Recruiters are at a disadvantage in today’s hyper-connected society. There are several barriers that run the risk of impeding talent acquisition, including a negative candidate experience, ineffective employment branding, drawn-out recruiting processes, and the inability to reach a busy, on-the-go workforce.
Given the high pressure of acquiring top talent in today’s competitive job market, recruiters and hiring managers cannot afford inefficient communication practices or delays in the interviewing process. Text screens are the present and future of bringing top talent into your pipeline. Think you know all there is to know about recruiting via text message? Here are five things that may surprise you.
1. Speeds Up Hiring Decisions
The job interview process is getting longer. The average overall job interview process in the U.S. today takes 22.9 days, compared to 12.5 days just seven years ago, according to Glassdoor Economic Research.
One of the biggest delays for recruiters and HR professionals comes at the very onset of the interview process, where screening a high volume of candidates gets delayed by waiting for qualified applicants to call back.
Unfortunately, answering a phone call to talk about an interview for a new gig while at the applicant’s current job is rarely possible and always awkward. Texting, on the other hand, is different. A job candidate can respond in less than 1 minute without disrupting his or her day. It’s fast, obscure, and doesn’t pull the candidate away from current work. With robust recruiting platforms, the average time to screen a candidate is just 4.4 minutes.
To date, Community Health Network out of Indianapolis has contacted nearly 2,000 individual applicants and obtained an 83 percent response rate using text-based recruiting. Before, using traditional recruitment methods like email and phone conversations, response rates typically ranged from 45-60 percent.
Additionally, a recruiter who typically conducts four to six phone screens per day can reach 10 times that volume using a text-based recruiting platform.
2. Showcases Candidate and Employer Personality
Everyone, from your best friend to your boss and even grandmother, is using digital avatars to communicate, including at work, in life, and even in texts with coworkers and friends. In 2017, Bitmoji, which allows users to create their own personal emoji, was the number one downloaded Apple iOS app.
Canvas has integrated with Snap Inc.’s Bitmoji Kit to enable recruiters and job candidates to express themselves with Bitmoji stickers in a text-based interview. Recruiters can easily send and receive the avatars as well as GIFs and emojis, adding depth and personality to text interviews and recruiting conversations. The integration allows users to show their personality throughout the conversation, ease a nervous candidate’s mind, connect over fun technology, and combat a stale hiring culture.
The next time a candidate sends a great answer to an interview question via text, try responding with a high-five or thumbs up Bitmoji.
3. Not Just for Millennials
While Millennials and Gen Z-ers are constantly on their cell phones, Snapchatting selfies, checking their Twitter feed, or posting an Instagram story, they’re hitting “decline” as soon as the phone rings, even when a recruiter is on the line. Research from the KPCB 2016 Internet Trends Report states that only 12 percent of millennials favor the phone for business communication.
But don’t pigeonhole text screens as just a fit for the younger generation of talent. Nearly all adults today have a cell phone, and the numbers are growing. A study by Nielsen found that texting is now the most utilized data service worldwide, with 18.7 billion texts sent every day.
Mobile Marketer reports that 60 percent of individuals over age 45 are just as likely to use texting as voice calling. In addition, Club Texting shares that 98 percent of people between ages 30 and 49 years old text, and 92 percent of those over age 50 text.
Texting can expedite the hiring process for both the recruiter and the candidate, something that all generations can appreciate.
4. Automation is Key
Most job interviews start the same way: “Tell me about yourself.” “What are your strengths?” “What are your weaknesses?” One way HR professionals can leverage their unique approach to interviewing with technology is by creating templates and a convenient questions library to text candidates. Recruiters can then focus on sharing initial questions that solicit substantive conversations with the candidate.
Some text-based interviewing platforms, like Canvas, even utilize machine learning and natural language-based analytics to automatically suggest resource and response recommendations. These algorithms also generate predetermined interview questions to help increase candidate quality and reduce the amount of time spent filling open positions.
5. A Blessing for Introverts
Given that many introverts get anxious at the mere prospect of an in-person interview, screening a candidate over text message offers this personality type a number of benefits:
- Texting gives candidates all the time they need to craft their response to a question. They’ll appreciate the flexibility to develop a well-thought-out response.
- Given that introverts generally dislike small talk, it’s advantageous to screen over text, as it eliminates chitchat and lets the applicant focus solely on detailing his or her skills and experience.
- Text-based screening eliminates an introvert’s potential concerns about the less important details of an interview like clothing choices, location, etc. Instead, he or she can simply focus on providing the interviewer with answers related to the job opportunity.
- Introverts dislike having to repeat themselves, so the redundancy that often happens during in-person or phone screenings can be daunting. Text interviews allow introverts to be direct and to the point.
The recruiting landscape is rapidly shifting and requires a modern, multi-channel approach to candidate engagement in order to stay top of mind. While the average open rate for email remains strong at more than 20 percent, mobile text commands a near-perfect 98 percent read rate. The speed at which the world moves today requires innovative tools that can keep pace with job seekers’ growing expectations for instant, personalized interactions.
Companies are using text-based recruiting to screen candidates across a variety of industries for positions ranging from machinists and welders to software engineers, sales professionals, physical therapists, nurses, pilots and more. Don’t miss out on a great new hire because you’re unwilling to meet candidates where they are: on their phones.
About the author: Aman Brar is CEO of Canvas, the first text-based interviewing platform that enables recruiters to screen more job candidates and market employment brands. With Canvas, companies have transformed their reach and engagement with talent by designing their recruitment strategies in a way that aligns with the communication preferences of today’s workforce.