Text Messaging Comes to the World of Job Boards

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TextWe don’t normally write about company partnerships, because they’re rarely newsworthy for anyone but the companies involved and their clients. Here’s one, however, that I think merits some discussion because it brings with it a vision of what recruiting communications may look like in the near future.

Centralized texting platform TextRecruit and job board Beyond.com have announced a partnership that integrates text messaging directly into the recruitment process. Basically, it works like so: job seekers on Beyond.com will have the option to opt into text message communication. TextRecruit clients then have the ability to purchase these “text-ready” candidates and communicate with them directly through the TextRecruit platform.

“After launching the TextRecruit platform in early 2014, there were two main questions that we got from our users: ‘How do I get candidates into the campaigns?’ and ‘Where do I get my candidates from?'” says Erik Kostelnik, CEO and cofounder of TextRecruit. “This partnership solves for those two questions.”

“Beyond.com has over 45 million members, and millions of them have opted in to allow employers to contact them about relevant job opportunities via their mobile devices,” says Joe Stubblebine, vice president of talent solutions at Beyond.com “It’s a great marriage of our membership and their delivery platform and helps recruiters leverage the power of using text messaging to make job seeker connections.”

In my mind, what’s important about this partnership is the way it integrates text messaging into the recruitment process. For a long time now, much of the communication in the recruitment process has been carried out via email. The problem, though, is that response rates to recruitment emails have generally been very low. According to data that TextRecruit collected from Neilsen Media Research, most email campaigns have response rates of about 8 percent. Text messaged-based campaigns, on the other hand, have average response rates of 30 percent, more than three times the response rates of email campaigns.

“Email marketing campaigns have been key [to recruiting], and texting campaigns are a natural progression for employers,” Kostelnik says.

It makes sense for text messaging to become an integral part of the recruitment process: not only do text campaigns have higher response rates, but most people these days walk through the world with readily accessible smartphones in their pockets. Sure, these phones can receive emails, but consider the deluge of emails that people get on a daily basis. Consider how many of your own emails go unread! Then, consider how much easier it is to open a new text message and quickly read it than it is to scroll through a loaded inbox and actually give every message proper attention.

Texting has become a primary mode of communication, and it’s high time that recruiters  leverage it for their own benefit in the employment market.

“Helping recruiters to be able to text candidates shortens the communication life cycle and promotes more active and instant interaction with job prospects,” Stubblebine says.

Will text messaging soon replace email as the recruiter’s go-to communication method? Maybe, maybe not. I’m not in the business of fortune-telling.

What I do know, however, is that Beyond.com and TextRecruit’s new partnership offers a vision of a possible future in which text messaging is an easily accessible and highly effective recruitment tool. For that reason, I think we should all be paying attention.

For more information about the partnership, check out TextRecruit’s website.

By Matthew Kosinski