Imagine you just applied for a job that you were really excited about. You read the job posting online, wrote a nice cover letter, and submitted your resume to the hiring manager. Most job seekers would expect a phone call or an email if the hiring party wanted to set up an interview, right? As it turns out, more and more recruiters are turning to texting to communicate with their job candidates--60 percent of recruiters to be exact. Now, it makes sense. Texting is a thing of ease, a quick way to have a conversation without having to log in to your email or dial the phone, but when it comes to a job prospect is it professional? Here’s what you need to know about texting and the hiring process.
A Quick Look at the Facts
A survey by Dialogue Communications showed that 79 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 44 have their phone with them 22 hours a day. That same survey also revealed that more than two-thirds of the world has a cell phone with texting capabilities. With those numbers, you can see why a recruiter would turn to text messaging over an email or phone call, especially because 90 percent of recruiters have cited that texting has improved their business. When you’re handling multiple accounts, texting can be a great way to quickly and efficiently set up interviews, give feedback to job seekers, and even gain some feedback for your clients.
Is Texting ‘Professional’?
The data is pretty skewed for individuals under the age of 45. A combined 43 percent of candidates feel that texting is professional, 25 percent don’t have a say one way or another, and 32 percent feel it is unprofessional. There is a direct correlation between age and stance on recruiters texting. The younger the job seeker, the most likely they are to consider text messages from their recruiter ‘professional’, and the older the job seeker, the more likely they will view texting as ‘unprofessional’ on the part of the recruiter. What is the best way to find out if your candidate is open to texting as a form of communication? Start by asking them.
Know When to Call/Email
There are many cases in which job seekers expressed a desire for a phone call or email over a text message. If, as a recruiter, you are reaching out for one of the following, it is preferred to communicate via phone call or email:
- Initial introduction
- Clarification or obtaining additional information
- Notify of a job opening
- Schedule a job interview
- Confirm a job interview time
- Follow up after an interview
Ultimately, the data suggests that if you have to have an important conversation, or provide/gather information, you should really be making a phone call or sending out an email instead of texting.
Final Thoughts on Communication Methods
As with anything, you need to be mindful in your choice of words and the context in which you are speaking. Text messages can come off as cold, impersonal, and are subject to misinterpretation. If you think it could be taken the wrong way through a text, pick up the phone instead, or write an email. Also, don’t forget to consider your audience. We found earlier that the younger a job candidate is, the more open they tend to be when it comes to texting as a recruiting tool. Take these statistics into consideration the next time you are working with a job candidate and you are likely to have a better, more cohesive working relationship.
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