Is text messaging the new email for recruiters?

I’ll be honest, the first time I received a WhatsApp from a candidate I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I have since learned that there are plenty of good reasons for using SMS and messaging apps and find myself doing so more and more frequently.

I would guess that 100% of our candidates have smartphones. Most of them use them to find information about new roles and about half will use them to apply for new roles. However the most common use for smartphones is messaging, 99% of smartphones are used for messaging (18bn texts every day in fact!). Therefore the chances of a candidate not using text messaging is virtually zero.

As a result makes perfect sense for recruiters to use text messaging. Read rates are much higher than email, 98% compared to 20%. People are glued to their phones, checking them over 100 times per day. Response times are much shorter than emails, 90 seconds is the average response time to an SMS. Messaging is the preferred method of communication for many candidates, certainly in the demographic we are typically recruiting for offshore.

There may still be plenty of hiring managers/clients who do not think messaging is an appropriate form of communication this is changing and again I find myself increasingly texting or WhatsApping clients. There are those that are championing the use of text interviewing and while there is a good case to be made (flexibility, lack of bias, quality of response, permanent record, employer branding), lets walk before we can run.

There are some golden rules we would suggest are worth following. Perhaps it is not the best communication channel in the first instance, once you have made contact and engaged with a candidate ask them what their preferences are. Keep the language professional, no slang, no abbreviations, no emojis and always check spelling and grammar. Keep it short. Keep it specific.

Let us know what you think, we’d be interested to read your thoughts on text or WhatsApp!

Highbury Consulting:
Cayman: +1 345 3280555 London: +44 (0)20 8144 4576.
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