Text Messaging: A Strategy to Reduce Time-to-Hire
Over 83% of talent leaders say talent is the number one priority in their organization, according to the 2017 LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends Report. Time-to-hire is one of the top performance metrics for recruiting. With 56% of talent leaders expecting an increase to hiring volume, SMS texting may add the efficiency and effectiveness talent leaders are looking for to reduce cost to hire.

The average cost-per-hire is $4,129, while the average time it takes to fill a given position is 42 days, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) new Human Capital Benchmarking Report. [PDF] With tight budgets a reality everywhere today, it’s unlikely you’ll have more recruiters to help you quickly attract the kind of talent you’re looking for. “As the hiring volume rises, recruiters need to get creative and automate their workflow,” says the LinkedIn study.

Efficiency in Hiring is Important to Companies and Candidates

Phone calls are time consuming, as you have to first get your candidates to pick up. If they’re currently employed, they might be reluctant to take your call at their workplace. Then, you have to explain the job details to each candidate. Email is unlikely to get you the response rate you want, as your email might get lost in the hundreds of other emails every inbox gets today. Both of these communication methods end up requiring lots of back and forth, adding time to the hiring process.

SMS texting is a less crowded space. It’s also unobtrusive- your candidates can message you back even while they’re at their workplace, enabling you to converse with them in real time. You can segment your database to message candidates who qualify for a job position. Then, you can send them a bulk message about the position, asking them to reply using keywords to express their interest.

SMS texting allows recruiters to quickly filter for candidates who match the position’s requirements and are interested to create a shortlist. Once you’ve culled your list, you can set up automated texts to send based on workflows from your CRM, so you can begin a conversation with candidates before your competition has a chance. Making the hiring process more efficient is also important to candidates. A study by Robert Half found that 39% of candidates lose interest and move on when faced with a long hiring process.

It’s also important to create a talent pool of passive candidates and build relationships with potential talent so they’re predisposed toward your company when the right position becomes available. Nurturing passive candidates with texting is easy. For example, scheduling bi-weekly texts that share valuable career tips help candidates come to rely on you for advice. This proactive approach, coupled with understanding client needs, will help you accelerate your time-to-hire when your clients call with a new need for talent.

Shorten Time-to-Hire with SMS Texting

Top Talent, a recruiting firm was tasked with finding salespeople for a consumer durables company. As a small firm, they knew they couldn’t reach out by phone to the hundreds of candidates they needed to contact in the time period their client had specified.

Recruiters had been seeing progressively lower responses to their emails to potential candidates over the last few quarters. Top Talent looked for alternatives and discovered that texting was a channel gaining traction with candidates.

Here’s how they put their plan in action.

First, they filtered candidates with sales experience in their database to create a list. Then, they composed their text, personalizing it with the candidate name and including details of the position. They chose to use a keyword-based flow to allow candidates interested in the position to reply to schedule a phone call.

Then, Top Talent set up a workflow to trigger scheduling messages to confirm the phone appointment and send reminders to reduce no shows. They also set up a workflow to notify a team member when a candidate replied to a text.

This is what David, a candidate for the sales position, experienced.

Having spent a couple of years in sales in his current job, David was looking for opportunities as his career path with the company had no growth opportunities. While out on his sales beat, he was unable to check email as internet connectivity was poor. Just then, his phone beeped and he saw a new text message.

David was keen to work at Big Buy and immediately replied MORE to the message. He got another text.

Ron’s colleague, Pam received a text alert of David’s reply.

Pam texted David a screening question:

David replied:

Able to predict a cultural match with the client, Pam set up an appointment with David and texted him the details.

David spoke with Pam, and got an idea of what Big Buy was looking for in terms of a culture fit and agreed it sounded like a good match. Due to the speed of the conversation, Top Talent was able to quickly set up an interview for David with the client.

David aced the interview and got the job two weeks later. Pam kept him upbeat about his status during that time with several texts per week that let him know where the client was in making its decision.

By shrinking the hiring cycle, Top Talent made its client very happy because their average time to hire in the past had been nearly six weeks. David was hired in three. Top Talent also improved its client relationship and the opportunity for placing candidates it will need in the future.

This is just one example of how text messaging will aid you in attracting, engaging, and placing quality talent faster.

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