With the U.S. unemployment rate at an all-time low, hovering under four percent, the talent market is getting more and more competitive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 6.7 million job openings and just 6.4 million available workers to fill them.
Connecting to candidates has become increasingly difficult and relying on traditional recruiting techniques like phone calls and emails to connect with an on-the-go workforce will likely result in losing out on a worthy applicant. Instead, companies are utilizing methods that align with the communication preferences of today’s talent generation and switching to text-based recruiting.
Check out a few ways this new technology can help recruiters boost candidate response times, connect with more applicants with less hassle and retain candidates or hired employees.
Connect Faster to Higher Volumes of Talent
Recruiters are facing one of the busiest, yet best, times of their careers with a 16-year low unemployment rate and a record-high number of job openings. In this demanding, candidate-driven market, screening the high number of candidates necessary to fill open positions is a big challenge for recruiters.
SHI, an $8.5 billion global provider of information technology products and services, began using text-based recruiting platform Canvas in November 2017 after realizing its limited recruiting staff didn’t have a way to communicate quickly with candidates. With traditional recruiting practices, the company’s recruiting team would often miss out on great candidates as they were flying in and out of the job funnel in less than a week with other job opportunities.
Technology, like text-based recruiting, is making it easier—as much as 10 times easier—for organizations to screen a high volume of talent daily. In fact, after SHI switched to text-based recruiting, the company cut response times in half.
Texting works particularly well in the early screening process when bringing job applicants into the funnel to begin the conversation. It is not meant to completely replace in-person and phone interviews. While those are still great options for second and third round discussions, just like in the online dating world, text can be a great “get-to-know-you” tool.
Ranked among the nation’s most integrated healthcare systems, Indianapolis-based Community Health Network (CHN), first started using text-based recruiting in May 2018. By the end of June, the organization had 22 recruiters trained and using the tool.
The organization utilizes text-based recruiting after the application is complete and recruiters have a mobile number to reach out to the candidate. From there, they communicate back and forth through a text to really get a sense of how the candidate might interact with a patient or customer. They can then determine whether to bring the candidate in for a phone call or in-person interview.
To date, CHN has contacted nearly 7,000 individual applicants and obtained an 85 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.
Engage with New Hires
As a recruiter, being able to reach and connect with candidates during the initial screening process is extremely important. With traditional recruiting methods, it can take days or weeks for recruiters to get through their dreaded email inbox to respond to waiting candidates. If the flow of conversation isn’t consistent, the potential employee could become frustrated and go looking elsewhere.
SHI uses text-based recruiting to stay connected to new hires. The company sends short video touchpoints to keep the connection alive with college seniors who are gearing up to begin their employment post-graduation with the SHI. These short videos are sent through the text-recruiting platform and are an easy way to establish a relationship and remain top-of-mind.
CHN connects with its candidates every step of the way through text-based communication, from proactively sharing benefits and PTO information to automatically responding to questions and responses through an automated Canvas Chatbot feature. Candidates respond positively to the text-based communication and both parties can use emojis, Bitmojis and humor to show their personality.
Different Trades? Text-Recruiting Still Works
Healthcare, technology, and software sales are a few of the most competitive industry types. While they might be different in nature, text-based recruiting has given them a way to stand out to top talent and give recruiters an edge.
SHI and CHN recruiters are motivated by the innovative, easy-to-use technology as they no longer have to worry about spending countless hours on candidate research. The days of missing a call back from a candidate if the recruiter steps away from their desk are over—finally, they can even text dozens of candidates at once.
Text-based recruiting may seem like uncharted territory for a lot of recruiters and candidates, but the benefits of reaching and engaging top talent are unparalleled. Companies and executives are quickly adapting to using text-based recruiting, just as candidates have adapted to using text messaging in nearly all walks of their lives.
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.