The Unspoken Concern of Automation in the Workplace

When the topic of automation is brought up in relation to the job market, the arguments tend to repeat themselves. One view is from the doomsayers who suggest robots are going to steal all the jobs away with the contrarian position being somewhere between a robotopia (where machines do all the work and humanity is sustained on a Universal Basic Income) and an Iron Man scenario where tech and humanity operate simpatico. I think to some extent all workers will become Tony Stark with our iPhone or variant wearable technology augmenting our intelligence. If that seems far-fetched, consider the last time you dialed a phone instead of commanding Siri or tapping the name of a desired party. (God help us all if we wander off lost on a roadtrip without the aid of GPS.) As the new status quo of office robots and automation encroaches, it strikes me as odd that no one seems to be voicing the next great worker concern. If automation can eliminate certain tasks for a certain worker by X percent then, should that worker have his compensation reduced accordingly?

I do not have a background in benefits and compensation analysis but, I think that such is an argument that will be made in the near future. Lately, I have been thinking about this from various angles. Pardon my ramblings as I share my thoughts.

IS IT FAIR?

From the employer’s perspective, I consider the amount of money spent on technology designed to make my workforce more efficient. If the tech does as intended and reduces the daily grind by so much, is a reduction in future salary fair? Conversely, if workers are doing less of one type of work, does that mean they will be doing more of another? If so, would it be unfair to reduce their salaries? How would one qualify a percentage of work in order to make a right assessment?

DOES IT AFFECT THE VALUE OF THE EMPLOYEE?

If there are tasks that can be safely delegated to robots then, it stands to reason that the work automation cannot conquer is of higher value. Does that higher value offset the percentage of work done by robots? I wish I knew. What I do speculate though is that the more work is automated, the value of the worker decreases if they do not acquire new skills. This is why I think the most competitive companies are those with the most robust training organizations. In addition to improving your existing labor force, it also improves retention. A quick aside…

According to a recent survey by the career platform The Muse, 58% of its largely millennial user base said they plan to change jobs this year. What they are searching for is learning and growth opportunities, as well as work-life balance, according to Muse co-founder and CEO Kathryn Minshew.

IF AUTOMATION REDUCES SALARIES, WHAT THEN?

I think if automation reduces salaries across the board, there will be an even more significant upswing in gig workers. Said gig workers will become a key option to companies who do not have a robust training program and cannot remain competitive waiting for the upskilling of their workforce. As an example, consider India which is predicted to have a highly significant non-employee workforce for its companies over the next few years. In fact, to quote The Economic Times

The use of non-employee talent, or employees not on the rolls of organisations, is expected to grow dramatically in India over the next three years, according to the findings of a survey by global advisory firm Willis Towers Watson.

At the same time, full-time employees’ share of the total workforce is expected to drop 3.3 percentage points in India and 4.1 percentage points globally over the next three years, stated ‘The 2019 Pathways to Digital Enablement Survey’.

“There are two things increasingly happening in work. First is work is increasingly being pulled out of the organisation and being done elsewhere and then being brought in. The second is the growing plurality of means of getting work done,” Willis Towers Watson managing director Ravin Jesuthasan said. “Today, business leaders have a lot of choices on how they get work done. Automation is just one of the different options for them. The various other options could include sending work to talent marketplace, tapping gig workers, using volunteers, etc.,” he added.

The non-employee workforce in India that is seen growing in the next three years includes free agent workers (15%), parttime reduced hour (32%), worker on loan from other organisation (3%) and free agents on talent platforms (230%), the survey said.

I think that HUGE percentage of free agents being utilized by talent platforms is in response to the demands of worker flexibility and the booming gig economy. As such, I would not be surprised if more talent platforms debuted around HR freelance jobs or some other niche.

Another possibility resulting from automation reducing salaries, is the likely trend of companies tying year-end bonuses and worker performance evaluations to future potential. Traditional models postulate that if you did a good job last year then you will do a good job next year so a raise will reward you and give incentive to remain. But if automation is reducing the need for certain skills and reducing compensation to boot then, wouldn’t it make more sense to rate performance based on future potential? IBM thinks so. Using artificial intelligence (AI), Watson Analytics looks at an employee’s experiences and projects to infer the potential skills and qualities each person might have to serve IBM in the future. Watson also scours IBM’s internal training system to see if an employee has gained new skills. Managers then take Watson’s assessment rating into account as they make bonus, pay and promotion decisions. One more quote from the Economic times…

“Traditional models said if you were a strong performer in your current job that was the singular way that you got a promotion,” said Nickle LaMoreaux, vice president for compensation and benefits at IBM. “Well, we certainly still care about performance,” she said. But that now includes hypothetical future performance, too. IBM claims Watson has a 96 percent accuracy rate, as compared to IBM’s internal analysis with HR experts. The company spot-checks employee performance against its predictions.

