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Who have you texted recently? Friends, a family member, a candidate? If you’ve never contacted candidates via text, you may think this is an outlandish idea, but it’s becoming rather popular, and it may be time to put it on your radar.

Advantages

Texting isn’t new, but using it as a candidate screening tool is a relatively new concept. Why has it gained popularity so quickly? It’s simple: texting can foster better engagement among younger people who grew up with it and often consider traditional forms of communication, such as emails and phone calls, to be inconvenient and old-fashioned.

There’s another important advantage: screening via text gives the candidate a moment to think about the question and formulate an answer without face-to-face scrutiny. That can make a difference: screening with a process that gives a candidate time to give you their best gives you a true sense of how they’ll perform because that’s more like the environment you’ll be asking them to perform in.

Disadvantages

Nobody’s perfect — and texting as a candidate screening tool isn’t perfect, either. As with any type of technology, it has its limits. For one thing, texting removes the ability to hear the candidate’s tone of voice, which would convey energy or enthusiasm for the role and company.

In addition, the etiquette for this type of screening is not established, and that can lead to complications and misunderstandings. Some companies measure a candidate’s interest by the time it takes to respond to the text. What if there’s a legitimate reason for the delay? For example, the candidate may have placed the phone in another room to focus on a task. Just because the candidate doesn’t reply instantaneously doesn’t mean they’re uninterested in the job.

Caveats

Texting with a candidate isn’t the be-all end-all. It’s a tool, and it can be a useful part of the process. Text interviews aren’t designed to replace in-person or phone interviews but should be utilized to begin a dialogue early in the screening process. Consider it as a get-to-know-you tool.

There are a few important things to keep in mind if you screen candidates via text. Don’t make texting your only screening tool because it will exclude some people, including those who don’t text or limit it to avoid hefty messaging fees. In addition, keep in mind that some people may find it less professional.

We’re here to help

At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we specialize in the recruitment and placement of healthcare professionals in per diem, travel, and permanent assignments in healthcare facilities across the country. Texting can help you find the perfect candidate, and so can we. We’re at 310.436.3650, and we look forward to working with you.

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