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How Text Messaging Works to Engage Candidates in Financial Services

Financial services is more than just banking, insurance, and investing. As more services in the financial industry are automated, financial services recruiters are working to fill higher value and more advanced roles. Recruiters are also searching for accounting, data analyst, financial compliance, and data engineer candidates. Finding these candidates is a challenge, and engaging the top talent you want to reach to fill your recruiting funnel can be next-level difficult.

When you consider that next-generation candidates are most likely to respond to technology like texting because it’s personal, specific and immediate, building a strategy around text messaging is a great way to build rapport with your ideal candidates quickly and easily.

Candidate Outreach via Text in Financial Services

One of the strongest arguments for adopting text messaging as a candidate outreach strategy is the response rate. According to SMS Global, there is a 45% response rate for SMS messages (email has just 8%), but more importantly, interaction and engagement with text messages is significantly higher than other marketing tools. Because the number of mobile phone users has nearly tripled over the past decade, with over 5 billion people using a mobile phone in 2017, mobile has become the largest marketing platform, with text messaging topping the list.

There are many areas that can be improved by using text messaging, but the ones that typically increase candidate engagement are where you want to begin. Being able to immediately demonstrate a return on investment to stakeholders is extremely valuable to your HR leadership team. Consider evaluating the following:

Streamline to increase productivity. In order to free up your time to focus on high-touch tasks, evaluate which tasks can be automated with text messaging technology (but still personalized to maintain a solid candidate experience). Consider using text messaging to confirm job interviews, inform candidates about next steps, pre-screen candidates with programmed text questions, and to direct potential hires to your company career site via a mobile apply process. This reduces time spent leaving voicemail messages, playing phone tag, or individually responding to a slew of emails for every open position. It also increases touch points with your top candidates, as you won’t leave an applicant wondering what to do next.

Test and scale. You can’t identify what works and what doesn’t without testing new strategies. If you’re new to mobile and text-based marketing, we’ve written a step-by-step guide that can help you get started.

Once you’ve adopted a text-based communications model, you can then focus on what works for your recruitment strategy and scale those specific areas that have the highest return with your financial services candidates. When you use text messaging as an engagement platform, you can gather data that allows you to test and scale your outreach strategy based on metrics like open and response rates. Being able to scale your efforts is ideal for high-volume and seasonal hiring, since you can flex and adjust your efforts and budget according to the exact number of positions you need to fill.

Combine text messaging with other engagement efforts. If you’re running display ads online, you can set up short codes for text messaging. Short codes allow candidates to apply or get more information simply by texting a word to a short number. You can use multiple codes to track your different advertising efforts, using one on print materials and another on digital.

Once candidates use your text code, take advantage of the short time frame when you are on the candidate’s mind by asking the right questions, providing the right incentive and knocking down any barriers to applying. Consider adding customized questions to qualify job candidates before encouraging them to apply for a location, to attend a job fair or directing them to specific job openings.

Text Messaging Provides Opportunity for Candidate Segmentation

Finally, there are so many advantages of using text messaging as a recruiting tool, including a higher quality of hire, less bias, a lower cost per hire as a result of lower travel costs, an improved candidate experience, and a shorter time to fill open positions. With the varied positions we’re now trying to fill in the financial services sector, text messaging also allows you to segment candidates based on experience and qualifications so you can target a specific skill set when it’s time to fill specific positions.

How are you using text messaging to improve your talent acquisition efforts?