Historically, employers used past accomplishments as the sole metric for compensation decisions, premised on the idea that the past is prologue. The method worked when job tasks stayed relatively static over time, but “the half-life of skills is getting shorter and shorter,” said LaMoreaux. What employees could do yesterday matters less than what they can potentially do tomorrow

Okay, just in case I lost you in my verbosity, let me sum things up like this…

  • If automation does X percent of the work, should workers be paid X percent less? I don’t know. I predict it will be a hot debate topic in the near future and within companies worldwide.
  • Workers who do not learn new skills will be less valuable in the workplace. As a result, job-hopping will continue and gig working will increase because people want to retain and/or increase their value.
  • The most competitive companies have robust training programs and will leverage them to retain their staff.
  • Companies will increase their reliance on gig workers in response to demands for worker flexibility and to remain competitive.
  • Worker raises will be tied to the future potential inherent in new skills learned. Welcome to the new normal!

Of course, I could be way off base. What do you think? Leave a comment below.

The #1 Job Seeker Complaint is this…

As some of you may or may not know, I am open to new opportunities. I do not think I will be on the market long (knock on wood) but, any day without a steady check makes for a nervous household. To date, I have been networking with multiple connections, taken several interviews and am carefully considering my options. Being on the jobseeker side of the equation is a fresh reminder to me of things I will not bring to my next role in Talent Attraction (or as a Brand Ambassador).

I have applied to several roles recently where I thought I would make a compelling candidate. Unfortunately, others were more qualified, and I did not get the job. In some cases, I know this because I received a generic email informing me of such. Whereas in other circumstances, I surmised it when the job was no longer being advertised, and a LinkedIn search revealed whom was hired. (I’m happy for that person, really, I am. #sarcasm)

As the search continues, so too are my list of complaints about the application process; of which there are several. However, there is one that towers over the rest – no communication. I suppose “ghosting” is the more appropriate word, especially with Halloween approaching. This has to be the #1 job seeker complaint.

Scan any Careers page for any company and you will see how you, as a potential candidate, are extremely significant. Each enterprise promises to want to connect with you in the hope of placing you somewhere inside its organization, all that’s needed is for you to apply. Of course, once you do, the hot and heavy romance that is purported vanishes and you are left wondering, “where did the love go?”

I am frustrated with my job search not only when I am rejected but, when I hear nothing at all from companies who say that I (as an applicant) am so important to them. Maybe it’s the angst of the situation but, its making me more cynical day by day, and I’m not the only one. Being a Sourcer at heart, I did a bit of research and I am reassured that my angst is justified. I researched job seeker complaints and one of the most common complaints is how companies ghost their candidates.

Here are just a few (very few) of the quotes I found:

Job Seekers’ Top 5 Complaints About Employers  [US News and World Report]

  1. Not responding to their applications, even after an interview. Most job seekers put significant time and effort into preparing for a job interview–reading up on the company and industry; practicing answers to interview questions; thinking about how they could best offer something of value. They may take a day off work and spend time and money traveling to the interview. But when the interview is over, they often never hear from the employer again.

Post-interview silence from employers is callous and dismissive and lacks any appreciation for the fact that the candidate is anxiously waiting for an answer, any answer, long after a decision has been made. It’s just not that hard to send a quick E-mail, even a form letter, letting candidates know they’re no longer under consideration. Employers owe interviewees a response, period.

11 Complaints From Frustrated And Angry Job Seekers About The Interview Process  [Forbes]

  1. Even after attending multiple interviews, job seekers are ghosted. They never hear back from the company. Email and phone calls go unanswered and the applicant is simply ignored and forgotten.

The real reason 60% of job seekers can’t stand the application process [Business Insider]

…The takeaway for employers is that it’s important to communicate with applicants, regardless of whether they got the job. Those candidates are three to five times more likely to reapply or apply for a different post when you do.

This is important for employers to remember because even though less than half of surveyed employers reengaged their declined candidates, 99% believed that reengaging these individuals would help expand their talent community.

Dan Schawbel, research director at Future Workplace and New York Times bestselling author of “Promote Yourself,” says it’s crucial that companies protect their employer brand during the candidate application process.

“Companies need to start humanizing their candidate experience because job seekers can easily share their negative experiences online and decide never to apply to that company again,” Schawbel said in a press release. “Treat your candidates like you would your employees or customers because they have the power to refer strong candidates even if they don’t get hired.

