Consumers have become accustomed to managing almost every aspect of their lives from their smartphones. Banks, insurance companies, and even retailers now interact with their customers via proprietary apps, emails, and text messages. Many of the actions people need to take to manage their lives can now be conducted entirely through SMS, or even through speech to text software.

Recruiters, employers, and hiring managers have an opportunity to leverage this shift in consumer habits in the recruiting process. For years, hiring has been mostly restricted to online forms, job boards, and email chains.

Now, employers can use SMS to not only engage with prospective candidates but also complete the hiring process. The process is called “text to apply,” also known as “text to hire,” and it’s completely changing the candidate experience for the better.

What is text to apply?

Put simply, text to apply enables candidates to send a word or code to a phone number to begin the application process. Once they send the code or keyword, they’ll receive an automatic response with further information. The candidate may receive a complete application, a document with more information, or a link to a form or website.

This allows candidates to begin the hiring process quickly and easily, directly from their smartphone. Using text recruiting software, recruiters and employers can even engage directly with promising candidates via SMS after they send the initial text.

There’s no need for the candidate to find a Wi-Fi signal or wait to return home to begin the application process. Even if they’re out and about, they can send a quick text message to start on their candidate journey.

Why is text to apply important?

Text messaging is quickly becoming the preferred mode of communication for busy professionals, especially those in younger demographics. According to one study, 68% of 18- to 29-year-olds say they text “a lot,” indicating that text messages now outrank phone calls as the dominant form of communication among this age group.

Job seekers are already texting constantly with friends, family, and colleagues. Adding text to apply to the candidate experience taps into this trend to provide a fast and convenient way for candidates to find your open positions.

More importantly, SMS recruitment results in better open rates and hiring results. SMS messages have a 98% open rate and a 209% higher response rate than phone, email, or Facebook. Most SMS messages are read in just a few minutes, eliminating the wait time you might experience from sending an email, making a phone call, and leaving a message.

Allowing candidates to start the application process via text is more personal than a formal email or phone call, and it also results in less pressure. People are busy, and filling out a long job application can feel like a serious time commitment. With text to apply, candidates can start the process on the go or even while they’re working on other tasks.

What is text to apply software?

Text to apply software is proprietary software that enables you to engage in text to apply campaigns.

This type of software is typically cloud-based. Once your organization has an account, your team members will be able to access a dashboard where they can create campaigns, interact with candidates, and measure their results.

Most text to apply software can integrate with your other recruiting solutions. In some cases, you can even get text to apply software as part of an overarching cloud recruitment software.

What does text to apply software do?

Text to apply software allows you to craft automated text messages, securely capture candidate data, and import contact information into your candidate relationship management system and your candidate applicant tracking system. Most text to apply software works with the most popular text messaging services, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and general SMS.

Your software will keep a recording of all the messages you send and receive, so you can get a clear view of each candidate’s experience. Automation is a key part of this type of software. When a candidate sends a text message, they’ll typically receive automated responses that will walk them through the application process.

Why do employers use text to apply software?

Text to apply software is useful for almost any type of employer, but it is particularly useful in professions that don’t involve sitting behind a desk. In retail and hospitality, for example, recruiters can provide text to apply instructions at their brick-and-mortar locations to encourage engagement.

In other industries, recruiters can include text to apply keywords in their job ads to give candidates another option for starting the process. This type of flexibility encourages more candidates to engage, even if they are strapped for time or don’t have all the necessary information on hand.

Hiring managers may also have to deal with high volume solutions for even just a single role. Vetting and engaging with every applicant manually isn’t always possible.

With text to apply, applicants can begin the process through self-service. With the right system, your text to apply software can add layers of automation to ensure the most promising candidates get the attention they deserve.

What to look for in text to apply software

You should prioritize software that enables you to recruit at scale with automated workflows. Ideally, your solution should be able to provide the candidate with the right information instantly, whether they are looking to apply or simply asking a question.

You don’t want to settle for a text to apply application that won’t integrate into your existing solutions, either. Your text to apply software should automatically capture candidate data and transfer it to your other hiring solutions.

Overall, your text to apply software should improve key metrics like candidate response rates, time to hire, cost per hire, and the candidate experience.

iCIMS’ text to apply software

iCIMS’ text to apply software provides you with everything you need to modernize and streamline your candidate experience. As part of the iCIMS talent acquisition software, this software can help you reach candidates wherever they are, over their favorite medium, and in a low-stakes environment. Use iCIMS’ automated SMS workflows to convert talent faster and keep your brand top of mind.

To learn more about iCIMS Talent Cloud, contact us today.

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