Recruiting Candidates via SMS Text

Recruiting Candidates via SMS Text

It’s a tricky business to focus on recruiting method (SMS Text Recruiting) over recruiting substance (career growth, salary, learning opportunities). So, we will pursue a dual-track and mix the two issues into one discussion on recruiting candidates.

SMS HR Text Recruiting Method Statistics

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that both the potential Gen Z and active Millennial workforce have been studied regarding SMS texting being used to reach out to them. The statistics are encouraging but totally exclusive to suggest abandoning other more traditional methods. Let’s look at the numbers.

  • The eventual Gen Z workforce will be the largest pool of talent at 61 million people, according to the consulting firm BridgeWorks.
  • 96% of GEN Z owns a smartphone and spend approximately 10.5 hours on the device each day
  • 86% of Gen Z and Millennials like SMS text as part of the interview process
  • 74% attribute delays in company response for the reason they turned down an offer from that company.
  • The SMS text open rate is 98%
  • 71% of potential candidates say that text messaging with a business was effective
  • 67% of potential candidates respond within minutes to SMS text messages

Beyond SMS texting on the candidate’s smartphone, there is a second digital communication technology to employ in text recruiting. That’s over the marketing channels using a multimedia messaging service (MMS) at the B2C (business to consumer) level. It may be a useful channel to send out a targeted communication to an audience that fits the profile for the positions you’re trying to fill. The statistics aren’t as well developed using the MMS channels. However, it would be an exciting opportunity to leverage the marketing departments’ skills and expertise and integrate the effort across a company’s broader swath. Besides, the marketing department budget is bigger than the HR budget.

MMS texting was built with the same technology SMS uses. It allows SMS users to send MMS content. The content isn’t textual but is used to send pictures, audio files, phone contacts, and video files. The video files option could be a creative and slick looking HR strategy. Twilio has a comprehensive discussion of MMS and SMS’s relationships if you’re interested in digging a bit deeper.

SMS Text Messaging Strategies for HR Success for Recruiting Gen Z and Millennials

As we saw in the SMS text messaging statistics, there is value in incorporating SMS texts when recruiting candidates from the Gen Z and Millennial age ranges. However, it’s not perfect and leaves anywhere from 25 to 30 percent of the possible candidates out of the loop. Don’t stop doing traditional things like posting to job boards and advertising online and on social media.

There are industry best practices for using SMS texting in the recruiting process. It’s the structure behind the method. Gen Z and Millennials are two different bodies of candidates. While they both have smartphones and technological savvy as part of their outlook on life, they have different values that motivate them to sign on with one company or another.

A few more statistics will help bring things into context before we jump into strategies and objectives.

  • 71% of Gen Z and Millennials believe companies have failed to align their benefits package with their priorities, such as career development needs
    • Executive face-time (40%); mentorships; non-linear career paths
    • Flexible work schedules; remote working options; performance rather than in-office presence as measures of effectiveness
    • Mitigation of student loan debt; work/life balance; direct cost of living issues like pet insurance (negotiation of better rates using group power)
    • 48% of the Gen Z and Millennial workforce are non-Caucasian, according to an Allegis study.  They are a diverse group and very much socially aware. Company position on diversity and inclusion and social responsibility rather than only negotiating salary and related compensation. Indeed, money is not the only thing they want from a company.

What usually prevents developing an excellent first impression with Gen Z and Millennials for most companies is the inability to engage them in the manner they seek. What worked with the Baby Boomer and Gen X generations doesn’t work with Gen Z and Millennials. The result is a web of frustration, disappointment, and quick disengagement by the candidate in continuing negotiations with the company.

  • HR must develop an empathic listening approach and understand Gen Z and Millennial perspectives. Corporate values must align with them.
  • The frame of mind companies need is to embrace change management. HR and the corporate culture must adapt to the processes and views on technology that both generations embrace.
  • Gen Z and Millennials are looking to be empowered to make a difference in society. They want the company they work with to support them and allow them opportunities to present to them. Gen Z Is starting to graduate college this year with a lot of debt and optimism, according to FastCompany. Pay attention if you want a Gen Z candidate to work for you. The Covid 19 pandemic is driving an underpopulation trend. The competition for entry-level new hires will be fiercely competitive.

The SMS text recruiting best practices are a lot of common sense and recognizing the culture these generations were brought up in. Gen Z has no first-hand knowledge of the horrors of 9/11. They have a fresh experience with a fractured society, a faltering economy, and a lack of good work opportunities.

  1. Get permission to text the people you want to recruit. Consent to obtain personal data is what they know. Demonstrate that you respect that and ask for their consent to engage them in SMS text recruiting.
  2. SMS text is not meant to be long and involved conversations. Get to the point and keep the issues simple and straightforward.
  3. The timing of when you send SMS texts is essential. Texts sent outside of the perceived business hours are considered unprofessional. A study has shown that 14% of this candidate pool will object to getting SMS texts during personal time.
  4. Your SMS text recruiting campaign must be structured and comprehensive.
    1. Automate the process as much as possible. There are software tools to make that easy.
    1. Use an SMS template. There are several on the market. Evaluate the choices and pick one that fits your needs. It should include most or all of these elements of information
      • Job Interview invitation
      • Post-Interview Follow-Up
      • Interview reschedule (if needed)
      • Reconnect opportunities with past candidates for reconsideration (yours and theirs)
      • Make it simple for candidates to unsubscribe and stop receiving texts. Don’t make it personal or awkward. Their reason isn’t yours to question.

SMS text messaging and process automation is no longer something to think about. You need to do it and integrate the capability into your recruiting tools. Just like the marketing group has a boatload of marketing technology to Wade through, so do you with the HR tech that seems to pop up every week. Consider your tech carefully and make sure all the tech elements work together in one shared environment. Get with the IT guys and go through qualifying each piece of software you want to bring into the company.

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