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Texting Candidates – The do’s and don’ts

Texting in Business! Some love it, some hate it.. maybe it’s a generational thing but there is no question that over the last few years texting/WhatsApp is being implemented more and more these days. Waiting for candidates to respond via email or come back on some information is something that all recruiters have to put up with (and vice versa sometimes!) We are in a time where it’s not uncommon to be glued to your phone so surely texting in business is a no brainer? Or are we best sticking to introductory calls, InMails, emails and so on?

Not saying Texting/WhatsApp should replace calls or emails but they are becoming more of a daily part of recruitment and if used right, it can really enhance efficiency of the recruitment process. Here are 5 points we take into consideration when texting/WhatsApping in recruitment.

Build a rapport first

A candidate might be taken back a little after receiving a text out of the blue from a recruiter and feel a text is a little invasive of their personal space.  The whole pitch about who you are, where from, why you’re in contact, what roles you have…You might need more data for that. However after some calls, some emails and some improved rapport, then text’s/WhatsApp is a great way to follow up, chat about certain topics, whether it be a bit of info you forgot on a previous call, arranging an interview during work time and informalising the relationship between recruiter and candidate.

Keep it professional

One of the disadvantages of a text in recruitment or every day life for the matter, is the fact that words are read individually to how the reader perceives those words. You can’t get the tone of the sender, you can’t get the emotion of the sender and generally how the sender wants that message to be read or put across. Refrain from using Caps, don’t abbreviate, check your language, try not to be too opinionated via text or discussing things that should be done verbally.

Keep it relevant

According to much research, and quite frankly, common knowledge,  texts have a much larger open and response rate than emails. Great! Let’s not take this for granted in the business world, be sure to keep to the point, friendly and always give the person receiving the text a benefit of texting you back. If the content of the text is constructed well, positive and to the point then the response rate will shoot up. Increasing speed and efficiency for both recruiter, candidate and client. If the texts are irrelevant, lengthy paragraphs, too salesy… Then the candidate will be sure to tell you they don’t appreciate you texting them. 

When to text

Unless you have an amazing rapport with the candidate or there is a real need/benefit for the candidate to text them at Midnight, then it’s good idea to keep business hours in mind- especially initially, if you want to uphold professionalism then it makes sense to keep it between working hours. If a candidate won’t take your call on a Friday evening, the chances are they won’t appreciate a text from you either.

Be you

Yes! You’ve taken communication to a candidates personal place. You must have built up enough trust to get here. Time to be you, of course keep it professional but if there are some wins to be had delve into the emoji’s and get the celebration emoji’s over… Just like we do in every day human life. After all, B2B/B2C doesn’t exist in the recruitment world.. It’s all about Human2Human right?

Summary

Texting has been an increasingly positive way to increase speed for the recruitment process. Text/WhatsApp notifications are universal and immediate whereas candidates might not check their personal emails until late that evening so it’s a great way to be more efficient. But do not take of advantage of it, don’t let it replace jumping on a call with people. If you text people out of the blue, lengthy, salesy, paragraphs that doesn’t have much relevance, paragraphs of different positions then don’t expect too much back from it. If you keep it professional, to the point, personal, positive, always have a real benefit for the candidate to reply- Then the speed of service for recruiters will increase. Remember, make it easy for the candidate to reply. If the candidate replies once and you keep to your values- it will be easy for them to reply again…and again. Then you become someone in the candidates mind that they just reply to without even thinking about it. Use it to your advantage.

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