The Unwritten Rules of Automated Texting in 2019

Automated Texting

SMS messaging, or texting, is mobile-phone technology used by 97% of Americans at least once a day. Automated texting has become one of the latest trends in recruiting. It’s fast, it’s cost-effective, and now, it’s scalable. Find out why recruiters can’t ignore this trend, and what you need to know to use it effectively for better hiring.

How is automated texting used in recruiting?

Recruiters use automated texting for a range of recruiting tasks, including:

  • automated candidate communication
  • scheduling interviews
  • interviewing candidates
  • answering candidates’ questions
  • keeping candidates up-to-date and engaged

What’s essential is being able to text at scale. With advanced interviewing platforms that integrate automated texting applications, candidate communication, text interviews and candidate self-scheduling have never been easier for candidates and recruiters.

How does Automated texting accelerate hiring?

Automated texting enables recruiters to reach multiple candidates simultaneously, in real-time. Most texts are viewed within minutes and are viewed at a higher read-rate than emails. Most candidates respond within a few minutes or hours. When automated text is integrated in an interviewing platform, it compresses the hiring process for candidates and recruiters. Recruiters can engage, qualify and schedule candidates in hours.

How can recruiters use automated texting for interviews?

On-demand text applications let recruiters connect with a large talent pool on pre-qualification questions. Finding out which applicants meet specific job requirements, like having a valid driver’s license or other certification, or the ability to lift 40 pounds or work third shift, helps recruiters quickly identify viable candidates – and let others know in a timely way that they won’t be advancing. Using the automated texting application, recruiters can send the same SMS message simultaneously to all applicants. Candidates simply text back their replies.

With an 80% average candidate response rate, and 10-minute average response time, on-demand text interviews are proving to be highly effective for pre-screening.1 Many TA teams are replacing phone screens with on-demand text interviews, and they’re finding it enhances candidate engagement. Eight in ten candidates prefer text interviews to phone screens.2

CASE STUDY: Automated Text Interviewing

How does automated texting improve the candidate experience?

Modern candidates look for convenience and control in any type of interaction, including the hiring process. With automated texting, recruiters give candidates more options for communicating. If text via smartphone is their preferred way of interacting, they can participate in the hiring process at a higher comfort level.

Automated texting enables recruiters to ramp up communication too, which helps create a more personalized experience for candidates. Whether recruiters text multiple candidates at the same time with pre-interview details or send an individual message with feedback or an answer to a candidate’s question, they gain a flexible, fast way to increase the dialog between candidates and their organization.

Where does AI come in with automated texting?

When the text application is part of an interviewing platform, AI-enabled virtual recruiting assistants (chatbots) can use SMS messaging to communicate with candidates using natural language. Chatbots can text candidates to schedule interviews, answer simple questions, and advance qualified candidates in the hiring process with a text invite to complete an on-demand interview.

Tips for Doing Automated Text Recruiting Well

It’s just so easy to send a quick text message – that’s one of texting’s biggest advantages. When you use automated texting for hiring though, think about it strategically in the context of your overall candidate communication strategy. Where could a short text message boost candidates’ sense of being well-informed?  How will you craft your text message so it carries your employer brand forward?

Here are a few suggestions for making your automated texting professional and impactful:

  • Do use language that is natural for your organization. Avoid using emojis and txt-speak (those ubiquitous abbreviations). Double-check spelling.
  • Keep messages brief but pay close attention to your tone. How will candidates interpret your message? Will it clarify or cause confusion?
  • Be timely in your responses to candidates’ text messages to you.
  • Know the rules for opt-in and opt-out permissions.
  • If you’re texting across borders, check country-specific regulations about SMS messaging.
  • Pay attention to time zones and avoid early morning or late-night messaging.
  • Realize that while most phones today have SMS functionality, not all can accept video or image files.

And, keep this in mind with automated texting and chatbots: 82% of candidates say it’s important to be informed that they’re speaking with this technology.

Keep Candidates Engaged at Every Step with Automated Texting

Automated texting can enhance candidate engagement at every stage in hiring. Send candidates a warm, personal thank you for applying with your organization. Notify candidates if they’ve been selected for an interview, or if they aren’t a fit at this time. Keep candidates on track with interview reminders. Text to let them know you’d like to talk live about feedback or a job offer.

You can also use it to keep new hires engaged before their first day. Send task reminders and invites to company social events during onboarding. Welcome them on their first day with a personal message.

To see how other recruiters are using automated text messaging in their hiring workflow, review these brief case studies:

Candidates are completing interviews in minutes, not days for call center positions
Healthcare job candidates prefer text invites rather than phone calls to schedule their interview

Sources:
1,2.   Montage 2018 data

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