So lesson learned: Don’t ghost your candidates.

So, are companies listening to the complaint of ghosting candidates? Some are but, most do not.

Early in my career, I worked for Lanta Technology Group which staffed startup companies and helped them acquire capital.  When things were good, they were very good. However, when a recession hit, things got ugly. I found myself in the unenviable position of rejecting candidates at a pace that burdened my soul. I wanted to place everyone yet, what made that increasingly difficult was the trend of hiring freezes enacted by my clients. Ugh! Still, I knew the recession would not last forever. As such, I wanted to prepare for the economy’s return and help people at the same time. My solution? I began distributing an eBook I wrote called. “How Do I Find a Job When the Economy Sucks?”

When I completed my interviews and/or received inquiries about the few jobs I was actively hiring for, and I knew I would not hire them, I gave them a rejection letter and the eBook. In so many words, I communicated that I am sorry I could not help them. I also said that hopefully, these job search tips will help you find work somewhere. Perhaps in the future, we can reconnect about some other opportunity? Feel free to stay in touch with me. The End.

Surprisingly to me, that gesture of goodwill triggered an avalanche of referrals to me. Inside the eBook was my contact information at Lanta Technology Group. People who I had rejected had passed on my eBook to their networks and those people passed my eBook forward and so on and so on and so on. To this day, I still maintain a relationship with people who became aware of me because of that initiative. It is because of that experience I was so elated when I sat in on livestream by Chris Russell – “How To Turn Rejected Candidates Into Raging Fans.” One of the case studies he cited was how Virgin Atlantic used coupons to turn their candidates into customers. Genius! (Slides from that presentation are below.)

But what caught my eye the most was the demo he did on Rejobify; something I also thought was genius. Instead of sending a generic rejection email, why not send them job search tips as well? Rejobify does that; actually, it gives rejected candidates the option to sign up for a “Job Search Hacks: 7 Day Email Course.” I LOVE this idea because based on my past experience, I KNOW it will work.

In a nutshell, the benefits are these:

  • You leave a rejected candidate with a positive feeling about your company, which reflects better on your talent brand.
  • You increase candidate referrals as candidates share the job search material with others in their network. #sourcing #pipelining
  • The experience is automated! (Not a big wow these days, but it is a capability I wish I had back in the day).
  • You also get stats on how well your initiative is working. (Something else I wish I had, back in the day.)

When the livestream was over, I sent Chris a note and offered him kudos on his latest invention. I truly see it as a simple game changer that is ridiculously easy to implement. I also think its one of those things that will become an industry standard; especially with record low unemployment today and even moreso should a recession hit.

In case my rant about Rejobify has sparked your attention, click here to check them out yourself. You’re welcome.

Jim

 

5 CASE STUDIES YOU SHOULD BE RIPPING OFF, RIGHT NOW

Case studies are a way to inspire business process enhancements and spark new ways to do business. I leveraged a lot of ideas from recruitment case studies in the past to assist my clients. Even more so, case studies from other industries that I have adapted to recruiting have been extremely helpful as well. So much so, that I wanted to share a few examples of what I mean. Maybe these ideas will help you with your sourcing and recruiting strategies. Although I pull from various scenarios, the one common thread is text messaging.

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CASE STUDY: Pizza Hut increases sales with SMS marketing strategies

During a 15 month period, Pizza Hut setup geofence locations within a half-mile radius of each of their 340 Pizza Hut locations.  Which means that when customers were within a half-mile of any Pizza Hut location, they get a discount coupon via text. The results? The campaign was 142% more efficient in increasing incremental sales than any other channel and 4.4 times more effective than TV ads and 2.6 times more effective than online ads.  

RECRUITING POSSIBILITIES

I can imagine doing the same thing when recruiting candidates for Pizza Hut or any other fast food chain. When sending out texts for discounts to people in close proximity who have opted in to receive those  texts, simply add the message that employees get 5% more off as an employee benefit. (Or, employees eat free, if that is an option.) I think it would work, especially when high schools are traditionally closed for the summer season. 

CASE STUDY: Tide Text Messaging Campaign Generates 48,000+ New Mobile Subscribers

Tide successfully promoted their new high efficiency (HE) laundry detergent by inviting customers to subscribe to a text messaging campaign to receive laundry tips, stain solutions, and special offers. The end result was 48,000 new SMS subscribers. 

