Business Is Changing — The Way You Communicate Needs to Change, Too

More quickly than many of us could’ve imagined, the world has changed. Each of us, in nearly every facet of our lives, is being asked to adapt — to change the way we interact in public, the way we school our kids, and the way we work.

At the beginning of the year, most businesses in the staffing industry, TextUs included, were thinking a lot about leads, about building their brand, about making sure their customers were happy.

Priorities have shifted, almost overnight. The staffing industry is focusing more and more on what they can do to help their community during these troubled times.

It’s safe to assume the candidates and clients you’re reaching out to are struggling. Some are trying to work while juggling parenting and the new role of homeschooling teacher. Others are concerned about the well-being of their loved ones or financial uncertainty in their families. And nearly everyone is hanging in with the strictures of social distancing and staying at home.

And now more than ever, it’s crucial to use your communication strategy to build relationships. I don’t mean paying lip service to connection while focusing entirely on the bottom line. I mean being thoughtful, active, and empathetic in every message you send and every phone call you make.

So, here’s how to reach out to your contacts right now in a way that helps.

Make your outreach relevant. Your audience’s bandwidth is more limited than ever. Don’t waste their time and don’t crowd their inboxes with self-focused messages.

So, how do you know what message will be most relevant to your candidates and clients right now? It may seem too simple but — you can ask them. By asking the right questions first, before sending an off-tone message, you can make your outreach as engaging and meaningful as possible. Now would be a great time to practice listening twice as much as you talk.

Communicate the way people want to. It’s harder right now to predict your audience’s schedule. They may be working odd hours, fielding homework questions, or triaging an emergency. An unexpected phone call was already frowned upon before the pandemic — now it’s outright intrusive.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Disaster Recovery Business Process Continuity Guidance for Staffing Firms

In the time of Covid-19, people are doing everything by text message. They are hearing from the person delivering their groceries, keeping in touch with friends they can’t see IRL, and coordinating with coworkers. Texting is quick, efficient, and welcome — it honors your contacts’ time and allows them to get back to you at their convenience.

Give back. You hear it all the time: staffing is a people business. I’m not an expert in unemployment rates or nursing shortages, but I spend a lot of time thinking about the ways businesses communicate with the people that matter the most to them. And frankly, what matters to a lot of people right now isn’t your company — unless you’re doing something to help.

  • Monster is providing free access to 30-day job postings for front-line healthcare companies with staffing needs as a result of Covid-19.
  • Bullhorn and their Marketplace Partners introduced an initiative to help staffing and recruitment agencies to adapt and drive efficiency where possible during these unprecedented times.
  • Wolf is introducing an initiative for entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs to start their own on-demand staffing platform with almost no upfront investment to help our communities find jobs.
  • Here at TextUs, we started TextUs for Essential Businesses, a complimentary service to help essential businesses communicate with their customers and employees quickly and easily via text messaging.

We’re all in this together. The way you communicate can push people away — or it can let them know that you’re right there with them during these tough times.

Andrew Kimmell

Andrew Kimmell
Andrew Kimmell is co-founder and CMO of TextUs. Kimmell also co-founded mobile app firm Rage Digital, The Receptionist for iPad, and was a creative director and designer for tech startups like Sphero and bands including the Boulder, Colorado-based duo 3OH!3.

Andrew Kimmell

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