth transition into text recruiting.
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Quentin Zapata
Quentin Zapata
Quentin is a brand and marketing intern at Qualigence International. He enjoys eating chips, playing soccer, and strolling through the grocery store.

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