RECRUITING POSSIBILITIES

I can imagine this being used to bolster employee referrals.  How? Employees pass out short codes to peers, friends and acquaintances which would trigger a drip text campaign. Over time, people who have opted in, get pictures and messages showcasing jobs and company culture. What would make this remarkable is that the content features the person who referred the short code. For example, if I referred you to Company X via a short code campaign then, you would see Company X through my eyes. (Perhaps pictures of me at my cubicle or taking a selfie with my workmates and/or picture of me involved in a company sponsored charitable initiative.) Since I referred you personally, seeing me in the recruitment marketing campaign will be more memorable to you. If that idea grabs you, consider leveraging Emissary.ai’s text campaign feature. You’re welcome!

… 

CASE STUDY: RED CROSS

After Hurricane Sandy, the Red Cross utilized text messaging to solicit donations. Instead of releasing your credit card information, texting a code to the Red Cross meant that the donation amount was simply added to your phone bill. I have noticed other charities implement this strategy. Presumably, the convenience of this method is what spurred its growing adoption.  

RECRUITING POSSIBILITIES

Reach out to candidates in the ATS and encourage them to give to a charity with the company matching their donation fully or up to a certain percent. This is a way to express company’s involvement with the community and give an incentive for people to consider working for the company even moreso. 

CASE STUDY: PROVIDENT FILMS

Here is a quote from OnTarget Interactive: “The film October Baby sought to attract viewers by launching an SMS text marketing campaign. In advance of the film’s release, fans could text “OCTOBER” to an SMS short code for movie updates and free passes. The opt-in test message contained a short hyperlink to a sneak peek of the trailer, further incentivizing fans with exclusive content. They got the word out about their campaign via their pre-existing email database, channel partners and social media accounts. With their mobile database of 50,000 fans, they were able to boost attendance for the film. They reached the number eight spot at the box office opening weekend, and film became the number one limited-release of all time. Their campaign garnered an 11% click-through rate to watch the exclusive trailer, proving that people are attracted to content that isn’t released to everyone.”

RECRUITING POSSIBILITIES

Offer exclusive content to candidates in order to bolster their interest in joining the company. Maybe an “ask me anything” session via Facebook Live (or some other platform) that is invite only. 

CASE STUDY: DUNKIN DONUTS

And here is a quote from a site called – Barnraisers: “DUNKIN DONUTS: Launched a new text messaging promotion towards young adults in the Boston area. Via a local radio DJ, Dunkin’ Donuts advertised the text message promotion on-air and ran mobile internet ads encouraging people to opt-in to text message promotions. The result was 7,500 consumers opting in. 17% of participants forwarded or showed the text message promotion to their friends. 35% of the participants considered themselves more likely to buy lattes and coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts. 21% increase in store traffic occurred due to the mobile promotion.” 

RECRUITING POSSIBILITIES

Get YouTube influencers to convince their followers to opt-in to text message promotions. Not only would you get attention today but, depending on the content, you may continue to get traffic from the campaign when people view the video sometime later. For further inspiration on this strategy, click here to see what the US Navy is doing. 

Can you think of other ways to adapt these marketing strategies ? I would love to hear from you,  if so. Leave a comment below? 

If You’re Not Texting, You’re Not Recruiting

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.

A Good Manners Guide For Recruiters Texting Candidates

Would you talk to your boss the same way you talk to your best friend? Probably not. However, with so much time spent on texting in general, it’s easy to make a misstep. Using a funny gif or character emoji to explain your feelings on a sporting event with friends is perfectly acceptable whereas a similar expression to a business colleague is not. 

A recent Pew research study cited that 97% of Smartphone users text regularly. Such being the case, it is highly likely that the texting habits you develop in your personal life may bleed over into your professional text communications. To prevent that from happening, please consider the following strategies. 

BRAND YOUR CONTACTS DIFFERENTLY:

When adding a work contact into your phone, use a company logo for their picture. This will remind you that it is a work acquaintance. 

Have different ringtones for different purposes. For example, the default ringtone could be for contacts you are unfamiliar with. “Working 9 to 5” could be a ringtone for people you work with, “We are Family” for relatives and the theme from “Friends” for your friends. Likewise, do the same for the text tones for your various contacts as well. 

The hope is that if you get in the habit of receiving visual and audible cues, you would have trained yourself to be in business mode vs personal mode before you begin texting. 

WHEN NOT TO TEXT

My iPhone has a “do not disturb” function that automatically activates every night at bedtime and deactivates in the morning. During those hours I receive no calls, texts or notifications with the exception of the contacts I have added to my favorites. In this way, only a select few have access to me at all times. 

A variation of this practice could be applied during office hours so that only a select few can interrupt you during the work day. You would still receive texts from all others but the text tone would be silent. You may still have the urge to check for new texts every so often but it would not be due to a distracting notification. You may want to condition yourself to check for texts at specific points in the day; lunchtime or coffee breaks for example. Admittedly, I know it is a difficult habit for most Americans to adopt. 

