The vast majority of businesses are now using texting as a part of their hiring process. Texting is a lot like email: it’s a fast, informal way to connect with a candidate. Most people today prefer to get a text rather than a call. It’s unobtrusive, doesn’t put them under the gun, and lets them express themselves clearly.
But how can you integrate texting into your hiring process while remaining professional?
Save the text for shorter messages.
Text messages should be used for short questions and confirmations. They should never be used as a first contact with a candidate, but instead should be used for things such as:
- Confirming an appointment date and time.
- Asking a quick follow-up question.
- Thanking a candidate for their time.
Essentially, text messages can be a substitute for shorter emails, and can replace emails when the response is time sensitive. Don’t have full conversations in text.
Remain professional through text.
Text messaging doesn’t mean that you should abandon all decorum. Avoid traditional “text” speak: write as though you were drafting a business email. Today, there are very few limitations on the length of a text message, so you shouldn’t feel pressed to use abbreviations or acronyms.
Expect that a response may not be immediate.
While texting is usually used for things more time-sensitive than an email, it’s still not a phone call. If you need a response back immediately, you should call. If you need a response back within a few hours, a text is reasonable.
Be as clear as possible.
When you’re being brief, it’s important to be clear. Miscommunication happens frequently through email, and it’s even more common through text. Ask yourself whether all relevant information is included in a text. As an example, you’d want to say, “This is a text message confirming your appointment on January 1st, at 7:00 AM at 123 Street with Mary,” rather than “This is a text message confirming your appointment tomorrow.”
Time your texts correctly.
Some people have their phone on silent at night. Others don’t. Avoid texting late at night: it can wake someone up, and they will also wonder whether a response is needed immediately. Reserve your texts for business hours only.
Integrating text messaging into your hiring process can make everything faster and smoother, but like every method of communication it has a time and place. Email, text messaging, and phone calls are all likely to be used throughout the hiring process.