Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we’ve all had to adjust our talent acquisition strategies quickly and find new ways to communicate important information to employees and candidates. To rise to the challenge, many HR departments and talent acquisition teams have started using some of the tools in their TA tech stack in resourceful ways. One important tool has been text recruiting.
To uncover some of the ways that employers have been using text recruiting differently over the past few months, we interviewed several vendors in the space and found 6 smart examples of how their clients have been leveraging text. From communicating with candidates and new hires about virtual interviewing and onboarding process changes, to keeping remote employees engaged, to providing furloughed workers with helpful resources, text messaging has proven to be quite versatile for employers’ COVID-19 response plans.
We think there’s a lot we can learn from how these employers have been using text to keep communications flowing with employees and candidates at a time when humanizing our employer brands is critically important. Many of the approaches featured here will also be effective to support your recruiting strategy and employee engagement efforts on an ongoing basis.
So, without further ado, here are 6 resourceful ways that employers are using text recruiting right now:
1) Centria Healthcare uses text recruiting to speed up remote hiring and onboarding of critical care staff
Centria Healthcare was founded in 2009 and has become Michigan’s leading provider of in-home healthcare. Their largest division, Centria Autism Services, is the nation’s leading provider of Autism support and therapies, with over 3,500 employees operating across 10 states.
As an in-home healthcare provider, Centria is committed to continuing to provide an extremely high calibre of care to their patients to protect their health and keep them out of the hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic — this is very important since many of Centria’s patients suffer from conditions like respiratory failure. To deliver this quality of care, the Centria team has been all-hands-on-deck to hire for a number of critical healthcare roles, like Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) and Home Health Aids (HHAs). Hiring nurses and healthcare workers has always been competitive, but even more competitive and urgent over the past several months.
One of Centria’s key talent acquisition strategies has been using text recruiting to reach more talent faster, improve the candidate experience and new hire experience, decrease time to fill and speed up the onboarding process.
As Brandon DuBois, Centria’s Director of Operations and Healthcare Recruiting, explains, “We are utilizing Grayscale’s texting platform all hours of the day to follow up on with our newly recruited talent and onboarding staff on interview and documentation status. Plus, we’ve found that relationships and casual conversations through texting have served us well throughout the past month.”
When patients need care, every way to decrease the time to deliver that care is critical, and that includes all aspects of the recruiting and hiring process. Text recruiting software has enabled Centria to accelerate the virtual interview process and to receive completed onboarding documentation back quickly. This approach helped the Centria team to move a high volume of candidates through their hiring and onboarding process in a short time frame.
2) Restaurant chain uses text recruiting to check in on the well-being of their employees during stay-at-home orders
A Fortune 500 restaurant chain franchisee in Greece wanted to check on the health and well-being of their employees while they were quarantined at home during the pandemic.
Since many of their employees aren’t regularly on email and don’t own personal computers, the company wanted to use SMS to ensure their messages were received broadly and quickly. The restaurant chain employs a large number of people, so they needed to find a solution that would allow them to automate and send text messages at scale, as well as to collect and analyze response rates and other relevant data points.
The company worked with the team at XOR to create a COVID-19 symptom checker chatbot to monitor the spread of the virus within their employee base using the latest health guidelines. 75% of employees completed the text message survey and gave it an 8.9 rating out of 10 for its helpfulness in recommending protective measures.
The ability to reach employees quickly and through their mobile devices enabled the restaurant chain to ensure that their team was taking appropriate precautions, check on the health of their employees and ensure workers will be able to return to work once social distancing restrictions are lifted.
3) Healthcare staffing agency uses text recruiting to build nursing candidate pipelines faster
A large healthcare staffing company in the U.S. recently used the conversational Artificial Intelligence platform, Mya, to create a candidate pipeline for ICU Nurses.
Using a feature called Mya Outreach, the agency’s recruiters uploaded a list of candidates into the system. From there, Mya started communicating with these candidates over SMS. The AI determined interest, availability and eligibility for the specified role. Then it proceeded to schedule the qualified candidates for interviews directly in the recruiters’ calendars.
The results were fantastic. Using this approach, the agency was able to fill 100 positions for ICU nurses in New York in just over 3 weeks. This is particularly remarkable given that the average time to fill for healthcare roles can range from 45 to 90 days!
Here’s an example of a healthcare staffing agency using text recruiting in action:
4) RPM Pizza uses text recruiting to reduce their time to hire by 80% to support an increase in pizza deliveries during lockdown
RPM Pizza, the largest franchisee of Domino’s Pizza, has a lean talent acquisition team with very tall hiring goals — they are constantly looking for people to staff nearly 200 stores. Additionally, like most organizations within the food industry, RPM Pizza deals with high turnover. Today, the popular pizza chain must combat that challenge alongside the skyrocketing demand for workers to make and deliver food to hundreds of millions of quarantined customers.
To respond to the situation, RPM Pizza adopted iCIMS automated recruiter, ARI, which the pizza chain has named “Dottie,” to help streamline the application process via text. Now, rather than sending applicants to a careers site to apply to jobs, they send applicants right to Dottie to complete a quick and easy application process from their mobile phone. Since implementing Dottie, RPM Pizza has seen a 66% increase in applicant volume and has been able to decrease time to hire by 80%.
RPM Pizza also leverages iCIMS TextRecruit to text candidates throughout the recruitment process, achieving a 99% open rate with text vs. a 7% open rate with email. They also have a 91% response rate with text and a 1-minute response time vs. a 2% response rate with email.
5) Sodexo uses text recruiting to support furloughed workers through a difficult time
Sodexo is one of the world’s largest multinational corporations, with more than 400,000 employees in over 80 countries. As a result of COVID-19, 64,000 Sodexo employees have had to be furloughed since many of the company’s restaurant locations and other operations were temporarily closed.
Given that these furloughed employees were qualified workers whom the Sodexo team had worked hard to recruit, it was important to provide support and maintain communications with these employees.
Using iCIMS TextHR, Sodexo sent regular communications (1 text per week) to keep furloughed employees up to date and informed. They also provided them with information about temporary job opportunities from partner organizations that they could take advantage in the short term.
This approach helped Sodexo employees to feel valued during a time of uncertainty and showed them that the company wanted them to return to work as soon as possible.
At our RallyFwd Virtual Conference, Chloé Rada told us more about Sodexo’s innovative use of text recruiting to keep furloughed workers engaged during the pandemic, and some of the key lessons that she and hear team have learned over the past few months:
6) Southeastern Grocers uses text recruiting to provide emergency preparedness updates to their essential workers
Southeastern Grocers is one of the nation’s largest supermarket companies, operating BI-LO, Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie. During this public health crisis (and during regular times too!) iCIMS TextHR allows their HR and Communications team to stay connected to 45,000+ decentralized and deskless workers via SMS.
During COVID-19 the nature of these text messages contained key information to help their essential workers prepare for the emergency and learn important information about their health benefits. In this way, Southeastern Grocers was able to protect their employee base and show them they cared about their well-being during this challenging time.
We hope these use cases are helpful to hear about as you continue to innovate and refine your team’s approach to hiring and communicating with employees! We think that many of these use cases are ones that employers can keep in their toolkit and use on an ongoing basis to improve the candidate and employee experience, reduce time to hire and nurture leads more effectively.
Here’s more Rally resources to help you make the most of text recruiting:
- How to use text recruiting to improve the candidate experience
- 5 tips to use text recruiting to engage and hire candidates
- How text recruiting can boost your candidate flow
- 4 ways to text the modern candidate (download)