She who texts the fastest WINS!! OK, not really, but to be on the forefront of recruiting, mobile is where it's at. Think about this... In the month of January alone, I have sent 6,272 SMS messages. These messages served a variety of purposes. They were to friends, family, charities for donations, etc. I accomplish my main personal communications all through text. I am not saying that everyone is using text as much or even half as much, but you cannot deny it continues to grow. My son who is only 11 also sent 2,134 texts in the month of January (thank goodness we have an unlimited plan!).

Text messaging is one of the quickest forms of communication. Imagine this, you are a candidate looking for a job and you are a Software Engineer. XYZ Company develops an application with a SMS software company that you can text into. So you text... 44444 and in the text you indicate “jobs” a text comes back and says select a skill “Technical” you indicate....if you want, we can take it a step further, what skill "Software Engineer", A text comes back and asks your location...89081...You can either as a company begin a prequal screening for interview scheduling. e.g. Do you have 5 years of experience..."Y" or "N"... should they answer "Y" let's get you scheduled OR would you like the hours, office and location with a map link to your nearest location? Wow! Such convenience and connection at the candidate’s fingertips!!

So now that you are thinking about the how, (yes, some of this takes work to set-up), I have now opened up to the possibilities of mobile to you and what we can look forward to for SMS.

Another hot topic is Mobile Applications. They are yet another portion of mobile and are different from SMS. Think about it this way…a candidate wants to apply...Do you have an app for that?

Another possible scenario of where you can use mobile is for retention or benefits. An automatic SMS message could be sent after 30 days. Maybe it's a simple thank you for working here, don't forget to sign-up for your benefits or we have an employee event. I can assure you I might not always read memos, but I sure do read my texts. I predict the quicker you grasp this concept, the further you will be able to widen your candidate net.

I know when I first thought about recruiting and mobile I shrugged my shoulders a bit, but then I started to think about the "how" and the possibilities are endless. Approximately 3% of mobile users have smart phones (mobile applications), 97% have SMS based phones. There will be a shift to more smart phones eventually, but heavily reliance will always be on SMS. I operate on a Droid phone and I still use SMS more than anything…

Mobile can be efficient and effective; it’s all in how you use it.

Views: 46

Tags: SMS, candidates, mobile, networking, recruiting, social, text

Comment by Rayanne on January 29, 2010 at 12:10pm
While, I can appreciate your point of view here and, obviously, this is a tool that you utilize..., I am a bit concerned about the letting go of a simple conversation and resorting to SMS and poor grammar to produce quality work and future requisitions.

It may be a generational thing... I do text, not 6,000 times a month but I probably sent/received about 1500 in the month of January and I rarely text for work unless I need to let my boss know I am running late. It is mostly to communicate with my children, friends, so forth. The convenience may be the draw right now, but I'd need to see some hard data as to actual results before I would feel comfortable even moving forward with an application or a process that would include embracing mobile recruiting fully. Unless of course, you include the iPad or a netbook as a sourcing tool... which are just diminutive laptops, right?

I have seen mobile product after product and app after app fail over the last year or just not gain the necessary ground to achieve the requisite success.

I guess we will just see what happens or there are those can drive innovation to the edge and just deem it trendy because they can.., think: Mashable.

Keep us posted on your stats... ;-)
Comment by Jenn Francine on January 29, 2010 at 1:44pm
Great feedback Rayanne. Mobile is something that has to be embraced and understood by both business need and also candidate convenience. It's the movement of digital, which means individualized recruiting and connection. I was skeptical as well first looking at mobile. There is software where you can program in your short text and when to send it so it's less of back and forth and more of the right message at the right time minimizing grammar errors. Here are some interesting trends on SMS.

At the beginning of 2009:
  • 72.2% of wireless users have paid for SMS packages. This equates to 203 million Americans.
  • 57% of wireless users 13+ are considered regular text message users.
  • There has been a 107% increase in text message use in the USA in the past year.
  • 2.5 billion text messages are sent each day in the USA.
  • More text messages are sent per phone than phone calls. The average text messages used per month is 357 compared to 204 cell phone calls.
  • 15 million Americans used video on their cell phones in quarter two, 2008.
  • 138 million Americans have sent a text message in the past three months.

The potential reach is amazing. It's figuring out the demand vs. need/skill set and as our future generations move into the workforce being able to keep up with and communicate with them.

I will definitely keep you posted!
Comment by Ralph Leon on January 29, 2010 at 2:28pm
Very interesting post. Mobile recruiting, I don't know why I didn't think of this. I can definitely see recruiting tapping into this medium, but more as a resource. I was on campus at a local university and noticed a huge absence of laptops. In place of laptops were more mobile phone devices. So this trend does hold significance. Now I agree with Rayanne about her concern about a lower quality of work, but like the popular saying goes "there's an app for that." That saying does hold true. Great post and good eye for catching on to this trend.
Comment by Rob Humphrey on January 30, 2010 at 4:44pm
Ahhh. The old mobile recruitment strategy. It will be big. I agree--but just like everything else 90% of recruiting teams will not adopt because they work in "HR" and are risk-adverse.

If you indeed know of folks embracing mobile - encourage them to apply for a SOCRA award:http://www.recruitcamp.com/socialrecruitingawards/
Comment by Sylvia Dahlby on January 31, 2010 at 7:02pm
I agree mobile recruiting is a growing trend. Last yr we integrated the SmartSearch ATS with two providers of cell phone text messaging and also incorporated our mobile access into the base system (which means it's now included rather than extra-cost add on). This was all done to meet increasing demand for mobile recruiting tools from our customers. Looking ahead, we are in dev on improving our mobile access to be "the app for that" so stay tuned.

The other thing I would like to add is that it seems to me SMS is more common for recruiting overseas than in the US.
Comment by Jason Monastra on January 31, 2010 at 10:13pm
Does anyone think that the mobile recruiting, specific to that of texting, makes for an even less personal experience than some candidates already experience. I read posts of how the face to face meeting provides so much in the development of the relationship - however we debate on how to best distance ourselves from the candidates themselves. Does that make sense? Technology has a place in the recruitment strategy however it needs to be a pillar to support the system, however it cannot be the foundation.
Comment by Sylvia Dahlby on February 1, 2010 at 9:40pm
well said Jason, technology never hired anyone
Comment by Jenn Francine on February 3, 2010 at 12:20am
I agree. Technology will not hire anyone, but it's yet another support mechanism we should embrace. It is all about the job seeker and convenience. I put digital in this perspective.... It’s the complete personalization of the experience tailored to the preference of the individual all while maximizing the time of the candidate, recruiter and hiring manager. A recruiting strategy should be infused with different combinations that are continually evaluated as candidates evolve.
Comment by Andy Young on February 4, 2010 at 3:13am
Agree with the sentiments of Rayanne. If SMS ultimately helps you build and grown relationships with your candidates (customers!) then there is a clear rationale to build it in as part of an integrated attraction strategy. If it's main intention is purely to focus on speed rather than quality then this is where no one adds true value to a client. They can do this themselves. But what they CAN'T do so well if recruiters do it to such a degree of excellence, is own the relationship with their candidates.

In the age of candidates having such a choice in how they approach their job search (direct to client, social networking, job boards, work with a recruiter they TRUST and KNOW etc) then central to success has to be the RELATIONSHIP. If SMS is a part of cementing that relationship then all well and good. But if speed always comes before quality then clients will continue to see working with recruiters when hiring as something that is a cost rather than an investment.

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