Lead the Next Wave of Candidate Experience with SMS

Lead the Next Wave of Candidate Experience with SMS

As we think about enabling better hiring at scale, it can be overwhelming to create a human-centric process for an abundance of candidates.

  • The first solution most people come to is to throw more bodies at the problem. However, it's not always sustainable, it is inconsistent, and the sheer volume can be overwhelming and messy for the recruiters involved.
  • Alternatively, you can move towards an entirely automated process. With an almost endless amount of softwares and technology-based products, you can hire without ever actually speaking to your candidates.

Both options will solve the inherent problem, but they also come with a price to your staff or your candidate's experience.

When we think about how to create a better, faster, simpler hiring process, we're seeing most of our customers opt to rewrite the handbook for high-volume hiring completely.

The goal for their new processes? Create hybrid systems to automate the mundane tasks and enable them to get candidates interacting with a member of the team faster.

In the recruiting world, you need to get in touch with candidates fast! The market moves so quickly now. Texting candidates is a useful tool that I love!

- Angie S.

For some teams, texting has become the primary communication channel; however, for others, it's a tool they use to help expedite the logistical tasks and get them into an interview asap.

 

Where can you use technology as an enhancement not a replacement?

Our friends at Dick's Sporting Goods say they think about technology usage as a way to facilitate a seamless process, similar to how other companies think about simplifying their checkout processes.

"I'm thinking about how I can make the application process as easy as Apple Pay! How do we make our process auto-populate all the important information at checkout? What can we do to make it easier, so we don't lose the sale?"

- Rick Jordan

When it comes to creating a harmonious candidate experience, many people see success with using SMS as the main channel of communication.

 

How can SMS be used in your high volume recruiting process?

Our customers say leveraging texting helps them:

 

Showcase team personality and build better relationships

Using automations coupled with intentionally curated templates can allow you to create personalized and professional touch points throughout the process. With texting being less formal than email, this is an opportunity for your team to leverage emojis to create a warm and inviting experience! This can sound like quite the feat, but with the right tools, it's easier than you think!

 

Stay top of mind and shows your candidates you value them

No matter how hard we try to rewrite our brains, whatever information it can distill first is most likely to create a bias in our brains for that company or product.

When it comes to candidates applying for jobs, the first company they hear back from will naturally be assumed as better.

Finding a way to quickly and effectively meet the needs of the candidates in your pipeline will help you enhance your candidate experience and supercharge your high-volume hiring.

 

Provide visibility and quickly communicate what’s next

34% of candidates ghost when the interview process is confusing, challenging, or unclear.

By leveraging SMS, you can easily help set expectations and reasonable timelines with an automated text as simple as, "hey there, we got your application, and you can expect to hear back from me in 48 hours or less!"

These ideas seem great in practice, but with our recruiters already stretched thin, without the help of automation, this method simply doesn't scale.

 

So, what does texting candidates look like in action?

It can be whatever you want it to be! You can use text as an additional communication channel where you follow up as needed, or you can opt to redesign your hiring process to promote a text-based communication style.

Our customers see the greatest impact from texting when they integrate it into their core processes with automations, nudges, and reminders, all sent round the clock to enable a more personalized and communicative experience for your candidates.

When it comes to maximizing your candidate engagement and minimizing ghosting, what's better than engaging with candidates on a platform they already use and love?

 

DoorDash uses texting to:

Build personalized relationships with their candidates and help them move through the pipeline at a pace that feels right for them.

 

GardaWorld uses texting to:

Instill respect and dignity into their candidates from day one; they aim to make each applicant feel like a team member from the get-go.

 

Dick’s Sporting Goods uses texting to:

Quickly and efficiently get applicants into an interview where they can interact with a team member face-to-face to build a personal connection with the team.

 

Amazon Pharmacy uses texting to:

Automate and expedite their hiring process to shorten their time to fill and make it easier for recruiters to manage larger requisition requests.

Maybe it's time to consider a new approach to picking software for TA teams. What if we decided based on what made it easier for the candidate to engage with the process? Perhaps, it's time we meet them in the middle, where they are, on their phones!

