Top 7 Rules Recruiters Must Follow When Texting Candidates

Many Recruiters believe that, in recruitment, timing is of utmost importance. The right move towards the right candidate at the right time helps them to create a comprehensive pool of talented candidates for open job positions.

That is why many recruiters believe that texting candidates is what will help them get the timing right in the recruiting process. Texting allows a sweet spot in the candidates personal space and allows them to have deep communication with the candidates. After all, this facilitates asynchronous communication which other forms of communication such as voice messaging or emails fail to achieve. However, you’ll need to follow certain rules while texting candidates. Your main goal should be to boost communications and engagement with the candidate. Here, in this blog article, we’ll discuss the 7 rules for texting candidates that every recruiter must follow.

  1. Ask permission

When it comes to sending a text message to prospective candidates, some organizations believe that seeking forgiveness is better than seeking permission. But, if you don’t seek permission first, you may not get the chance to seek forgiveness later.

Therefore, it is better to first ask for the candidate for a good time to connect over text messages after you’ve established a verbal rapport with him/her. At that particular time, set the right expectations and try to ascertain whether the candidate has a time preference and preference on the frequency of the texts.

You should avoid unsolicited messages unless he/she expects a reply from you. In case the candidate opts to receive a text message for your company, begin by first introducing yourself, such as your name and title, and then seek permission to begin text messaging.

  1. Be succinct (crisp)

Text messaging, in general, is a short and concise medium of communication. Moreover, candidates would also be on a limited data plan. Therefore, you must get straight to the point when communicating via text messages. Make it short, precise and catchy; make sure every word counts, avoid using long salutations or greetings, line breaks, unnecessary punctuation, and empty phrases.

Texting is an effective medium because it allows to free up the working memory of the candidate. Therefore, inform the candidate when you conclude the texting session. Don’t end the session abruptly and keep them waiting, expecting your stream of messages or information.

  1. Be appropriate

Text messaging candidates are the most preferred choice when you need to confirm their appointment times or their availability, following up, providing directions, coordinating logistics. A text message is also handy in sending urgent messages, and can be sent to reach out to candidates who have not responded to your voice message or emails. All these tasks apply perfectly to the 2-minute time management rule. Plus, this could be done quickly via text message than via emails.

Do not ask any questions that may require more complicated responses than the simpler yes/no. You could even give them multiple answer choices with the questions to get a quick reply from the candidate. Keep the text messaging session limited to the general work hours in the particular candidate time zone. There could be a slight leeway but too much of it is not acceptable.

  1. Be professional

Text messaging is considered as an informal or more casual medium of communication. But that doesn’t mean you would stop being professional while communicating with your candidates through text messages. Regular updates and feedback from recruiters is a great way to show your professionalism and also to keep the candidates informed about the status in the recruitment process. Plus, regular text message communication, being non-invasive, is a great method to provide a positive experience about the entire process.

Avoid internet jargons in your messages such as text speak or leetspeak in your attempt to appear suave. Also, avoid smileys, emojis, or other non-standard texting elements. Finally, never reply to a text message with a “K” or “k”. This would be highly unprofessional. Use general abbreviations wherever required, but always remember to keep your communication professional both in your diction and tone.

  1. Be tactful

When a candidate allows you to text them, they are inviting you into their private space. Therefore, always consider it as a privilege. Never try to misuse or overexploit it in any way.

Be tactful with your approach, refrain from messaging anything that may contain any strong emotions, summary content or weighty content.

It is highly inappropriate to inform a candidate that they’ve not moved into the next round through the text messages. This action can put the impression of your organization at stake. So, at least take the effort to write an email or, at least, make a phone call. People remember the final interactions, so make sure you leave things on a positive note.

  1. Be prompt

It is human behaviour to expect quick replies when communicating via text messages. So, try your best to live up to the candidate’s expectations on quick replies. You may be busy with work, but remember that hiring is your fundamental duty and the candidate is your asset. Therefore, manage expectations and communicate effectively.

If you get delayed with your response, acknowledge the receipt of the candidate’s message and convey to them that you will respond after a certain period. Never cast a bad impression on your candidates by bragging about how busy your day looks or replying in the negative.

  1. Be yourself

The essence lies in being true to yourself while communicating with the candidates via text messages. When you are allowed into the personal communication space of the candidates, it means that you have ticked many right boxes so far. So, be rest assured and move ahead with confidence about your communications with the candidate. Communicate what the company has to offer to the candidate. Always avoid HR operational talk or boilerplate and rather use an easy recruiting voice during communication. This is what granted you entry into their space anyways.

Texting candidates is a great way to boost your communication and engagement levels with the candidate. Ensure you make the best use of this personal space by being appropriate, professional and tactful in your approach and your communication. Candidates have the right to seek information but that doesn’t mean you will bombard them with texts all the time. Know the rules of the game and play it professionally.

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