What to look for in a text recruiting platform

December 2nd, 2021

Chatbot, Hiring, Recruiting Teams

If you’re a recruiter, you probably already know that SMS text messaging is commonplace in the recruiting world these days and for good reason (sometimes just referred to as “texting”, “txt” or “text messaging”).  A Pew research study in April of 2021 discovered that 97% of Americans own a cellphone with 85% owning a smartphone. What’s the most common activity? Texting, with 88% of people doing this daily. If you want to be competitive, a text recruitment strategy is crucial and utilizing a text recruiting platform is required.

Why use a text recruiting platform?

Text message recruitment saves time, improves the communication process, and increases engagement with candidates. It also reduces time to hire, elevates the status of your brand/company, and provides a better candidate experience. Here are some other important considerations:

Instant access and convenience Text recruitment can take place anywhere and anytime. You can instantly engage potential candidates and start the conversation via text. Candidates can reply instantly from anywhere - even from the grocery store line or while on a work break. And recruiters can re-engage more quickly.

More effective and flexible Rather than sending marketing emails or making what feels like endless phone calls and getting no replies, recruiters can optimize their time by sending a text instead. With over 90% open rates, text is the most effective way to reach a large group of people, such as to advertise a seasonal job role or a hiring event or to provide the latest onboarding updates to a new hiring class. Or it can be used for fast, one-on-one communication with candidates who are in the hiring funnel.

Reduce abandonment Just like a shopping cart (“Forgetting something?”), you can still connect with candidates who may have visited a “Careers” webpage and joined your talent network but didn’t fill out an application.

Stay top of mind A well-planned outreach plan can encourage candidates to apply and keep them engaged during the hiring process. Afterall, your job may not be the only one they’re applying for. But remember that text recruiting should not be the only conversational recruitment tool you use.

Compliance peace of mind Many recruiters today use their own personal devices to text with candidates, knowing it’ll be more effective than email. But what happens when that recruiter leaves the organization or litigation arises? A text recruiting solution enables recruiters to enjoy the power of text engagement while also protecting their personal privacy and ensuring all candidate communication is on the record.

The bottom line is that a text recruiting platform is a necessary component in your recruiting process, enabling you to compliantly engage candidates that have been out of reach with only email and phone outreach.

How do I choose the right text recruiting platform for my team?

A text recruiting platform should align with your hiring and recruitment goals and be compatible with your overall strategy. Here are a few things to consider. 

Features Feature-rich platforms are great, but does it make the platform too complex to use? Identify the top features you need and start vetting platforms that satisfy your needs first. Then, if there are some value-add features that make sense, it only enhances that platform in your decision-making process.

Technologically agnostic Ideally, a new platform will work with existing platforms and/or advanced tracking systems (ATS) you already have in place.

Text recruiting only or full funnel Many text recruiting platforms are standalone software tools, but some are part of a full funnel hiring platform solution (and cost a lot more too!). Again, what do you need and does it fit in your budget? If you’re just getting started with text recruiting or recruitment automation, it can quickly pay for itself with the numerous efficiencies it creates with your team.

Ease of use If it’s hard to use, it probably won’t get used or not utilized to its full potential. Ideally, the learning curve for getting started is shallow. Also, does it have a simple, visual interface? Some tools have drag and drop capabilities.

Automation customization You should be able to customize text recruitment software to suit your needs. You should be able to create templates, schedule campaigns, and receive notifications when a new text comes in.

Data Management The data should be easily stored, shared, and evaluated, giving your team better insight to improve your overall recruiting process.

Reporting Your software platform should allow for both canned and custom reporting, from “executive friendly” reports or for those who prefer to dive into the numbers.

Support Platforms and software come and go. Your new platform should provide the support you need to get it up and running properly and expeditiously, but also be there for assistance, upgrades, and specialized help you need when the need arises.

Compliance Your text recruiting software should be legally compliant and maintain the highest level of best practices. You bear much of that responsibility, from a best practices perspective, but make sure any software partner is up to speed.

Benchmarks for comparison There are some key benchmarks to look at when comparing text recruiting platforms side by side, such as response or engagement rate. Usually defined as a percentage, the higher the rate, the better.

 

As you consider a text recruiting platform partner, getting buy-in from your team can be critical. Ask your staff what they think. What are their pain points, must-haves, and wouldn’t-it-be-cools? This will make it easier to implement, train, and use. You’ve probably seen software tools rolled out only to have them gather dust because no one uses them.

Obviously, there are lots of things to think about and there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution.  HireVue has a recruiting SMS text messaging solution that enables recruiters to engage 4x as many candidates, 5x faster than email!

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