IN TODAY’S FAST-PACED, ON-THE-GO WORLD, there’s no simpler way of communicating than through text message. We fire off texts to our friends, family and coworkers while running errands and cooking dinner without missing a single play on game day. Texting makes communicating easier while we live our busy lives.
Recently, texting has even become a successful tool that recruiters have used to solve a common problem in the recruitment industry: connecting the right companies with the most competitive talent.
In previous years, employers filled roles through “post and pray” recruitment methods, where a recruiter posts a job advertisement online, hoping a qualified job seeker will stumble upon it and apply. This isn’t the most proactive or efficient way to find your next hire. Naturally, employers still relying on this recruitment method alone aren’t hiring the best candidates or even retaining their top talent. While job advertising is still used by HR departments to fill open positions, it shouldn’t be a stand-alone strategy. That’s where recruiting via text message can help.
Text messaging is instantaneous, personal and meets candidates where they are – on their smartphones. Better yet, it can connect the right talent to the best roles even when these positions are hard to fill.
Where is your smartphone right now? Chances are it’s not far out of reach, if not already in your hand. Well, you’re not alone. According to a 2016 study by research firm, Dscout, the typical cellphone user touches his or her device 2,617 times per day. For more extreme users (and probably your average millennial), that number is over 5,400! Imagine having a touchpoint with a prospective hire thousands of times per day. That’s why text campaigns are so effective. It offers a method of reaching candidates where they are most of their day: on their phones.
Candidates even prefer to be contacted this way. According to a survey conducted by Nexxt, 73 percent of job seekers want to receive information about job openings by text. The convenience of this recruitment tactic is undeniable. The same survey found that 65 percent of job seekers already use their smart device at least once a day to job search.
Given that we’re glued to our devices all day, texts are much harder to ignore than emails. While more and more recruiter emails are left unopened, 90 percent of texts are read in the first three minutes of being received. This instant communication means your message is getting through to your ideal candidate right away, loud and clear.
Additionally, recruiting via text is incredibly effective because it’s personal. By nature, a text is a friendlier mode of communication than an email, and a text message recruitment campaign allows for messaging that goes beyond just an email from a recruiter. This personal touch allows your communication to stand out from other messages they may be receiving from recruiters.
Solving Common Dilemmas in The Recruitment Industry
Text campaigns can even solve common challenges like reaching high-demand candidates, finding candidates for difficult to fill positions and filling roles in small labor markets such as in rural areas. Text recruiting allows HR professionals to start a dialogue with in-demand candidates like nurses, who most likely aren’t actively pursuing new opportunities or scouring job boards on a daily basis, but, nonetheless, may be open to exploring new opportunities. Plus, this strategy starts a conversation with a prospective hire in a way they are comfortable communicating. Text messaging can be extremely targeted. They can search for candidates in a very precise way. For example, a campaign was sent to just 330 potential hires, but it targeted these candidates using selective keywords, job titles and candidates’ geographic locations rather than casting a wide net with a general audience. The campaign resulted in five hires.
For large companies with regular turnover rates, like healthcare networks and clinics, there are often thousands of vacant positions at one time. Their human resources departments are constantly searching for quality talent to fill these roles. In rural areas in particular, it can be impossible to find enough qualified talent in such a small talent pool, but text message campaigns have proven to solve this problem. For example, a healthcare company in a small, rural town that traditionally held job fairs to fill positions was finding it difficult to encourage candidates to attend the fair, so the company used a text message campaign to drive foot traffic to the event. At an event where 15 candidates showing up was a success, 44 prospective hires attended.
Integrating Text Messaging into Your Existing Recruitment Strategy
Once an employer implements it into their recruitment strategy, text messaging can seamlessly integrate with traditional email and job advertising campaigns and drive candidates to the company’s open listings.
Another powerful tool available to recruiters today is candidate retargeting. If you’ve ever had an ad for a pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on follow you around the web, you know what retargeting is. With a retargeting campaign, if a candidate has viewed an employer’s job listing, an ad for that listing will appear as they’re checking the weather, online shopping or reading the news. Retargeting helps employers reach the candidates who are browsing job listings, but aren’t taking the next step to apply. Seeing the job listing twice or more nudges the candidate to take action. Paired with a text campaign, retargeting can be a very powerful tool for recruiters to reach their hiring goals.
In today’s tight labor market, your recruitment strategy needs to meet candidates where they are. Texting is instantaneous and personal and recruiters can communicate with perspective hires on their smartphones. Even when your company is recruiting for hard-to-fill positions, text messaging has proven to help employers reach and hire the best quality candidates.
Joe Stubblebine is the vice president of Recruitment Media Sales at Nexxt and has a long and varied career in the online recruitment marketing and sourcing space. Joe has worked for many notable brands including Wyeth, Glaxo SmithKline and Hershey Foods. Prior to joining Nexxt, he cofounded and managed JobCircle. com, a robust regional career site. www.brownsteingroup.com