Is there any value in texting with regards to recruitment? Yes. If you doubt this then take a minute to think about what you can learn as well as what you can eliminate through a few key texts. If we use a rough analogy of fishing with relationship to acquiring talent, we want as many lines in the water as possible in our quest for individuals who can add value to our team. Texting provides us a tool that can expedite the communication process so that we can be clear, consistent and expedient in our initial screening.
1) Text enables us to reach out to a potential candidate to gauge their interest and responsiveness - "Saw your posting on Craigslist, are you still looking for employment?" If there is no response you have just reduced your follow up list. If there is a response then you have a fish nibbling at the bait.
As a sidenote, understand that many candidates have not been mentored on how to professionally respond to texts, don't be surprised if you get responses which include some variation of, "How much do you pay?" If you remember that the text gives us a quick means of screening applicants, then I would encourage you to respond either with, "What salary range are you looking for?" or be specific, "Depending on experience the range is typically between $x - $X." If a respondent seems rude you can choose to discontinue the process but you may want to dig a bit deeper to ensure both parties have a complete picture of each other. Texting does not always provide the richest context for discerning a persons character.
2) Text enables us to provide a concise outline of what the duties of your open position(s) are to further determine if the responsive candidate would be interested in the opportunities your organization is offering. "We have an open position for X, the duties include [fill in the blank - BRIEFLY]." If there is no response, our work with this individual is likely complete. If there is a response then we want to draw them in closer to the boat.
3) Through text we have determined that we have a candidate who is indeed interested in work and is open to the opportunities that our organization can offer, now we get into specifics such as company requirements. "Our company requires the following [fill in the blank with a BRIEF list] to qualify for employment." If there is no response, there may be a good reason this candidate cannot find work. If there is a response then we want to get a look at what we have on the line.
Our texting has revealed that we have a responsive and interested candidate, that this individual is open to the opportunities that we have available and they can meet the basic requirements for employment that our organization has set as a foundation. What do we do next? Time for a phone call. So, we text them, "When would be a good time to set up a phone interview?" If at all possible this should be conducted as soon as possible. You potentially have what you have been looking for so do not lose what you have on the line by waiting too long. If you have successfully made contact with a potential candidate you will need to be prepared to expediently move your process with that individual into determining the quality of that potential hire. Depending on how wide you have cast your net, you will need to be prepared to think outside of the box with regards to a candidates direct experience with your industry versus their potential to adapt their character and relevant work experience into the responsibilities you are assessing them for (You can read more on this topic in our prior article on Attracting Talent).
Texting is a great tool to enable a recruiter to expediently get fish on the line as well as determine which ones are catch-and-release. Connecting with recruits requires a significant commitment of time, of those candidates we are able to make contact with many will be unable to be hired or they will not the best fit for the team needs. We want as many lines in the water as possible because we are always fishing for good talent to add to our team. In our recruitment process we need to be efficient so that we can communicate clearly and respond quickly when we have attracted someone who can add value to our mission.
You can stand at the banks and curse the water for the lack of fish or you can start casting.
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