It’s not unprofessional. It’s 2014, and it’s the way of the millennial. In fact, millennials have been deemed “the texting generation,” and for good reason:
“A generation of emailing, followed by an explosion in texting, has pushed the telephone conversation into serious decline, creating new tensions between baby boomers and millennials.”– Ian Shapira, (@IanShapira)
While it may not be fair to say texting is creating tension among generations, there is truth to what Shapira has to say about the texting generation, and maybe other generations too: 92% of U.S. smartphone owners send an average of 111 text messages per week, and nearly 50% of daily social media users would rather text than talk on the phone.
Recruiters are open to the idea of texting candidates, and they should be. Nine out of 10 respondents in a Dialogue survey stated they mainly use texting to communicate with candidates for interviews, job vacancies, contract information, and reminders.
“The general thinking is that there’s an age divide here. A few of my friends who are active in the recruiting process at their (high-tech) companies have said that texting is totally acceptable – and considered less intrusive – for the “digital generation.” They get decent response rates from those under 30ish. Older people, such as myself, would be put off by receiving a text from a stranger, and feel that texting is a more personal means of communication and not really OK to use for initial professional contact. Scheduling interviews via text, however, is totally acceptable (no matter the age) once a phone or email exchange has been established, but always with permission.” – King & Bishop, Talent Acquisition and Management Consultants (@KingandBishop)
How Recruiters are Using SMS
- More than 78% of recruiters said that using text messages to schedule interviews is important to their company.
- More than 76% of recruiters said that using text messages to confirm interviews is also valuable.
- 80% of recruiters agree that following up with candidates via text messages after an interview is beneficial.
Opening up the line of communication with candidates via text messaging builds a unique relationship between the recruiter and candidate.
Just Text Them Already!
Texting is a quick and easy method of communication that allows both parties to prepare their messaging. Discussing important aspects of the hiring process (like scheduling an interview) using a method like text message builds permanence and reliability. Phone conversations can be rushed and important information can be missed, especially when a candidate is excited upon learning they just landed an interview. Using a text message to follow up after a phone call is a great way to confirm the meeting location, time, and date.
Consider that 79% of smartphone owners between the ages of 18 and 44 have their phones with them 22 hours a day, and 80% of millennials say they sleep with their phone next to their bed. It’s apparent that mobile communication is the best way to reach a millennial.
The same study mentioned previously actually found that 98% of the recruiters’ text messages are opened, and 90% are replied to within three minutes. With stats like that, you’d have to be crazy to shy away from texting candidates.