Having trouble hiring? Who isn’t, with the tight job market, being ghosted by candidates and just the complete overhaul in the hiring process the last several years?
And now there’s a new hiring practice: Job interviews by texting.
If you adhere to certain guidelines, interviews by texting can be a really useful, and convenient, tool to add to the mix. It can even speed the process along, particularly when managing multiple candidates for a job.
Here’s how interviews by texting might work: A recruiter would set up a time to text back and forth with a candidate. Then the interviewer sends the candidate a question, waits for a response, asks the next question and so on.
Attracts millennials, Gen Zers
Texting might be particularly useful as a first-time discussion to weed out unqualified candidates. And it can boost recruiting efforts for attracting millennial and Gen Z candidates.
There are even a growing number of technology companies, such as Mya.com and Canvas (gocanvas.io), that offer text messaging tools. For example, you can send an automated text asking, “You applied to a job last month. We have a new opportunity. Do you have a minute to chat?”
Rather than trying to accommodate a candidate’s current work schedule, employers can cut “approximately half of that time spent by communicating through text,” says Fisher Phillips Employment Attorney Erin Price on SHRM.
Here are a few best practices from recruiters who’ve been hiring by text:
Consider the position. Use texting for more junior positions. “You probably don’t want to recruit your chief financial officer via text,” says Gwen Moran, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Business Plans.
Ask first. “We always speak to our candidates via phone first, and then ask if it’s okay to text,” says Michael Sunderland, CEO, Full Stack Talent. It’s best to have a conversation to ensure the candidate completely understands the format of the interview or pre-interview.
Develop a text message policy. Specify how and when to initiate contact through text. Most employers suggest keeping it professional. In other words, no slang, abbreviations or acronyms.
“While texting is an informal medium, you’re still trying to impress each other,” says Moran.
Save text communications. Use recruitment marketing software to keep all communications in one place – including applications, email communication, notes and text messages.
Diligent recordkeeping will also protect the company should a candidate, for instance, not get hired and threaten a discrimination lawsuit.