You text your kids. Your partner. Mom. Your bestie. It’s second nature, right?

Have you ever considered texting job candidates?

You should. And for all the same reasons you text family and friends. It’s a quick and easy way to communicate. That and people are far more likely to respond to a text than they are a phone call or email.

WorkHere believes live chat is the “must have” tool for filling your job candidate pipeline in 2020’s super-tight job market. How do we know? Since implementing live chat as part of our talent acquisition platform two years ago, we’ve experienced a profound revelation:

When it comes to converting passive job seekers into active candidates, live SMS chat kicks butt.

Just saying.

Here are three reasons why live chat works:

• 85% of job seekers use an SMS-enabled device (smartphone, tablet or laptop) in their job search.

• Chat messages are 73% likely to be read. Email and phone? Less than 10%.

• SMS chat conversations are sticky; they can go on for months. Try that with a phone call.

What does it take for live chat to be an effective recruiting tool?

Speed. Anybody can deliver an instant response with a chatbot, but very few employers are quick at getting a live human-to-human conversation going. Sadly, the black hole of no response is a real thing. At WorkHere, our live chats start within seconds of initiation by a job seeker. We’ve learned the faster to chat, the higher the conversion rate. If it takes longer than 90 seconds to get a conversation started, forget about it. The potential candidate has moved on to the next job post.

Humanity. Looking for a job is stressful. This is why empathy, understanding, personality, and creativity are really important when chatting with job seekers. People don’t like interacting with chatbots. They’re impersonal and, well, fake. Even basic conversations are awkward. And people are very good at spotting and disengaging from chatbots. Can you say lost cause?

Sales Ability. To do recruitment chat right, you have to understand most of the folks you talk to haven’t decided to apply yet. Most are simply window shopping to see what’s out there in terms of a better job than the one they have. The chat team has to be good at selling the opportunity and getting job seekers excited about your company, culture, and opportunity. The goal is a seamless conversion that transforms a person from passive to active candidate.

The Right Answers. Fast. Most job seekers have questions like:

“When do healthcare benefits start?”
“Can I get Thursdays off? I can work weekends.”
“I need help renewing my certification. Can you help?”
“If I apply, how long before I hear back?”

Answering questions quickly and honestly gets more people to apply, especially if your answers are what the person wants to hear. That’s because the best candidates are screening you, the employer, to find a better situation than their current job. If you’re gonna chat, preparation is everything. Anticipate questions in advance and have your answers ready. And if you don’t have the answer, get back with one fast!

The ability to set expectations. One of the biggest complaints of job seekers is not knowing what happens next. Will I get an interview? When will the position be filled? Is there anything else I should do? The most effective live chats are the ones that can set expectations for job seekers. At WorkHere, we tell people if they’ve met the employer’s basic criteria for a position and when to expect a call (or email) from the recruiter. We also make it a practice to circle back to people 24 hours later to see if they’ve been contacted. Setting simple expectations – and meeting them – is the best thing you can do if you want to make a hire.

If you want to be successful in your 2020 hiring quest, live SMS chat is essential. It’s the best and fastest way to convert passive job seekers into active candidates, stop losing good people in the black hole and fill your candidate pipeline with individuals you’d like to hire. If you want live chat, but don’t have the resources in-house, talk to WorkHere. We do live chat very well and can hook up our chat team now to your career site, job posts and ads now. Let’s chat and see where it takes us.