If you’re like most people, you text all the time, whether it’s your spouse, your kids, or your friends. Yet, for some reason, texting can sometimes be viewed as a less-than-ideal form of communication in the workplace. As a result, hiring managers and company recruiters won’t use it to reach out to candidates, relying on the traditional forms instead: calling or emailing.
However, considering that the workforce is changing and skewing younger, you could be missing out on the most effective way to communicate with them. Not only that, but in today’s world, even Baby Boomers are texting their grandkids or family when they’re out on the road. So regardless of the age of the candidates, you’re recruiting, you should consider adding to your arsenal.
That said, texting is a more casual form of communication, and not every candidate finds it professional for work communication. With that in mind, you need to approach it a little differently when you’re talking to candidates. To ensure you’re following proper text etiquette when communicating with candidates, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Ask for permission.
Just because a candidate is a new grad doesn’t always mean they want you to text them. The same goes for an older worker. Please don’t assume they don’t want to be bothered via text. Instead, ask each candidate individually the method of communication they prefer and whether they’re comfortable with you texting them.
You should also talk about whether it is their preferred form of communication or if you use it if you need to get a hold of them in a rush. This way, you’re communicating with a talented recruit in the way they want you to. At the same time, you’re not coming off as too pushy by sending unsolicited texts.
Keep it short.
Approach a text like a short business note. Use proper grammar and spell everything out instead of shortcuts and acronyms like you might with a personal text.
However, keep in mind that it’s easy for details to get lost in text translation because they tend to be shorter. So don’t send important feedback (like a rejection letter) or lengthy information in a text.
Stick to using it for discussing logistics, for instance, to confirm interview times and locations. When you need to have a conversation, pick up the phone instead.
A text is difficult to ignore because it notifies the recipient right away. If you’re not discreet with what you send, you risk offending a candidate.
So be careful about what you say in a text. If they had an interview that didn’t go well, don’t discuss it in the text. Instead, reach out to see when they are available for a phone call. There’s also no room for emojis and slang when you’re texting a candidate.
Time your texts carefully.
With technology, it’s easy to feel like it’s appropriate to text a candidate day or night. But it’s not. Unless it’s an emergency, stick to work hours. Don’t shoot them a text right at the end of the workday or in the evening. Otherwise, you’ll come off as unprofessional and presumptuous.
Also, if you know there are certain times of the day your candidate has lunch or goes on a break, try to text them during those periods. If you don’t know when they are free, texting between 8 am, and 12 pm is the best time.
Know when to take a hint.
If a candidate isn’t texting you back, don’t continue to text them. They are likely busy and will respond when they have time. If you continue to pester them, they might instead entirely block you. Even if they permitted you to text them, consider using email or phone calls instead to communicate with them in the future.
The bottom line?
A quick text is an easy way to reach out to a candidate discreetly during the workday. You can shoot them a fast update, confirm a meeting time, or thank them for their interview. If a candidate is comfortable with you texting, it should be a tool to communicate with them.
But don’t let it be your only tool. Even if you’d prefer it, only using texting appears informal and unprofessional, which can impact your reputation. Likewise, if a candidate isn’t comfortable with it, don’t push it. The medium isn’t for everyone, and your goal is to communicate with the candidate in a way that’s best for them, not you.
Need more help recruiting for your team?
Murray Resources is here for you as leading recruiters serving companies across the Houston, TX area. We understand the challenges your business faces and can help you find the talented people you need for a wide range of positions. Focus on other core tasks and let our experts handle the recruiting. Contact us today to get started.