I’ll be one of the first to admit that I have spent countless hours crafting highly-personalized emails to target candidates in the past. Of course, this method works really well, and I would never suggest that you stop emailing candidates as part of your recruiting outreach.
However, I do think there’s value in adding texting into your recruiting process. Instead of repeatedly emailing and calling your target candidates, here’s a look at a few of the pros and cons of adding texting into your recruiting mix (assuming you have a number to text).
First, let’s lay out a couple of the pros.
You may get a quicker response. Likely, your target candidates are currently working, and they don’t have the access to their email or mobile phone in order to immediately respond to a recruiting message. Chances are, they won’t be answering your call, and an email to their personal account might not get seen right away.
I’ve gotten quicker responses to cold texting than cold emailing numerous times. I’ve initially reached out to target candidates to set up a time to speak that’s convenient for them instead of interrupting their work, and that’s been successful.
You won’t catch a candidate off guard. I don’t foresee cold calling candidates ever going away entirely. However, when you call a candidate, you are risking calling them at an inopportune time. They may answer, but be uncomfortable since they are currently working. You have no idea whether or not they are working in an open floor area where conversations with a recruiter are pretty much impossible.
The goal is to catch your candidates when they are ready to talk. Texting can help prevent a bad first impression on both ends of the conversation, and they can prepare to be in a quiet place for your scheduled call.
What about the cons?
This method of communication doesn't work for everyone. Although most people own a smartphone, not everyone is receptive to texting people they don’t know personally. Unless you are a friend or family member, the texting may not be well-received. Or, you may text someone who isn’t comfortable with texting or isn’t as tech-savvy, so it’s important to be aware of your target audience. It’s equally as important to make sure your messaging is concise, and doesn’t come across as too personal.
Additionally, I'd argue that the type of position you are recruiting for should determine the method of communication that works best. If you are trying to gain the attention of a senior executive candidate, texting may not be the first form of communication you want to go after.
You could run into some texting fails along the way. Texting candidates can be tricky. In fact, there was one time where I had established a relationship with a candidate where we would text to confirm interviews, etc. One time, he responded back, and improperly used emojis that had kissy faces on accident.
Although we had an established relationship and were able to laugh it off, texting can open the door for texting fails like emojis, accidentally texting the wrong person, or worse.
What do you think about texting in the recruiting process?