Here are some tips on writing the perfect recruiting text that will have the right candidates lining up to interview.
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With 95 percent of Americans owning cellphones and 77 percent owning smartphones, that makes mobile a smart platform for recruiters to reach out to candidates. Also, millennials are going to represent 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025, and they are a mobile-first generation (that is, millennials who consider mobile their number one channel of communication).
Did I mention that recruiting texts have an average 30 percent response rate within an hour of being sent? But not all recruitment texts are alike and crafting the perfect text message that will get the applications and interviews rolling is an essential skill for HR personnel.
Everything from tone to timing counts when it comes to sending a message that will get a positive candidate response. Candidates would be less likely to respond to a company that pings them in the middle of the night while they’re trying to sleep.
Here are some tips on writing the perfect recruiting text that will have the right candidates lining up to interview:
- Know your candidate: It can be tempting to send out blanket texts where you just fill in the name of the candidate and send out identical messages to hundreds or thousands of potential candidates. But that’s one sure way to turn them off. It’s the age of personalization and that goes for recruiting as well. Filling the position with the right person starts with knowing a bit about the candidate before shooting off that message.
Take the time to craft a message that shows you’ve read their resume and are interested in them for a specific experience or skill they possess. This will help candidates take your offer to interview seriously instead of getting it filed under all the other generic recruiting messages they receive.
- Send informative messages: Your candidate also wants to know about your company and the position that’s available. Reaching out to someone who isn’t qualified or is over-qualified for the positon you’re looking to fill is a waste of both your time.
Let them know the details of the job, a quick description of the company and why they should be considering interviewing for that position. Make sure to emphasize the benefits the company can offer candidates to get them interested in finding out more.
- Stay professional: Texting can be a very casual form of communication, which is why it’s doubly important you stick to professional language and not delve into slang or start sprinkling emoticons throughout your messages. Stay away from abbreviations also, as you can’t guarantee that everyone will know what they mean and the last thing you want to do is confuse your candidate.
- Get to the punch: Texts have pretty tight character limits so it’s hard not to be brief in them. But that also means that you shouldn’t waste any of that precious space. Don’t bore your candidate with meaningless information. Use language that is active and exciting, yet also professional.
Get to the point as soon as you can. And definitely end by leaving the ball in their court. Something like, “Would you be able to come in for an interview next week?” ends the message in a way that begs a reply. This is much more effective than saying, “Drop us a line if you would like to interview.” That’s too wishy-washy and risks them not really understanding what the next line of action is.
- Timing can help or hurt: Let’s face it, texts are effective because they’re also just a bit invasive. The phone screen lights up, the phone vibrates or it makes a sound. Texts are simply hard to ignore. This is precisely why you should never text candidates outside of business hours. You appear unprofessional and disrespectful of their private time – not exactly the message you want to be sending to your recruits. Stick to business hours (generally 9-5) to be safe.
- What else to use texts for:
- Confirm an interview. Sending a text to confirm an interview date and time can save you a no-show and be helpful to the candidate who may be busy scheduling other interviews.
- Follow up after an interview. Saying ‘thank you’ with a text after an interview is a nice way to follow up. You can also let candidates know when they can expect a decision on your part – either for a hire or for a second interview.
- Reconnect. If a candidate had a positive interview and then disappeared, you can follow up with a text and let them know you’re interested in hiring them.
Text can be a powerful recruitment tool if used the right way. Sending well-crafted messages to bring in talent can help you fill your company’s position with the right person. Make sure you keep your texts professional and timely to get the attention of the best candidates.
Alexa Lemzy is the customer support manager and content editor at TextMagic, a business texting service. She writes about recruiting, employee engagement, customer relationships and productivity.
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