More and more candidates prefer receiving text messages from recruiters than emails and phone calls. It’s a win-win, because this also helps recruiters nurture more candidate relationships in less time.
However, there are scenarios where texting can backfire. Sending too many texts to one candidate, accidentally texting inappropriate information, and texting from a personal cell phone are all common headaches that can be eliminated with the right technology platform.
But once you’re all ready to go, are you putting your best foot forward when texting candidates? Here are 12 tips to make sure your text messages create a fantastic candidate experience.
Learn how to avoid texting disasters. Watch the on-demand webinar, SMS Horror Stories & How Recruiters Can Avoid Them.
1. Tailor the message to each candidate—personalization is key!
Double-check that your message is relevant to where the candidate is in the candidate journey. Then, address them by their name! Boom. You’ve just personalized your message.
2. Identify who you are, your role, and the company you work for.
Keep your introduction short and sweet: Hi [their first name], I am [your name] from [your company].
3. Write clear, concise messages.
Reread your message to see if you can eliminate any unnecessary words or phrases, and keep it under 160 characters.
4. Include a call-to-action.
Your friends in marketing will tell you the call-to-action (CTA) is an essential element to any communication—and the same rings true for when you’re talking to candidates. The CTA, such as "reply back" or "click this link," inspires candidates to make a move!
Lengthy URLs can take up a lot of space in a text message. Using a link shortening tool can help—and presents a cleaner message, too.
6. Use common language—no acronyms.
EOD, ICYMI, IMO. Not everyone will be up to date on the latest lingo (or your company acronyms), and you don’t want to introduce any confusion.
7. Proofread for grammar and spelling before sending.
If this isn’t your strong suit, ask your grammar-obsessed colleagues to take a peek at your drafted messages. Then keep those messages in a safe space so you can copy and paste later (and go back to tip #1).
8. Verify the recipient before sending.
With everything on your plate, it’s easy to lose track of what you’re doing. Never hit “send” until you’ve triple-checked your message!
9. Send during normal business hours (or when it’s convenient for the candidate).
Keep it professional and avoid late-night text messages to candidates—unless they’re night owls! It could leave a negative impression on the job seekers you’re trying to hire.
10. Less is more when it comes to frequency—don’t spam!
Unless you’ve opened up a live conversation (e.g., you’re discussing on-site interview logistics), keep any follow-up communication to a minimum: once a week, tops.
11. Measure performance and repeat what works.
If you’re using a third-party platform like a CRM that has SMS functionality, review SMS engagement to identify what is and isn’t working. Are candidates frequently not responding to specific messages? It might be time to try a different strategy or update the phrasing.
12. Remember SMS is supplemental to email and verbal conversations.
Text messaging is effective, but it shouldn’t be the only way you connect with candidates. Some conversations are easier (and better) to have over traditional communication methods like phone or email, where you have more to say or the conversation matter is confidential.
If you follow these guidelines, you'll be golden. Go ahead and save the image below for future reference!: