Recruiters using Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to manage their talent pool are always looking for new ways to streamline the review process and hire people fast. Text messaging has become a common new feature within ATS platforms, allowing recruiters to conveniently connect with candidates via their mobile device. With over 77% of the U.S. population owning a smart device and about 9/10 job seekers using mobile to search and apply for jobs, it makes sense to incorporate this into communication capabilities. Still, there are some things to keep in mind before using text messaging for all recruitment processes.
Software Advice conducted a survey asking 282 U.S. job seekers about their communication preferences with recruiters.
The majority of respondents viewed texting as neither professional or unprofessional (21%). In regards to age, 34% of 18-34 year old respondents viewed texting as unprofessional, while 37% of the same age range said it was professional. 35% of people older than 35 years old believed it was professional to send texts while 33% saw it as unprofessional.
Depending on your talent pool, each individual may have a different perspective on receiving text messages from hiring managers. Understanding what people want is crucial before executing a new standard of communication with your applicants. Adding an “opt-in” feature on the application process itself can help determine if your candidates appreciate receiving text messages or the opposite.
77% of respondents said they preferred email communication as the initial outreach method, receiving information, learning about new job opportunities, and confirming interviews. However, the majority of those surveyed preferred phone calls for follow ups and scheduling interviews. Texting and social media communication was the least favorable medium for all phases.
If you decide to use text in recruitment efforts, it’s important to not send unwanted, multiple messages – especially during odd hours of the day. This could be considered “spam” and would reflect negatively on company reputation. According to Software Advice, receiving messages during non-business hours was viewed as the most inappropriate situation in regards to recruiter texting (14%). Following that were texts unrelated to the job search (12%), receiving interview feedback (10%), and multiple messages (7%). As mentioned earlier in the article, including an “opt-in” feature on job applications is a great way to monitor what your candidates want, yet it’s also important to include a way candidates can “opt-out” of receiving messages too.
Texting can be an effective way for hiring managers to communicate with talent and streamline recruitment, however it is important to understand and respect what your candidates want. Becoming mindful of this is key to upholding a positive company reputation and ensuring all candidates are happy within the application and hiring process.