I've been asking recruiters about how they use texting in recruiting. In this post we hear from Josh R. who has a theory that messenger apps may surpass texting.
I started texting candidates in 2016. I was a little hesitant at first. Is this an invasion of privacy? Does this look like I’m too desperate? But the results were clear. I had a much better success rate of reaching people by text than phone. I’ve spent most of my time recruiting in the skilled trades. People are at work, they are driving, or they are running equipment. They can’t and won’t take your call. It made sense. Candidates seemed to appreciate a quick text to set up a phone call.
I’m not a natural text recruiting on my phone. I can type. How do I type a text on my phone. I created a Google voice number and....wallah. Good to go. Often times I would get texts back from people I had reached out to weeks prior. It was the icing on the cake.
By 2017, many of the members of the hiring team were texting. We got company cell phones for those who didn’t...just so they could text candidates. We also found it was helpful during onboarding.
At the time (2016-17), I didn’t feel like it was a widely accepted practice. I’ve recently started my own job search on the major job boards. They are all texting. Zip recruiter, Career Building, and Indeed all text you alerts. I’m unsure if it’s a good or bad thing.
In 2018, I bought a bluetooth keyboard for texting directly from my phone. I changed companies. Anyone who came into my office was always weirded out about having two keyboards on my desk. I couldn’t figure out why all the recruiters didn’t have two keyboards on their desk. Even today, I feel, not all recruiters are taking advantage of text.
I’ve stuck to a few principles on text. Always call and email first. Always identify yourself. The basics.
In 2017, I started running Facebook ads and go straight to Facebook messenger. I started trying to engage candidates via messenger. It was another game changer. As candidates started getting too many texts, some are ignored. I also routinely use LinkedIn messenger. These platforms are very effective, so says Statistica.
Text, messaging, and email are not “primary” communication, these are “secondary”. Primary communication is only face-to-face or on the phone. And no business gets done with secondary communication, only primary.
Do you agree with Josh? Let us know in a comment.