Sometimes text messaging can be the most effective way to get answers when evaluating prospective employees. It seems like people are more likely to respond quickly, which speeds up the hiring process. However, it’s also a more informal form of communication, so things can get sticky if you’re not careful. Your early communication sets the tone for how you’ll interact if you offer candidates the job, so it pays to keep things professional.
Permission is Easier than Forgiveness
You may have heard it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission, but in this case that isn’t true. Before you text job candidates, make sure they’re okay with it. Your goal is engagement, and some people just don’t like texting.
It’s okay to ask via text message. Use the candidate’s name in the initial message so if you’re texting multiple candidates at once you can keep conversations straight. Send a brief message that tells your name and job title. Ask if text messaging is a good way to get in touch or if they prefer another method. Much of the time you’ll receive a positive response and know it’s okay to continue communicating via text. If you don’t hear back, double-check the number, then assume text isn’t an acceptable way to reach them.
Keep it Simple
Text is okay for short statements and simple questions. Handle everything else via email, phone call or in person. It’s fine to text interview appointments or request additional documentation, it’s not okay to negotiate salary or talk about things that aren’t job-related.
If you start composing a text and realize it contains more than a few sentences, the topic is too complicated for messaging. Or, if you find yourself going back and forth several times with the candidate, stop and schedule a phone call or meeting.
Text messages are easy to send from anywhere, so sometimes recruiters get a little too relaxed. Just because you’re texting from the coffee shop doesn’t mean your tone or grammar should be similar to what you use with friends and family members. Here are a few basic rules for staying professional.
- Only text during business hours. In your first text conversation, it’s a good idea to let candidates know what hours you’re available by text message and to assure them you’ll respect their after-hours time as well.
- Don’t send or ask for information that should be privacy protected or might indicate discrimination.
- Check your spelling and punctuation. Don’t use slang, emojis or text abbreviations. Your tone should be the same as you would use for work email or in-person exchanges at the office.
- Don’t group text candidates.
- Reply promptly to messages you receive and end conversations when you’ve reached your goal.
Hiring Made Easier
Finding the right job candidates is challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. Brelsford Personnel handles every step of recruiting, evaluating and interviewing so you don’t have to. Contact us today to learn more about our personal approach.