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Q&A: How text messaging can drive recruitment success Special

By Tim Sandle     Sep 7, 2018 in Business
Text messaging can play an important today’s recruiting process. According to the company Canvas, messaging can help businesses recruit up to 10 times the number of candidates they previously could using traditional methods.
Canvas focuses on text messaging as a human resources tool. Customers of Canvass range from Fortune 500 companies in Silicon Valley recruiting engineers to Midwest-based startups hiring IT staff to large hospital systems.
Canvas has a new mobile app integration with Snap Inc.’s Bitmoji Kit, enabling recruiters and job candidates to express themselves with Bitmoji stickers in a text-based interview. It is the HR tech platform to leverage the power of personalized avatars, Canvas users can easily send and receive Bitmojis, adding depth and personality to text interviews and recruiting conversations.
To discover more Digital Journal spoke with Aman Brar of Canvas.
Digital Journal: How widely is text messaging used for the recruitment process?
Aman Brar: The recruiting landscape is rapidly shifting and requires a modern, multi-channel approach to candidate engagement in order to stay top of mind. While the average open rate for email remains strong at more than 20 percent, mobile text commands a near-perfect 98 percent read rate. The speed at which the world moves today requires innovative tools that can keep pace with jobseekers’ growing expectations for instant, personalized interactions.
Companies are using Canvas to screen and engage tens of thousands of candidates across a variety of industries for positions ranging from machinists and welders to software engineers, sales professionals, physical therapists, nurses, pilots, and more. Canvas users span from startups to Fortune 500 companies located in Silicon Valley to the East Coast to France.
DJ: What advantages can text messaging offer?
Brar: There are numerous benefits of incorporating text-based interviewing and recruiting into a hiring strategy. From attracting and retaining talent faster in a competitive marketplace to showing personality throughout a conversation using emoji and Bitmoji, text-based interviews allow recruiters to ultimately hire the right people in less time. In fact, a team of four recruiters can save 3,689 hours each year by using a text-based screening platform.
Other benefits of text-based interviews include de-identifyimg a candidates’ resume and chat transcript prior to sharing with hiring managers; engaging introverts in a safe and comfortable setting; creating a better candidate experience; and positioning the company as innovative and forward-thinking, setting them apart from competitors in the job market.
DJ: Are there other advantages?
Brar: In addition, 51 percent of people actively seeking a new job are currently employed, according to a study conducted by Jobvite last November. Unfortunately, answering a phone call to talk about an interview for a new gig while at the applicant’s current job is rarely possible and always awkward.
Texting, on the other hand, is different. A job candidate can respond in less than 1 minute without disrupting his or her day. It’s fast, obscure, and doesn’t pull the candidate away from current work.
DJ: How well is Canvas working?
Brar: To date, Canvas customer Community Health Network has contacted nearly 2,000 individual applicants and obtained an 83 percent response rate using the text-based platform. Before, when using traditional recruitment methods like e-mail and phone conversations, response rates typically ranged from 45–60 percent.
In addition, with Canvas, recruiters can enable a candidate de-identification feature to redact names and gender-specific pronouns and words before sharing transcripts with hiring managers.
Adding this option to candidate screens provides recruiters with the tools to combat unconscious bias in decision-making throughout the hiring process. The text message component also adds another layer of masking to allow the recruiter to concentrate on the candidate’s skills and abilities.
DJ: Taking the issue of introverts, how is texting helping specifically?
Brar: Given that many introverts get anxious at the mere prospect of an in-person interview, screening a candidate over text message offers this personality type a number of benefits. First, texting gives candidates all the time they need to craft their response to a question. They’ll appreciate the flexibility to develop a well-thought-out response.
Second, given that introverts generally dislike small talk, it’s advantageous to screen over text, as it eliminates chitchat and lets the applicant focus solely on detailing his or her skills and experience.
Third, text-based screening eliminates an introvert’s potential concerns about the less important details of an interview like clothing choices, location, etc. Instead, he or she can simply focus on providing the interviewer with answers related to the job opportunity.
Fourth, introverts dislike having to repeat themselves, so the redundancy that often happens during in-person or phone screenings can be daunting. Text interviews allow introverts to be direct and to the point.
DJ: What types of questions can be asked through text messaging?
Brar: Top of the funnel screening questions are great through text message, but questions that require a novel length response are not the best. If a question can be answered in a sentence or two – it’s a great question to ask via text.
DJ: Are there any data privacy concerns?
Brar: There are no out of the ordinary concerns, as Canvas is led by seasoned technologists. We’re proud of our stance on privacy and we have a privacy policy.
DJ: What services does Canvas offer?
Brar: Canvas is available to organizations and recruiting agencies of all sizes that want to improve their job screening process and maximize recruiter productivity. The enterprise-grade software platform is available through a subscription-based model and is scalable for companies of all sizes and in all industries. Canvas is also available as an iOS, Android mobile, iPad app, and Chrome Extension.
In a follow-up interview, Aman Brar provides is thoughts on how technology is reshaping the recruitment process and how recruiters need to use new technology to adapt so they can recruit top millennial talent. See: “Q&A: How technology is reshaping recruitment.”
More about recrutiment, Jobs, Texting, human resources
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