Text Messaging Delivers Unexpected Benefits in Candidate Screening

In staffing, speed is of the essence. The job market is moving faster than ever, and industry professionals cannot afford to waste time with phone tag. If you are not moving at the speed of light, you will be left behind — and so will the best candidates.

Because speed is now the new normal, staffing professionals nationwide are challenged with finding new ways to connect with today’s talent generation and drive high response rates. It’s time to ditch old-school recruiting practices, and instead connect with today’s workforce using modern communication methods like text messaging.

Yello recently surveyed 1,461 young adults ages 18-30 who were currently employed or had recently accepted full-time jobs or internship offers. Eighty-six percent of respondents felt positively when recruiters utilized text messages during the interview period, a 7 percent increase from 2016.

Since launching Canvas, an enterprise-grade text-based interviewing platform, in June, our team has uncovered some unexpected benefits of using text messaging to screen candidates.

1. Eliminate unconscious bias in hiring. As staffing professionals interview job candidates, it’s their job to impartially evaluate the individual’s ability to perform the duties of the position. Yet, unconscious bias exists (everywhere) in today’s recruiting industry, standing in the way of objectively assessing applicants.

Harvard Business Review conducted a 2016 study that shows when there is only one woman or minority candidate in a pool of four finalists, their odds of being hired are statistically zero.

While more staffing professionals are turning to text messaging to reach more candidates daily, this form of communication is also helping teams focus solely on finding the best candidate for the position, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, etc.

Text-based screening platforms, like Canvas, can mask the name of the candidate as well as any gender-specific pronouns and words through candidate de-identification. Additionally, the voice component of an interview is eliminated when conducted over text, which adds another layer of masking. This gives the recruiter the opportunity to focus solely on the candidate’s qualifications with the option to remove more bias than ever before throughout this evaluation process.

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2. Help introverts put their best foot forward. Today’s workplace and recruiting methods largely favor extroverts. Recruiters and hiring managers look favorably upon extroverts, who are quick on their feet in responding when engaging over the phone or in person. Introverts generally prefer time to think before speaking, which can be difficult during a 30-minute job interview.

Studies show that teams perform best with a mix of introverted and extroverted members. But it is often the extroverted candidate who is more boisterous and puts their best foot forward during an interview, despite being up against an introvert who is just as equipped—or more equipped—for the job.

Text-based interviews offer many benefits for introverts (and extroverts), including:

  • Allowing candidates additional time to craft a thoughtful response to a question
  • Eliminating small-talk so the interviewee can focus solely on highlighting their skills and experience
  • Assessing a candidate on more than just their ability to respond verbally to questions
  • Helping candidates be direct and to the point

3. Promote the company’s employment brand. In today’s competitive job market, amplifying your employment brand is more important than ever. Through Canvas, recruiters can easily access and send employment brand collateral, such as culture videos and job descriptions, straight to the candidate’s mobile phone. As an additional bonus, recruiters are immediately notified as candidates begin engaging with the material they have sent. This not only helps recruiters get the right information to the right candidates at the right time, it also improves the candidate’s experience and ability to make an informed decision about whether the job opportunity and company is a good fit for them.

Since June, companies have already used Canvas to screen and engage thousands of candidates across a variety of geographies, including all fifty states and countries outside of the US, industries, and for positions ranging from machinists to engineers to nurses. Canvas clients span from startups to Fortune 500 companies located in Silicon Valley all the way to the East Coast.

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Kelly Lavin

Kelly Lavin
Kelly Lavin is chief talent officer of Canvas, an enterprise-grade text-based interviewing platform that enables recruiters to screen more job candidates and market employment brands.

Kelly Lavin

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