From Yes To Desk: How Text Messaging Is Improving The New-Hire Onboarding Process In The Remote Workplace
We know that text messaging is well-documented to be effective during the recruiting process, but its versatility expands beyond the signed offer letter. In the world of remote working, modern recruiters and HR can leverage text messaging to ensure a great pre-boarding and on-boarding experience for new hires.
In the ‘new normal’ of remote working, the new-hire process has never been more challenging and companies are scrambling to redesign and execute their onboarding processes. With the myriad of modern messaging platforms such as Slack, Zoom, email (and more) that can be used to communicate with new hires, there is one channel that is often underutilized and underestimated: text messaging.
We believe that texting is one of the greatest tools for modern recruiters (that’s why our mission is to democratize it). Acting as a personal communication ‘bridge’, it can be used to engage with candidates during the hiring process, while also being used to improve the new hire onboarding experience. By maintaining a relationship, companies have retained 91% of their first-year employees. New hires with a well structured onboarding program were 69% more likely to remain at a company for up to three years. 
Here’s how text messaging can add value to each stage of the new-hire lifecycle:
This phase is arguably the most important phase as lots can go wrong during this sensitive time. First-day ‘no shows’ are a recruiter’s worst nightmare and they’re more common than you think. Counteroffers and candidate ‘cold feet’ are more prevalent than ever and recruiters must maintain close and consistent communication with their candidates to keep a pulse on things and catch any instances where things aren’t going to plan. Text messages like, Hi (name), congratulations, and welcome to the team. Next week you should expect some paperwork from HR to fill out. Let me know when you get it, and if you have any questions!", can be used to maintain close and consistent contact with a candidate to improve new-hire experience while decreasing the chance of the dreaded ‘no show’.
Whenever possible, recruiters and hiring managers should regularly check-in to make candidates feel supported and cared for. Chances are, candidates will also have many questions and having texting as a casual and quick communication channel encourages candidates to reach out without hesitation. At this time, companies can also openly ask for feedback regarding their onboarding process, and in turn, benefit from feedback and alter for future candidates. Sending a text like, Hi (name), for your first day since you’re remote, you’ll be getting a laptop shipped to you with all the software you need. Do you prefer PC or Macs?”
3. FIRST FEW WEEKS:
The first few weeks, hiring managers should acclimate and follow-up with new employees. In remote teams, texts are able to recreate the short interactions that would occur normally throughout the day, such as stopping by someone’s desk for a quick chat, or the brief lunchroom/coffee break conversations. Simple yet short text messages like, “Hey, how has your first week been?” or “Glad you’re part of the team, welcome!”, can blossom relationships, making candidates feel comfortable to contribute and highly valued early on. In some instances, companies have assigned new employees a buddy. More than 56% of new candidates found that having a 'buddy' or 'go-to' person outside of their manager-employee relationship, made their first few weeks more enjoyable and relaxed, stating that it was very important to have someone when getting started. 
4. FIRST FEW MONTHS:
Nearly 90% of candidates decide to stay or go within the first six months at a new company.  Setting up a communication strategy can easily be done and implemented. With automated text message communications, recruiters can quickly and efficiently implement campaigns to keep new hires engaged and avoid potential problems during onboarding and after. New hires still may feel shy at this stage, so messages like, "Hi (name), hope you're finding your first few months here enjoyable! I wanted to let know that we’re doing a virtual happy hour, it’s casual and a good time to meet some of your team” are more than welcomed! Rectxt can make your recruitment efforts more efficient and more fruitful, creating touchpoints and open communication opportunities to ensure candidates are regularly contacted and updated.
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