5 min read
Dec 19, 2017

Three surprising perks of screening candidates via text message

If recruiters want to compete for the best talent, outdated recruiting practices must be replaced with modern communication methods like text messaging.

Kelly LavinContent Analyst

Speed truly is of the essence when recruiting. The job market is moving lightning fast, and recruiters and hiring managers simply do not have time to waste in endless games of phone tag with potential applicants.

It’s no secret that if you aren’t moving at the speed of light, you, and your best candidates, will be left behind.

Since speed is the new normal, recruiting professionals and hiring managers now must engage with today’s talent generation and drive response rates in new, innovative ways. Needless to say, if recruiters want to compete for the best talent, outdated recruiting practices must be replaced with modern communication methods like text messaging.

Yello recently surveyed 1,461 young adults ages 18-30 who were currently employed or had recently accepted full-time jobs or internship offers. Eighty-six percent of respondents felt positively when recruiters or hiring managers used text messages during the interview period, a 7 percent increase from 2016.

We’ve discovered a variety of benefits of using text messaging to screen candidates.

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Remove unconscious bias

As recruiters and hiring managers facilitate interviews with job applicants, the goal is to fairly assess each individual’s skillset and ability to perform the tasks required of the position. Yet, unconscious bias continues to exist throughout today’s recruiting industry, which gets in the way of assessing candidates objectively.

Unsure of the bias in interviewing? According to a 2016 study by the Harvard Business Review, when there is only one woman or minority candidate in a pool of four finalists, their odds of being hired are statistically zero.

More recruiters and hiring managers are pivoting to text messaging to engage with more candidates daily, and this communication is also helping teams focus solely on identifying the right candidate for the job, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, etc.

Text-based screening and interviewing platforms, like Canvas, can utilize candidate de-identification which masks the name of the candidate along with any gender specific pronouns and words.

Plus, texting removes the voice component of an interview, adding an additional layer of masking. This allows the recruiter the opportunity to focus on the applicant’s skills and abilities, with the option to remove more bias than ever throughout this assessment process.

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Eases the process for reaching today's workforce

In order to target today’s talent generation, organizations must implement recruiting strategies that align with communication preferences. Several studies, like the Yello survey previously mentioned, have showcased engaging candidates via text as a strong start. According to the study, individuals are willing to respond to a text from a company since they are used to replying to texts from friends and family quickly.

Texting is not only a more convenient, preferred communication method, but sometimes it’s really the only way to engage with applicants as they are often unable to speak on the phone while at their current place of employment.

Texting provides recruiters and hiring managers the opportunity to speak with candidates in an unobtrusive fashion, so response time is shortened significantly.

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Invest time with the right candidates

It’s an unfortunate reality that recruiters often spend hours, days, even months, connecting with candidates who are either not qualified or not interested in a position.

One way to mitigate this is by screening via text. This helps recruiters ensure they are investing their phone and in-person time wisely, with an applicant who is qualified and interested in the job. This is a huge win for both candidates and recruiters.

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What are your top tips for screening candidates?

Let us know your experience of screening via text message, or if you have any tips for improving the screening process in the comments below or by connecting with GetApp on Twitter.

About the author

Kelly Lavin is a human resources executive that helps companies hire and retain great people through creative and impactful talent practices. Recognizing the need for a method to boost recruiting productivity, Kelly has teamed up with Aman Brar and Jared Adams to launch Canvas, the first enterprise-grade text-based interviewing platform that enables recruiters to screen more job candidates and market employment brands.

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