chapter one

How Texting Is Currently Used for Hiring


Expanded Candidate Reach

Employers want to be able to reach their next great hires wherever they are, instantly. When considering the global workforce by device and communications channel, a sizable audience is simply unreachable by email alone. In the US, 25 million workers, or 15% of the workforce, use mobile phones without email access while in Europe, 50% of individuals do not use email. As such, texting presents a clear advantage for business-to-consumer reach and receptivity.

When considering the workforce by industry, 80% of workers were not bound to desks and the trend is accelerating with the rise of remote work, according to a study by Emergence Capital.

Job seekers in these spaces are likely to be on-the-move, and largely dependent on mobile devices like cell phones and tablets for their day-to-day tasks. Messaging is an ideal way to reach these candidates.

The case for messaging as an essential recruiting tool is further bolstered when considering new entrants to the workforce like university graduates and younger populations at large. Messaging is ranked as the #1 channel consumers want to use to engage with businesses in the majority of regions surveyed. Millennials choose messaging over email as the preferred method of engaging with a business. This means reaching applicants and talent through their preferred channels increases the likelihood of engagement.

Deeper Engagement

Qualified candidates aren’t just looking for a product or job, they’re searching for a delightful experience. What differentiates the former from the latter is a holistic, engaging journey from source to hire, and in order for hiring teams to provide a compelling candidate experience, they need to leverage the right communications channels. According to a study from Facebook, about 70% of survey respondents say they feel more confident about a company if they’re able to message with them. This likely has to do with the fact that messaging is far more frictionless and user friendly than other communication channels.

According to Twilio’s Global Mobile Messaging Consumer Report, 85% of surveyed not only want to be able to receive information but also reply to businesses or engage in a conversation.

The application of messaging for the purposes of recruiting, also known as conversational recruiting, ensures that candidates remain interested. Communication and engagement are crucial to candidate conversion. Messaging provides an open and ongoing method of communication that is ideal for hiring. Preventing candidates from dropping off in the initial stages of the hiring process is especially important; 60% of recruiters say that they lose candidates before they are able to schedule an interview.

Today, as hiring teams and candidates work at breakneck speeds, timeliness matters. The rapid response times associated with messaging is noticeably more impressive than other methods of communication. According to CTIA, the average response time for email is 90 minutes, but the average response time for a text message is 90 seconds. A recipient can respond to messages quickly even if they are multitasking, which means response rates are impressive when compared to email, which demands more dedicated attention. Gartner cites that text messages have a 45% response rate, which is a staggering 7.5x over the 6% response rate of email. Messaging can play an effective role in building rapport through frequent and personal touchpoints.

With SmartMessage, our candidates are much more engaged and respond much faster than before.
– Lauren Daly
TA Leader
Foster Farms

Enhanced Value Across Every Hiring Step

Organizations employ a wide range of hiring methodologies and workflows to match talent to jobs. Within these workflows, communications practices may vary but many texting capabilities are universally applicable, regardless of an organization’s team size or hiring processes to every stage in the candidate journey.

For example, an automated confirmation can be sent to a candidate after they have applied to let them know their application has been received. A follow-up message can likewise be sent when the candidate is moved to review, to inform them that the hiring team is engaged in the process alongside them. Hiring team members can send personalized messages to nurture promising candidates before and after interviews to keep them apprised of next steps, hiring decisions around offers, or movement into a talent pool for later consideration. To maximize the value of these kinds of texts, the messaging solution must be closely embedded with, or completely native to the ATS.

texting statistics

We have seen that recruiters, followed by hiring managers and coordinators, are often the most frequent candidate-facing communicators. Our data shows that recruiters are responsible for up to two-thirds of the total communication with candidates.

Teams who have used messaging as a part of their recruiting process assert that it is 2x faster than email and boosts their productivity by ~2X (SmartMessage Early Access Data).

This does not mean that communications or texting is any less relevant for other Hiring team users. On the contrary, coordinators typically collaborate alongside recruiters around scheduling and logistics, communicating directly with candidates. Hiring managers, too, are proactive communicators as they can provide unique context and details around a role that others cannot. In small to mid-sized businesses or industries like retail where Hiring managers are often required to assume the duties of recruiters, their ability to keep the candidate engaged is vital. What better way to achieve this than texting?