90% of text messages are read within the first three minutes. They also have a higher open rate (98%) compared to emails, that are only opened 20% of the time. The stats are no longer restricted to SMS marketing as mobile-first recruitment becomes a priority for HR managers these days. Due to this, texting is rapidly becoming a norm for recruiters to connect with interested candidates. Some recruiters use the communication channel to conduct preliminary interviews. Others opt for texting apps to streamline correspondence during the recruitment process. Whatever the case might be, texting is no longer considered odd during recruitment. You can optimize your job search by approaching recruiters via text. This, however, can pose a challenge since most of the conversation is concise, unlike emails. Therefore, we’ve listed effective tips for texting recruiters. In this way, you can know how and when to approach them without crossing a line. Let’s have a look:
Guidelines: The Best Practices for Texting RecruitersThe Wall Street Journal recommends, ‘building relationships with recruiters’. They believe that this direct approach can give job seekers an edge over other applicants. It’s because corporate recruiters have a unique insight into the internal hiring process of the company you like. They might even know about job openings that aren’t advertised on the official websites. As a result, you get access to more career opportunities with the recruiter’s assistance than you would have alone. With that said, texting recruiters can be daunting for candidates. You will also have to maintain a level of professionalism during your correspondence. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that everything goes well:
1. Getting the Recruiter’s Phone NumberIf you’re on social media forums and recruitment platforms then you can use your contacts to get the right details. In fact, 85% of jobs are acquired via strong business networking. Your business network can comprise of former colleagues or acquaintances who work have the same professional background. You can inform these people about your job search and maybe ask for assistance. Often, friends and acquaintances can refer you to recruiters and executives that are hiring around the same time or could direct you to another company. So try to look at possible connections before searching for contact details via other channels. If that tactic fails, you can apply these:
- Take the traditional route and call the receptionist of the chosen company. Depending on corporate policies, the operator can share the information you require. Then you can use those details to streamline your web search.
- Search for recruiters on online directories (e.g. recruiterlink.com, searchfirm.com, and onlinerecruitersdirectory.com). The search becomes easier if you know their name and designation, along with the company name.
2. Timing Is EverythingWhen should you text the recruiter? When it comes to business communication, the rule of thumb is to avoid messaging after work hours. The same principle applies to this scenario. You should pay attention to the company’s business hours before you send your text. The ideal time to contact them is between 9-5 during the standard office hours. You should, however, avoid messaging them during lunch hour. That’s because they are least likely to respond to messages received while they are on a break. What if they respond after work hours? 14% of job seekers[i] have shown their dislike for getting texts at unreasonable hours. Most recruiters consider this when they message candidates. Nevertheless, certain circumstances might compel them to message you after work (e.g. rescheduling appointments). In this case, you can send a confirmation message as a courtesy.
3. Keep Things ProfessionalFirst impressions are impactful and recruiters have a knack of assessing candidates through their body language. If you think that virtual communication saves you from the scrutiny then you’re wrong. Recruiters do look at the tone, grammar, and punctuation of the texts candidates send. You can express your level of interest and commitment to the potential job opening through the text. The best way to achieve this is by maintaining a formal tone and treating texting as any other form of communication. That means:
- Include the purpose of the message and share your professional/academic background to let them know what you want.
- Don’t use abbreviations or slang language.
- Emoticons are also considered inappropriate for this type of communication.
- Never rely on autocorrect because it can lead to typos and punctuation mistakes.
- Be courteous and polite when you’re asking for more details about a prospective employer.
4. Sending the Follow up TextWhat if the recruiter never gets back to you? Like most top-bracket professionals, recruiters have a packed schedule. Your text might get sidelined amidst the other priority messages on their phones. This, however, doesn’t mean that you have lost your chance to connect with the recruiter. You can always send a subtle follow-up message to confirm if they ever got a chance to read the first text. Nonetheless, there is a ‘fine line between appearing too eager’ and disinterested during the recruitment process. You don’t want to fall into any of those extremes, so it is better to be patient before touching base with them again. What’s the ideal time to send a follow up message? Around 36% of hiring managers claim that the ideal waiting period is 1-2 weeks after applying for the job. While 29% say that applicants can contact them again within a few days after their first message. Of course, communication on text changes the situation. It’s why you should consider waiting at least a day or two before sending a follow up text message.
5. Keep the Conversation GoingOnce you have caught the recruiter’s attention, you shouldn’t let it wane. It is essential that you build a good rapport with them throughout the recruitment process. This includes continuing the correspondence after they respond to the first message. Here are some other tips for texting recruiters that you should follow:
- Reply to the recruiter’s texts promptly (even if it’s only a thank you message).
- Keep things concise and straightforward unless the recruiter asks for more details.
- Don’t discuss taboo topics like salary packages and employee perks via text.
- Do verify appointment details a day before the set date if the location/timings are unclear.
The Take Away Message: Texting Recruiters Opens Lines of CommunicationIn the end, texting recruiters can help you open lines of communication. Not only is it quicker to reach out to them through text, but it also increases engagement. It can, however, lead to miscommunication and misinterpretation if you’re not careful. That’s why adhering to our tips for texting recruiters is so important. The best idea is to consider text messages as any other form of business communication. That way, you’ll remember to keep things professional, grammatically and diplomatically correct. Also, don’t forget to pay attention to timing whenever you pick up your phone. Are you ready to connect with recruiters? Join Wavely to interact with multiple recruiters in your industry. Our job board allows you to browse through job posts and schedule real-time chats with prospective employers. Create a free professional profile to launch your career! [i] “How Do Job Seekers Feel About Recruiting Via Text?”, SoftAdvice, 2015
- [i] “How Do Job Seekers Feel About Recruiting Via Text?” SoftAdvice, 2015