Some of us may remember the days of debating between cream or white-colored paper for our resumes. Tomorrow’s job candidates may debate whether a smiley face or a thumbs up is a more professional response to the latest text from a recruiter.
That’s right. As this article details, today’s recruiters and employers are adding text-messaging to the hiring process. Text messaging is being used to coordinate interviews, connect with past applicants, and even to ask initial screening questions before scheduling phone or in-person interviews. Many younger applicants prefer texting to email, which they consider old-fashioned (and don’t ever check). Many recruiters prefer texting because they feel their emails to applicants are getting lost in over-filled and ignored email inboxes. Texting also keeps recruiters top of mind with candidates and may help save time and saving time always saves money.
As employers continue to look for ways to grab the attention of potential workers, texting is just one of the new trends that recruiters and candidates will need to learn to negotiate. Recruiting through social media channels, talent pools, and peer referral are all creating interesting complications for candidates. Do you want to “friend” a recruiter on social media? Can anyone be professional all the time? Will you accidentally text a would-be boss something you meant to send to your mom?
Emails, texts, and social media posts can all be easily shared and take on a life of their own, making it important that you slow down the natural, more casual, rhythms of this kind of communication and think carefully before posting or responding. You might be tempted to text back while watching Hulu, but it can only help to wait to respond to any professional message when you’re in a professional state of mind. Think about it, you’re not going to start a text or a tweet with To Whom it May Concern, but you also shouldn’t respond to an interview request with “LOL, NFM.”
Recruiters need to learn to navigate this new world, too. Should they stick to texting only during business hours, or are before and after work acceptable? As we were writing this, we heard from a candidate who received a text at 9:00 pm from a recruiter she doesn’t know. She was really taken aback and has no interest in working with that search firm.
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