5 Essential Tips for SMS and Mobile Recruiting

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It’s official: There are now more mobile devices than people in the world. We’re a culture obsessed; our phones have become the fifth utility – even the president can’t keep his fingers from furiously typing a tweet on his personal cell.

Whether we’re talking, reading, sharing, learning or searching, we use our phones for just about everything.

When it comes to job hunting, the same rules apply. According to Glassdoor, 89% of job seekers say their mobile device is an important tool for their search and 45% use it to browse current vacancies at least once a day.

Nevertheless, talent sourcing teams tend to shy away from text-based communication, sticking to the safety of email campaigns despite receiving low engagement rates.

However, SMS can prove a powerful tool for recruiters in cutting through the noise and reaching out to the right candidates.

It all depends on your approach:

1. Keep it short, make it count

This is your chance to connect with a candidate in a way you know they respond to: the simple, old-fashioned SMS.

Research suggests that 98% of text messages are read, compared to a meager 22% of emails, so you can guarantee the full attention of your recipient in the few minutes after sending.

While the character count in a text message is unlimited, it’s usually a sensible idea to keep it at the 140 mark.

Long messages are hard to read on a mobile screen, and no one wants to receive a two-pager from a person they don’t know – no matter how attractive the opportunity.

2. Be personable, but stay professional

If you want to make an impression, there’s little use in sending a cold, generic message listing the latest openings at your company. Instead, use this space to make the candidate feel valued.

Let them know that you’re reaching out because of their extensive experience, or start your text by mentioning how their CV captured your attention.

Being human in your communications will make your candidate feel at ease – but don’t go overboard. It goes without saying that X’s are off limits, but you should also steer clear of emojis, slang and abbreviation.

3. It’s not a numbers game

When a position needs filling, it can be tempting to send an SMS to the world to maximize the number of responses.

However, while a personalized text message can have much more of an impact than an email campaign, sending out a mass-text to an extensive list of prospective candidates is unlikely to produce great results.

Instead of opting for a ‘spray and pray’ strategy, take time to carefully craft your message to a shortlist of candidates who truly stand out. That way, you can tailor your text and guarantee a higher response rate.

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4. Choose your time wisely

You might think that sending a text outside of office hours will help in getting through to a candidate in their down-time, however, sending recruiting text messages with a candidate in the evenings or on weekends doesn’t paint you in the best light: for one, you work overtime (not exactly a selling point for the company) and two, you don’t respect the candidate’s personal time. If you’re unsure of when to send a text, stick to the safety of working hours.

5. Never spam your candidates

While many of us would be happy to let an email inbox clog up with marketing messages, we’re much less likely to leave a text unopened.

That said, a barrage of cut-and-paste template texts of current vacancies three times a day is a sure fire way to annoy a candidate.

Texting may be a powerful tool for recruiters, but bear in mind that it’s still a platform that’s predominantly used for personal conversations.

Any sign of spam and your dream candidate could slip away and see your reputation tarnished.

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