How to integrate search, email and text for better recruiting
Make your recruiting tech work for you (and not the other way around).
We just had our 100th month of continued job growth.
That makes for a job market in which the best candidates have seemingly limitless options, and recruiters have to work double-time to turn the tide in their favor.
Technology certainly helps even the odds by making it easier to find and communicate with the best talent in the most efficient way.
But as most TA professionals know, managing so many digital moving parts efficiently – email, search, text, and social, for starters – can be overwhelming.
In order to maximize your tech stack and processes, it’s all about integration – figuring out which tools work best with which candidates and at which time. And, making sure that your candidates know that there is a human recruiter behind it all.
Here are some best practices to help you integrate the digital and human sides of your recruiting campaigns and be more efficient:
Consider your audience
When you’re trying to integrate all of your tools, it might be helpful to know that you don’t have to use all of the tools for all of your roles.
“If I’m recruiting blue collar maintenance technicians, they might not have active LinkedIn profiles,” says Ashley Inman, special expertise panel member with SHRM, “so I might try to get to those candidates via text message.”
This is where creating candidate “personas” can help.
For example, there are generational differences that can help dictate the best ways to connect with particular candidates, says Eric Dickerson, managing director, senior practice leader, Kaye/Bassman International Corp, a recruiting and executive search firm.
Millennials are truly tech natives for whom texting might be second nature, while prior generations are tech adopters who might prefer more traditional outreach like email, he explains.
“That’s why you need to have the different avenues, because there are certain candidates that will not respond to a phone call, but they will respond to a text,” he says.
The level and type of role can also impact which channels you rely on, says Dickerson. If you’re looking for midlevel or senior level people, in those cases you should be doing a lot of touch.
“That is via email, with text, then with not just phone conversations but it will be video conversations as well,” he says.
No matter who your target audience is, though, you need to be respectful of candidates’ time and desires. “Be sensitive to how they prefer to be contacted,” says Dickerson.
“I would not recommend blasting everyone in a text,” he adds. However, some candidates will appreciate a quick, but personal, “just checking in” text.
Focus on timing
Timing is everything when it comes to connecting with candidates, says Liesl Bernard, CEO of Cannabizteam, an executive search and staffing firm for the cannabis industry.
“Candidates of all levels appreciate quick response and direct feedback on their application status, rather than left wondering if they are currently being considered for a position or not,” she says.
This is where deploying automated responses and messages can help tide candidates over until you can make time for more human interactions.
“The method of communication is not as important as the outreach itself, and the preference on communication channel varies from candidate to candidate,” says Bernard.
Inman suggests trying to orchestrate your work week to coincide with how your job seekers like to engage – and if you have a platform that can help you manage it all, even better.
For example, while the mornings might be when they are most receptive to email and texting, you can use your afternoons to get your social sourcing messages scheduled, she says.
Toward that end, she also recommends reading up studies that indicate the best time of day to push out on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn messages, so that you’re posting at the highest engagement times.
As for phone conversations, Inman suggests scheduling them mid-week when professionals are more likely to have time to connect.
Customize messaging by role and channel
Canned messages can be very effective when used in initial outreach if there is a larger potential candidate pool, says Bernard, but when you have a narrower focus, personalization is the way to go.
“Customized messages are more effective when recruiting top-quality talent, and this especially true for passive candidates who are currently employed and satisfied with their position, but may be open to new opportunities,” she says.
However, any recruiter that follows through with consistent candidate communications will stand out, she says.
You also want to speak to the candidates’ motivations.
“You really want to think about how your message fits with the type of candidate you’re profiling to figure out which aspect of the company brand you want to market,” says Inman.
You’re not going to target a senior level professional by touting the cool office perks that you’d market to a prospective intern, for instance.
Lastly, pay attention to the platform you’re using, says Inman.
You can’t just copy and paste your email blast onto a text message and expect it to work. You have to adapt your message to the appropriate length and tone so it feels natural on each channel.
Get as “centralized” as you can
The ability to integrate multiple platforms so you can track everything on one dashboard can be a game changer, if you’re lucky enough to have it.
For instance, Bernard’s team tracks all candidate outreach using a customized CRM solution, which integrates multiple online platforms and sources using custom APIs
“This centralized solution not only improves the overall efficiency of our teams, but also provides visibility throughout the team and company to not duplicate our efforts in targeting potential candidates,” she says.
If you haven’t had success at integrating your various recruitment efforts, help is here.
Monster’s new SearchMonster platform integrates its very robust search tool along with direct messaging email and texting capabilities, and social integration to access a candidate’s entire digital footprint. It aims to help recruiters streamline the way the search, review, and connect with candidates.