To better help EMS providers hire top talent in a competitive market, OnShift recently added SMS texting functionality to OnShift Employ, our robust talent acquisition software (TAS). This technology allows organizations to stand out from the competition and speed up time to hire. I wanted to take some time to answer some frequently asked questions around texting candidates and the benefits that this technology offers.
Why is texting functionality important in recruitment and hiring?
Most millennial and generation Z candidates have texting functionality on their personal smartphones. So, not only is it critical that your entire hiring process is mobile friendly and paperless, but adding two-way texting functionality significantly enhances your ability to connect with and acquire qualified talent. Studies demonstrate that 90% of texts are read within three minutes. Additionally, the average response time of a text message is three minutes, compared to 47 minutes for email messages. Speed is critical in the recruitment world and texting provides the means to supercharge the process.
Additionally, texting applicants modernizes your organization and gives you a leg up on those organizations that are still playing phone tag with candidates.
Should I still send emails to candidates?
Email messaging remains an important aspect of recruiting but should not serve as your primary method of communication. Emails are best used during certain steps in the hiring and onboarding process such as providing documents and forms to the candidate. In some cases, it is beneficial to reach out via text and email simultaneously. But to be clear, most candidates prefer text messaging over email. If your hiring platform lacks or limits texting, it puts your organization at a disadvantage.
Even though most candidates prefer texting as a means of communication, some might not have a phone or prefer another channel. Your TAS should offer candidates a choice to receive communications via email, SMS texting or both. Providing applicants with the option makes them more responsive and provides a better experience.
One thing to keep in mind--make sure that you provide every candidate with the ability to opt out of the texting feature. As candidates move down the funnel, they may want to unsubscribe in order to avoid any additional messaging or data charges.
Texting still takes time. Is there any way to automate this process?
Our research found that nearly 25% of candidates inquire about open positions after normal business hours. But you don't necessarily want to wait until the next day to respond. Your TAS platform should be capable of responding and welcoming the candidate via text. Automating and scaling your texting capabilities will keep candidates engaged and informed. Automation is also key in reducing time to hire and creating a more efficient recruitment process for your organization. A TAS like OnShift Employ provides automated text message templates that are capable of immediately responding to new candidates.
How does this process help my hiring manager be more efficient and effective?
If your TAS includes texting functionality, your recruiters have a tool to quickly screen and schedule qualified talent through free-flow conversations via their mobile device. Artificial intelligence-enabled conversations increase the speed at which your organization identifies, evaluates and hires a new candidate. It can also add a much needed human touch to the hiring process, while also giving candidates the transparency they desire.
The recruitment process can sometimes be preempted with a candidate’s unique conflicts and questions -- such as a document request, interview rescheduling or offer letter details. Robust two-way texting functionality in your TAS will allow your recruiters to quickly respond to a candidate’s concerns.
Texting Candidates = More Efficient Hiring
Our customers who have leveraged text-based recruiting have been able to hire twice the number of people in half the time. Texting functionality in modern TAS systems like OnShift Employ can be used for a variety of interactions with candidates -- including active recruitment, application reminders, scheduling interviews, scheduling drug tests and physicals and more.