Avoiding Overuse of Automated Texting: Best Practices for Staffing Firms

By Ron Kinkade posted 04-28-2023 13:23


As the recruitment industry continues to evolve, staffing firms are increasingly turning to AI and automated texting tools to reach candidates faster and more efficiently. While these tools can certainly be a valuable resource, there is a risk of overusing texting and damaging the candidate experience. In this post, we'll discuss best practices for avoiding the overuse of texting in recruitment and provide insights on how staffing firms can balance efficiency with respect for candidates.

Best Practices for Using Automated Texting in Recruitment

  1. Define a clear objective for texting
    Before implementing any texting campaign, define your goals and objectives. Ask yourself what you hope to achieve by texting candidates and develop a clear strategy around your objectives.

  2. Choose the right candidates to text
    Not all candidates are created equal, and some may be more responsive to texting than others. Make sure you're targeting the right candidates by segmenting your audience based on factors like job type, location, skills, and experience level. Savvy staffing firms even look at candidate “responsiveness” in order to trim your list size, and avoid sending less targeted messages.

  1. Use personalized messaging
    Personalization is key to making candidates feel valued and engaged. Use data to personalize messages with the candidate's name, job title, or other relevant information. Personalized messages have been proven to also have better response rates.

  2. Time messages strategically
    Timing is everything when it comes to texting. Make sure you're sending messages at the right time, whether that's during business hours or outside of them. Just because you can send the message immediately doesn’t always mean you should.

  3. Provide an opt-out option
    Giving candidates the option to opt out of receiving text messages is not only courteous, but it's also legally required. Make sure you're providing candidates with a way to opt out of your texting campaigns. More importantly, honor those requests!

  4. Monitor response rates and adjust accordingly
    One of the most significant benefits of automated texting is the ability to measure response rates and adjust your strategy accordingly. Monitor your response rates and make changes to your messaging or targeting as needed. No text messaging service is going to improve your response rates. Factors like the quality/content of your message, how targeted your list is, and whether the message is seeking engagement or is simply informational - these all impact response rates. Don’t just look at the data in aggregate across your solution, look at each message individually and test variations to make improvements.

Consequences of Overusing Texting in Recruitment

Overuse of texting can have several negative consequences, including:

  1. Candidates feeling overwhelmed or annoyed
    Receiving too many texts can be overwhelming and annoying for candidates, especially if the messages are not relevant or personalized. This can lead to a negative candidate experience and potentially harm your chances of hiring the candidate in the future. You may think that 8 message campaign that starts on the hire date is a great way to use automation to keep the candidate engaged, but is each of those messages really needed? In the end,  we don’t want to train employees to ignore text messages, then it would just be… email. 🙂

  2. Candidates feel that they're not being treated as individuals
    Mass texting can sometimes feel impersonal, leading candidates to feel that they are not being treated as individuals. This can be especially true if the messaging is generic and not tailored to the candidate's specific interests and needs. Personalization can help with this, but you should strive to mix things up and keep messaging “human”.

  3. Damage to your employer's brand and reputation
    Overuse of texting can damage your employer's brand and reputation. Candidates may view your company as spammy or unprofessional, which could lead to negative reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations. This applies both to mass texting large groups for job fills, or sending 2-way text messages to individuals - texting works because messages are short, concise, and only sent when needed.

  4. Legal or ethical violations
    Overusing texting can also lead to legal or ethical violations. For example, if you are sending messages to candidates who have not given you their consent, you could be violating data privacy laws. Additionally, if you are sending discriminatory messages or targeting candidates based on protected characteristics, you could be violating anti-discrimination laws.

By following best practices for texting in recruitment, staffing firms can avoid overuse and achieve better results. The right balance of efficiency and personalization can make all the difference in the candidate experience. Texting is a powerful tool that can help you reach candidates quickly and effectively, but it's essential to use it wisely to avoid negative consequences.