Imagine reaching out to thousands of candidates in your database with an 88% total inbound response rate. If you’re like most staffing firms, you’d KILL for numbers in that stratosphere. With texting and the right candidate engagement platform, it is absolutely possible.
Considering that the phone pickup rate for candidates sits at a measly 10-15%, the average email open rate is 20%, and the average email response rate is a paltry 6%, it’s unsurprising that everyone is talking about texting lately.
Vaco, a Sense client and texting aficionado, has contacted over 7,700 candidates/consultants in the last 30 days via text, with an 88% total inbound response rate and a 59% average contact response rate.
Boom 🎤. Send out a bunch of texts, and talent will come flocking, right?
It’s not quite that simple.
Vaco’s results aren’t an aberration, but they require more than sending out mass texts to your database. Vaco Sr. App Support Analyst & Training, Ali Donnel, and I recently hosted a webinar, You’re a Human, Text Like One.
In case you missed it, Ali and I dug into their methodology at Vaco, along with some key data we’ve gathered through the thousands of texts sent by our clients using the Sense platform. And when it comes down to it, a great deal of texting success comes down to one core theme: texting like a human!
What does that mean exactly? Here are some of the key lessons Ali and I discussed on the webinar:
Tracking and measuring is critical
Here’s the thing — your recruiters are probably already texting. During our previous webinar on texting, 71% of our audience who didn’t have a texting tool told us their recruiters were already texting using their personal phones!
When recruiters are texting with their personal phones, there is usually litttle to zero oversight, which means it could not only not help you achieve measurable outcomes, it could actually hurt your relationships. Ouch.
Using a candidate engagement platform that supports texting (ahem, like Sense) empowers you to track key texting metrics like:
> # of text message touches
> # of unique conversions
> Open rate
> Reply rate
> Average response time
When you combine the measurement of these texting metrics with performance in other critical areas, you can see firsthand how dramatically texting like a human can impact your recruiter performance — metrics like these:
> Time to hire
> Number of placements
> Redeployment rate
So you know that using the right texting platform can help you send texts and measure their ROI. But what does it mean to text human?
Don’t send generic messages
With smart devices seemingly watching and recording our every move, we’ve gotten accustomed to highly personalized messages. When we hear from a person or company, we expect them to know who we are, and treat us like, well, people.
So when a message comes through that is generic, it doesn’t go over very well (to say the least). Generic text messages are especially toxic, as they are sent on a highly personal device. Think about your cell phone. If you left it at home today accidentally, you’d probably break out in a cold sweat! This thing is your LIFELINE.
When you communicate via text, it is highly personal. It’s important that your recruiters avoid violating the inherent trust that comes with sending and receiving text messages. And that starts with custom, personalized messages.
This doesn’t mean your recruiters have to spend hours each day crafting personalized texts for every candidate. Instead, today’s texting platforms allow you to use automated templates that pull variable data from your ATS. They send relevant, personalized texts to your talent at every point of the consultant lifecycle.
And don’t forget to throw some fun texts in there too. Celebrating fun moments like birthdays and anniversaries adds a nice personal touch that helps you build and nurture stronger relationships with your talent.
Personalized? ✔️ Automated (and therefore massively time saving)? ✔️
Show some personality
When you text your family and friends, do you use formal, complete sentences and punctuation?
Erm, highly unlikely.
Now, that doesn’t mean your recruiters should send sloppy text messages without punctuation, capitalization or understandable sentences! But, it does mean that your recruiters can text like they talk...and how they text.
That means professional yet personable language. And yes, emoji! 👍📲
You use them. Your candidates and consultants use them. We ALL do. So your recruiters should too.
Building on the technological element described above, you can build relevant emoji into your automated templates. And when your recruiters are following up with contractors and candidates one-on-one, encourage them to use relevant emoji and GIFs there too.
Who doesn’t love a good GIF?
Get to the point
Nooooone likes to read a novel-length text message. Texting is meant to be a quick and clear method of communication. A sentence or two should do it. Need more time or space? Send a quick text, but follow up with a voicemail or email that has the additional details.
Strategically leveraging text, phone and email together can increase response across the board.
Ask for a response
This is one area among many that Vaco really excels — be sure to ask for a response if you, you know, want responses!
Nearly ⅓ of all Vaco’s outbound texts contain a question mark. In this case, it really is a matter of “ask and you shall receive!”
Just be careful to avoid redundancy. If you ask for a response and get one, consider the question resolved. Don’t pester your candidates and contractors with the same message across multiple platforms.
In particular, asking for feedback through text can be super effective. Rather than waiting until the “annual NPS” time of year, you can gather critical feedback from talent throughout the entire talent cycle.
Go one-on-one as needed
Automation can facilitate mass communication with your database, but handing off the conversations to recruiters as needed is critical. Leverage automation wherever possible, but don’t forget the real human element of recruiting.
Choosing the right partner is critical.
Texting can be easily commoditized if you choose a vendor rather than a partner. Choosing a texting partner who understands the staffing industry and has tailored its product to meet your specific needs can make a dramatic impact on your user experience and ultimately, your results.
And once you choose the right texting partner, training is one of your most powerful secret weapons. Vaco has hosted and recorded multiple trainings on the Sense texting platform to be sure that their recruiters are equipped to best leverage the tool.
Looking for more insight into texting for recruiters?
Listen to a full recording of the webinar here, and be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide. Still have questions, or want to see our texting platform in action? Contact us to set up a demo. We’re here to help!