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2txt or Not to Text

Once upon a time, email was the darling of the recruiting industry, then along came InMail and now it’s texting.  If there is one thing for certain, the myriad of ways that recruiter’s have to connect with candidates has increased the speed of connection.  But does texting end the game of phone/email tag forever? Hardly, it’s another tool in the toolbox, but not a complete replacement,yet.

As you think about adding texting into your recruitment technology stack, consider the following:

  • How will you remain compliant with communication laws regarding texting?
  • Will you run all texting through your existing CRM/ATS platform or leverage a third-party platform?
  • Where does texting fit into your current recruiting process?
  • What are the use cases for texting and how will you handle training your people on where/when to use texting?
  • What will you measure?

First and foremost, compliance.  I will not pretend that I am your legal department.  Suffice to say that prior to launching a texting platform, engage legal to ensure you are setting up opt-ins/opt-outs correctly and that you are training your team appropriately on the process to follow to remain compliant when leveraging texting for recruiting.

Use case and measurement go hand in hand, ensuring that texting is incorporated where it makes sense in the process and that it does not inhibit or cause extra steps along the way.  

You will want to have two types of text message categories: initial engagement (i.e.: candidate has applied and opted in to receive text messages, an automated text template goes out inviting candidate to schedule an interview with recruiter), ongoing engagement (i.e.: the back and forth dialogue that a recruiter could have with the candidate as they present them forward and work to get HM interviews scheduled. 

To achieve accurate metrics, discuss with your vendor what data you will need from the ATS/CRM and what data they will provide. A text vendor partner should be able to provide you with support on setting quality metrics on the front end and make recommendations to improve along the way.  

Metrics to consider

* Response Rate – Benchmark: 51%
* Open Rate – Benchmark: 88%
* Click Through Rate – Benchmark: 17%
* Average # texts it takes to hire a candidate
* # of candidates moved to interview who received text messages
* Recruitment  Cycle Time - Time to hire with vs without text messaging engagement – reducing cycle time
* Texting Templates - What type of message works best for this touchpoint/skillset?
* When is the best time of day to send a message?

As with any technology investment, make sure your organization has clearly defined what result you expect to see, what improvement in the process it should make and measure the adoption and ROI on a monthly basis.  Texting can be a powerful differentiator when used correctly.

Written by Angela Westfall