So, the other day I was in Home Depot picking up a few items when I noticed something that confirmed a trend.
By texting a short code to a certain phone number, job seekers can opt in to receive information on opportunities at Home Depot. I have been seeing this strategy in practice for some time now and fully expect it to become standard in the very near future. To date, I have noticed in action with various retail opportunities and fast food restaurants.
WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE ABOUT SHORT CODES?
What I admire about this process is that once someone has opted in to receive job alerts, presumably the system can customize the alerts to a candidate’s location. I imagine that if I opted in to learn of Home Depot opportunities, I would only get information related to the Home Depot I was presently in and/or within a few miles of my present location. I also imagine that I would engage with a chatbot and release my zip code information which would allow their system to pitch me jobs that are near my home address; something I would appreciate and applaud. Why? Let me count the ways.
- Posting a job in Atlanta would result in resumes from people all over the city. While it is possible that someone would be willing to travel from one end of the city to the other for an opportunity, after awhile retention may be an issue as they would likely seek a job closer to home.
- Some resumes do not list their zip codes. More than likely, a recruiter would want to target candidates closest to the retail outlets they are recruiting for. Without that knowledge, a recruiter’s work increases exponentially as they try to qualify as many candidates as they can.
Oh! While I’m thinking about it, short codes are an option with Emissary.ai. Well worth a peek if you are not already engaged with them.
AND HAVE I MENTIONED COMPLIANCE ISSUES?
A recent study found a “a striking persistence of racial discrimination in U.S. labor markets.” White applicants receive 36% more callbacks than black applicants and 24% more than Hispanic applicants. The reason behind this is often unintentional and/or unconscious biases. Consider this quote from the study I am citing.
“Many scholars have argued that discrimination in American society has decreased over time, while others point to persisting race and ethnic gaps and subtle forms of prejudice. The question has remained unsettled due to the indirect methods often used to assess levels of discrimination. We assess trends in hiring discrimination against African Americans and Latinos over time by analyzing callback rates from all available field experiments of hiring, capitalizing on the direct measure of discrimination and strong causal validity of these studies. We find no change in the levels of discrimination against African Americans since 1989, although we do find some indication of declining discrimination against Latinos. The results document a striking persistence of racial discrimination in US labor markets.”
When engaging candidates via text, biases are assuaged to non-existence. Recruiters can’t hear or see applicants via text and make wrong assumptions based on assumed demographics.
TEXTING IS TOO CONVENIENT TO IGNORE
We are currently in a great economy with unemployment at historic lows. It is an employer’s best interests to make opportunities as attractive and as seamless as possible to apply to. According to a 2018 study by Indeed.com, the majority of people currently employed are considering a job change. Consider these stats:
- 71% of workers admit to active job searching or at least openness to a new opportunity
- Among all employed adults, 65% look at new opportunities within 3 months of starting their new job
- 58% of workers look at other jobs at least every month
- 72% of adults keep track of other open jobs in the market, regardless of their current status
As encouraging as these stats may be for recruiters seeking talent, most likely they are not in a position to respond to a recruiter’s call at work; especially in light of the trend of open offices. However, texting allows for a quick and unobtrusive way for recruiters to connect that a candidate can appreciate.
OTHER STATS TO CONSIDER
According to multiple sources:
- 90% of SMS messages are read in the first 3 minutes
- 82% of people say they open every text message they receive
- 19% of links in text messages are clicked
- 45% is the average response rate for SMS
According to MarketingProfs:
- The response rate of SMS text message marketing is 45% vs email response rates at 6%
According to GSMA:
- It takes the average person 90 seconds to respond to a text message
According to eWeek:
- 80% of people use texting for business purposes.
I think texting should be the industry standard for the least of all reasons, it is effective in location based recruiting, reduces bias and is extremely popular with the general population. Honestly, it is difficult to find a reason why a company should not already be experimenting with texting to some extent. But, I am open to debate. Send me a text and we can discuss it.