R U Texting Job Candidates? Here's Why You Should

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The hiring process for job candidates now takes longer than ever, according to a report from Glassdoor Economic Research. The average overall job interview process in the U.S. today takes 22.9 days, compared to roughly 12.5 days just seven years ago. While there are a number of reasons for this increase, including requiring more group panel interviews, background checks and skills tests, one of the biggest delays for recruiters comes at the very onset of the interview process.

Connecting with today’s millennial talent generation can be a daunting task for recruiters who traditionally make first contact over the phone. While Millennials are constantly on their cell phones, snapping selfies to friends, posting brunch photos on Instagram or checking the news on Twitter, they're hitting "decline" as soon as the phone rings, even when a recruiter is on the line.

Luckily, there's a solution for recruiters that are constantly being sent to voicemail. Screening job candidates via text messaging can offer a number of significant advantages as outlined below.

Eases the process of reaching today's talent generation

Companies must design recruitment strategies to align with the communication preferences of today’s workforce. Several studies have highlighted texting candidates as a strong start. Yello recently surveyed 1,461 young adults ages 18-30 who were currently employed or had recently accepted full-time jobs or internship offers. According to the study, respondents would welcome a text from a business since they are already accustomed to quickly replying to this type of communication. Additionally, the report found that 86 percent of respondents felt positively when recruiters utilized text messages during the interview period, a 7 percent increase from 2016.

Not only do applicants prefer not to talk on the phone, but they are often unable to do so while at their place of employment. Texting provides recruiters an unobtrusive opportunity to engage with candidates, who are typically able to respond swiftly.

Targets the right candidates

Recruiters often spend countless hours, even days, reaching out to applicants who may not actually be interested in the position. However, engaging candidates through text messages first helps recruiters ensure they are investing their phone and in-person time with the right candidates for the job. Texting is also typically more effective than email, which has longer response times. This is especially important given text messaging is the most ubiquitous smartphone feature, with 97 percent of smartphone owners engaging text at least once during a study conducted by the Pew Research Center.

Eliminates bias through texting applicants

Unfortunately, unconscious bias in the interview process is something that still very much exists. In order to combat biased decisions in the hiring process, text-based screening platforms can mask the name of the candidate as well as any gender specific pronouns or words that might be captured in the transcript. In addition, over text, voice is eliminated, adding another layer of masking so the recruiter can focus solely on the candidate’s qualifications.

Recruiting firms across the country, and local Indianapolis companies, are already screening candidates via text. One example is Aegis Worldwide, which specializes in manufacturing and engineering job placement. The company is maximizing efficiency for its recruiters by texting candidates through a text-based screening platform.

Using the traditional phone screening method, its team of recruiters was previously only able to screen a handful of candidates each day. Since beginning their new method of outreach, the agency is connecting with and screening high volumes of candidates daily, while increasing the quality of candidate and expediting the hiring process for clients. Its recruiters have hired a range of talent through the platform, from machinists making entry-level wages to engineers with salaries of more than $100,000 annually.

A study by Nielsen found that texting is now the most utilized data service worldwide with 18.7 billion texts sent every day. In today’s world, texting can expedite the hiring process for both the recruiter and the candidate. Don’t let the job screening process advance without you.

Aman Brar is chief executive officer of Canvas.

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