Survey Results - Text Recruiting in 2018 (Part 1)

We asked a bunch of recruiters about their use of text recruiting and here’s what we found:

The Survey:

We asked recruiters to spend 2 minutes to answer 10 questions about their use of text messaging with candidates. The questions covered topics such as their preferences (and reservations) about texting, the technology they use, why they do/don’t prefer to text, their use of emojis, ATS text message integration, and group text campaign functionalities. If you’d like to take the survey yourself you can find it here.

The Sample Size:

We surveyed over 200 recruiters in North America with the majority of respondents coming from the Pacific Northwest broken into roughly 50/50 external vs internal recruiters:

With over 500,000 recruitment professionals in North America we realise that our sample size is small, however it revealed some interesting insights:

Survey Result: 71% of recruiters are already texting with their candidates.

We knew that text recruiting was becoming popular, especially within the last 12 months, but we were surprised (and impressed) at how many recruiters are already using text messaging to communicate with their candidates. We predict that this number will rise in 2019 as more recruiters realize the effectiveness of text messaging and more candidates become comfortable texting with recruiters.

Why are the remaining 29% of respondents not currently texting?

This was an open ended question so here’s a summary of the most common responses to this question:

  • Safety: Recruiters don’t feel comfortable giving our their personal number to candidates (when no business phone available).
  • Work/life separation: Recruiters want to keep personal life and business life separate and so don't want to use their personal phone(when no business phone available).
  • Professionalism: some recruiters still feel that texting with candidates is unprofessional.
  • Policy: some recruiters are bound by company policy to only communicate through approved channels such as email and phone.
  • No need: Some recruiters feel that they get good enough response rates through phone and email, and therefore have no need to use text messaging.

Survey Result: 70% of respondents who text are using cell phones.

This fell in line with our hypothesis that the majority of recruiters are using cell phones for professional recruitment use because most recruiters don't have access to a better alternative. Based on the previous question about why recruiters aren’t texting, we deduct that more recruiters would text their candidates if they had an effective alternative to using their personal phones.

Survey Result: 54% of respondents text because it’s faster than calling or emailing.

This ‘check all that apply’ question revealed some interesting insights. Recruiters are clearly choosing to text with their candidates because it’s quicker and they get more responses. Surprisingly, nearly 1/3rd of say that they use text messaging because their candidates prefer it - we predict that this number will increase as text messaging becomes more accepted in business communication every day.

Other reasons why recruiters use text messaging:

Here is a summary of additional reasons given by recruiters who text:

  • Urgency: Recruiters use texting to get hold of candidates urgently.
  • Confirmations: To confirm things like interview details, or quick ‘yes/no’ responses.
  • More personal: Texting is considered more intimate and can build rapport.
  • It’s discrete: Candidates aren’t comfortable answering their phones or checking personal email during the work day but can read and respond to text messages discretely.

Key Takeaways:

Here are our main takeaways from the survey:

  1. A big chunk of recruiters who text are forced to use their personal phones, and we’d likely see more recruiters use text messaging if they could use a separate business phone number due to privacy, security, and work/life separation.
  2. The vast majority of recruiters are already texting with their candidates, however there is still reservation in the recruitment community to use text messaging as it hasn’t become widely accepted as a professional communication channel.
  3. Recruiters are texting because they feel its quicker, more effective, and more personal than the traditional methods of calling or emailing.

Thanks for reading! Part 2 in this 2-part blog series will expand into areas such as emojis, ATS integration, text campaigns, and texting technology - Brian & Brad.

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