Texting While Sourcing – By @Arron_Daniels

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Author: Arron Daniels

Disclaimer: These views are Arron’s and not necessarily mine, but I think it’s a great topic to discuss. Big thanks to Arron for offering the post and also for recently holding one of the most engaged Bi-weekly Chats on the Sourcer’s Network.

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(photo credit)

I had the privilege of co-moderating Boolean Strings Network’s  Bi-Weekly People Sourcing Chat last week. Our chats can vary from tools, best tips/tricks, hacks, etc., but last week we spoke quite a bit regarding texting. There were many members who did not use texting as part of their communication with prospective candidates, and some who used it for follow up.  The biggest point of contention was the use of text messaging if there was no response from initial phone calls, or as cold texting as a first attempt.

I am a fan of texting at any point in the conversation, but it all depends on the user and their comfort level.  I wanted to share a few points of why I believe texting is relevant and how you can use it in your outreach process.

Before you text…

  • Understand your target– A smart sourcer once told me, “For us (sourcers), candidates are our currency. It doesn’t matter how we initiate conversation, as long as the message is clear, respectful of the person, and we know what we’re talking about…”  When you text someone, do your research. Once you get an opportunity to speak to this individual, it makes the conversation go a little smoother.
    • Know the role – Understand a “day in the life” as best you can to include a basic understanding of the technology/skill you are going to eventually ask this person about
    • Know “who” they are – Publications, white papers, college/certifications, awards, and anything else that can distinguish you from other recruiters/sourcers
  • Don’t blather- No one likes a rude, uninteresting, or long winded message. Test your messages with co-workers or professionals that you know in the same business as your target candidates.

Text with care…

  • Leave an impactful message- Don’t beat your prospective candidates into submission with a “apply here” link or even worse, sending the job description (even by text) when they don’t know who you are or they never asked for it. Here is an example I used in our chat:

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  • Get to the point- Let them know who you are, what you want, and something to garner their interest. You’re not writing a book; you are getting them to call you/schedule a time to call you.

Texting isn’t for everyone…

There are still recruiters and sourcers out there who will not embrace texting either out of comfort or their candidate market doesn’t align with texting (and in some places outside of the United States it’s illegal). If you haven’t tried texting because you think it’s “spammy” or impersonal, I have a few questions for you.

Have you given it an honest try?

  • Texting one or two people without result is not an honest try. Build it into your outreach methods and track time to response and response rate

What’s the difference?

  • What is the difference between an impactful message in an unsolicited email versus an unsolicited text message?  Response rate.  Depending on the article/study you read, they will differ, but text messages are consistently in the 90%+ open rate while emails (on a successful campaign) are anywhere from 60%-75%

Are you texting from your phone?

  • Texting from a phone (personal or company) is a pain. This is a chief complaint I get from non-texters. Why jam your fingers into a tiny screen when you have the ability to send messages from Google Voice (great Chrome extension for Google Voice)?

Texting isn’t a revolution for everyone, but it can be a new beginning if it’s uncharted territory. Give texting a try and comment below on what text platforms you use and your thoughts about texting prospective candidates.

Be sure to tune into next week’s chat on July 23, 2015, 11:00 am EST where @Megan Calimbas will be the moderator.  Happy Sourcing!