I think this is a good practice if you are easily distracted and prone to do the following:

  • Texting while in a business meeting.
  • Texting when interacting with a customer in person.
  • Texting while offering customer service over the phone.
  • Texting during a business meal with clients.
  • Texting when engaged in a conference call.

TEXTING IS GOOD FOR SELLING 

All that being said, for some workers, texting is a key communication tool between them and their clients. Gabe Larsen, VP of Marketing and Sales Development for InsideSales.com is a strong proponent of using texting in B2B sales. In a recent post on LinkedIn, he said this:

I’ve been calling you out for not texting and finally someone listened. Kudos Kyle Willis and Directive for stepping up. Kyle just texted me out of [the] blue and I’m going to listen to his his pitch

– Yes, he texted me cold

– No, I’m not going to sue him

– Yes, it could have turned out bad

– No, I have no clue how he got my number

– Yes, I’m glad he did it

– No, I’ve not looked at my email inbox today

– Yes, I believe he was probably nervous to do it 

EVERYBODY HAS A SMARTPHONE, SO WHY NOT?

I found this encouraging as it puts me in mind of recruiting. If texting can be used successfully for business development, I imagine it would be compelling for recruiting. In a very real way, it only makes sense when you consider data from Pew Research which says 95% of adults own a cell phone and 77% own a smartphone. In the 18-49 age group, 89% own a smartphone. And according to the same research, 1 in 5 adults use a smartphone only and do not have home broadband internet access. About a quarter of US adults say they are “constantly online.”

What is even more encouraging is the penetration of the practice of searching for jobs on mobile phones.  According to recent data from Indeed.com:

“While Millennials may be the most active on mobile — 78% used mobile devices to find jobs as of  2016 — Gen Xers aren’t far behind, with around 73% searching for work on mobile devices. In recent years, Baby Boomers have seen the highest increase in mobile job search among the three generations, with around 57.2% of Boomers active in 2016, up from just 51.2% in 2014.”

BUT, DO JOB SEEKERS APPROVE? SOME DO, SOME DON’T. SOME DON’T CARE

If candidates are searching for jobs on mobile phones and are psychologically tethered to their mobile phones, it is a reasonable assumption that they may wish to connect with potential employers via text as well. An educated guess is at best, still a guess and I wanted some data to validate my suspicions. After some time online, I found some interesting research from Software Advice. They surveyed jobseekers and detail their findings in the blog post – How Do Job Seekers Feel About Recruiting Via Text? [Survey]  and this was a key finding:.

‘According to job seekers, inappropriate texting scenarios with recruiters include texting during non-business hours (14 percent), texts unrelated to job hunting (12 percent) and texting the results of an interview (10 percent).”

By the way, I spoke with Emissary.ai concerning this stat and they corroborated it having seen similar findings with their product.  

In light of these survey findings, I have more best practices to suggest when texting candidates. 

  • Get permission to text someone before engaging them. Not everyone has unlimited data for texting and unless they are notified beforehand, they might regard your outreach as spam. Towards that aim, give them an option to receive text messages when applying online for a job. Moreover, use email and/or phone calls for initial contact and mention that you are available for text follow-up. 
  • Once you have obtained permission from candidates, be sure to limit texts to traditional business hours and those to be restricted to the candidate’s job hunting progress. 
  • I would also stress that information related to interview results should be over the phone and/or in-person and not via text as that is regarded as too impersonal. 

“SPEXT” AND A FEW MORE CONSIDERATIONS

  • Do not send a mass unsolicited text to multiple candidates as it would likely be considered “spext” (spam + text = spext). As I said previously, send texts to those candidates who have opted in to receive your messaging. 
  • When a candidate reaches out to you, respond in a prompt fashion. If you are unable to, make an effort to reply as quickly as possible as a delay might be interpreted as a lack of caring. 
  • Re-read your texts before sending in order to double check for spelling errors, proper grammar and to insure that you are addressing the intended party.
  • Be brief. Text messaging should be for short, informative messages. If you need to go into detail or offer an extensive explanation, pick up the phone instead or meet in person.
  • Make it easy for candidates to unsubscribe from future messages. 

I think texting is an efficient and perfectly acceptable way to engage candidates, once permission is acquired. I also think that texting in general is so widely accepted that it is foolish to not employ it in your recruitment process to one degree or another. Like every other successful enterprise, the advantage of texting candidates will go to the early adopters not afraid to experiment, fail quickly and adapt to what works. On behalf of the HR departments daring to be innovative, please competitors continue what you are doing. We appreciate the advantage.