Most of us text family and friends every day, and this now-ubiquitous form of communication is finding its way into the hiring process.
Texting can be the easiest way to quickly set up interviews and send minor updates.
My rule of thumb is to ask the candidate what form of communication do they prefer?
I want to know which form of communication will get the quickest response. Interviews are a moving target, so if I need to reschedule, I want to be sure my candidate gets that message quickly.
For my coaching candidates, they want to know the best way to reach me specially if they have just landed an interview and they want a quick pep talk!
However, texting has its dangers in the recruiting world, as it’s prone to miscommunications. Autocorrect mistakes. It’s also very easy to misunderstand someone’s meaning or tone or miss important details when you’re reading and responding via text. Email generally allows you to take more time to compose a response, and you may better convey your meaning with a more detailed email than a text. And talking on the phone allows you to hear their voice and pick up subtle meanings that might be missed in a text.
Also, because texting is a more casual form of communication, you can easily seem unprofessional when you use shorthand or emojis, for example, or make an embarrassing error because you’re moving so fast.
Texting tips for hiring managers
It’s easy to see why texting is appealing to hiring managers looking to speed up the interview process. Most everyone has a smart phone with them, so if you have permission to text it is the quickest form of communication for scheduling changes, receiving feedback and to set up a time for a detailed conversation.
Remember what texting is best for: short, simple communication.
Also make sure you text only during business hours. If you text a candidate late at night or on weekends, they may wonder about work-life boundaries at your company.
Texting tips for job candidates
It’s generally better to let the hiring manager text you first, even if you have their cell phone number. Stick to email or phone calls to communicate with a hiring manager who hasn’t texted you.
When texting a hiring manager, don’t hit Send until you make sure you’re texting the right person — and be 100% positive you’re not accidentally texting a prospective employer with a message meant for a friend. Also avoid using abbreviations, acronyms, emojis and gifs, that is truly unprofessional. Write complete sentences and triple-check your spelling and grammar. With autocorrect, it’s easy to unintentionally introduce a typo or the wrong word altogether.
Use a more formal means of communication, such as email or a phone call, if you have important questions, changes in your job search or are accepting or declining an offer. Avoid negotiating salary via text, as well.
Texting can be a quick and convenient means of communicating for hiring managers and candidates. Just make sure you’re strategic in how you use it and it will help during your hiring process.
Remember, always demonstrate professionalism while you are interviewing.
When you are unsure of the best way to contact the hiring manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org for the best answer.