From our previous post, you know the benefits of texting, and you know that it can make your job as a recruiter a lot easier. What you don’t know is how your candidate will receive your text. You don’t know if they will look favorably on it or see it as intrusion of their personal space.
This is not uncommon with any new means of professional communication. As businesses adopt new channels of communication, we inevitably become desensitized to seeing these messages everywhere and start accepting them as commonplace. But when it come to using text for professional communications, we’re not there quite yet. Before you hit send, better yet, before you start writing your message, think of who you are about to text.
The reality is texting is the preferred method of communication for candidates between the ages of 18 and 44 years old, and only one third of candidates consider it unprofessional to text. The majority of those who find it unprofessional are 45 years or older (Tensteet, 2016). This is great news for recruiters and means that job seekers, as a whole, are more receptive to the idea of being recruited through text.
However, be careful of applying this generalization to your open roles and texting candidates freely. Instead, do your homework and think of the candidate persona for the role you are trying to fill. Is it a senior or executive role? What is the average age of candidates you sourced? Then, text with caution. If you’re unsure, stick with email, InMail, or even a phone call for initial outreach unless you haven’t heard back or until you have built a rapport with the candidate. Also, be sure to ask them how they prefer to communicate and tailor subsequent follow ups accordingly.
Honestly, there is no right or wrong answer to this question. It’s a judgement call, and the answer highly depends on the individual candidate and where they are in the recruiting process. However, there are a few things you should you consider before you hit send.
Sharing a lot of information
If you need to send your candidate a lot of information, it’s probably best to avoid text and stick with email instead. Use text messages for brief updates and check ins with the candidates, and use email instead to share information. Nothing is worse than getting unstructured wall of text or spammed with 10–15 messages at a time when everything could be shared neatly in a single email.
Rejecting or extending an offer
There is one of two ways these two types of message go, and at this point, texting should never be an option. If the candidate hasn’t even made it to an interview with the hiring company, it’s best to share the news through email. If they have interviewed with the company, this is a highly personal communication, and sharing the news through text is just too impersonal.
Are you providing feedback from an interview? Are you asking them to make changes to their resume? Anytime you are providing sensitive information or feedback, it’s generally best to avoid text. It’s really hard for candidates to interpret tone or intention through text so avoid ambiguity and pick up the phone instead.