 

Related

[Webinar] Tried and True Strategies for High Volume Recruiting


How GardaWorld Leverages SMS to Humanize Their Volume Hiring

GardaWorld was looking for a way to help humanize and instill dignity into their high volume hiring process.

As one of the top security companies in the world, GardaWorld hires a lot of hourly employees. Hiring in this world can feel highly transactional and can leave candidates feeling like a number. When it was time to revisit their volume hiring process, GardaWorld wanted to create a process unlike any others in the industry.

Their goal was to create an experience that allowed their candidates to feel like part of the family from the get-go. No matter what, they aim to create a process that makes getting from application to paycheck easier than ever.

“Garda has a limited pool of candidates to hire from, so experience matters. Even if a candidate isn’t hired now, they could be a great hire in the future. And they'll remember how you treated them.”

- Scott Foster

 

The Set-Up

As GardaWorld aims to cultivate their talent pool, they wanted to create a process that made it easy to funnel in new candidates and stay in touch with older ones. They had their eyes set on finding a way to ensure every applicant had a positive experience.

Their goal was to create a process focused on building and maintaining relationships with their candidates, and they kept their eyes on a few metrics to do this.

 

Speed to Post

The time from applying to a role, to starting at your assigned post. The goal was to get this stat below two weeks.

 

90 Day Losses

They wanted to create a process that engages candidates long term, to reduce turnover in the first 90 days.

 

Overall Attrition

GardaWorld seeks to design a process where every team member is so valued they couldn’t fathom leaving.

The idea was to create a memorable, transferable, and highly personalized experience for every applicant.

With specific intricacies involved for each position or state, they were looking to build a solution that made it easy to manage the specifics so they could focus on humanizing every interaction.

 

The Solution

When it came to finding a solution, they wanted to create processes to keep a people first approach. They were looking to:

  • Cultivate a process where technology was an enhancement, not a replacement
  • Instill respect and dignity into the candidates working their way through the application process

As GardaWorld sought out a better process, they were looking to automate reminders and scheduling, prompt their candidates to check their emails when they have action items, simplify the process, and streamline next steps.

The heart of this process improvement was to show their candidates how much they value their work and their service.

In order to develop processes that conveyed those emotions, they chose to focus on simplifying the steps and making it as easy as possible for someone to get from application to paycheck.

As they rolled this process out, they made an effort to balance automation and humanization. Through leveraging texting, they created automated reminders for phone screens, interviews, and other events like their first day!

This technology enhancement helped them increase their interview sit rate, and made it easier for them to quickly advance candidates in the process.

“In our society today, we value information and connection now. We have to meet candidates where they are, and adapt to what the candidates need and want. Texting has become the perfect tool to meet these objectives.”

- Scott

Not only did they see an increase in participation for their in-person interactions, but they also noted an overall increase in their candidate engagement as applicants found it easier to ask or answer questions via text. With open lines of communication to their recruiters, the process had an entirely new and engaging edge to it.

 

How They Built This

When it came to designing this process, they used data to drive decisions and then let strategy come into play once they had a direction to follow.

It looked like:

  • Assessing the hiring process as a whole and pursuing clarity around which areas of the system resulted in the biggest drop off.
  • Using strategy to solve the root of the problem once they understood the causation.

Once they reviewed the metrics that matter, they started asking questions such as:

  • What is our current applicant to hire ratio?
  • How can we increase that?
  • Where are our candidates dropping off?

After they had answers to their questions, they knew where to start designing the process.
GardaWorld uses SMS automation to increase candidate engagement, remind applicants of upcoming events and next steps, and prompt them to take action before they become disengaged.

They are opting to create a process with intention. Their goal is to remove as many burdens and jumping off points as possible. They continuously look for ways to make it easier on their candidates to become a member of the family.

As they have rolled these changes out branch by branch, they have reviewed branch specific data to ensure the transition is smooth, seamless, and positive.

This change wasn’t solely on the candidates side, as they rolled these new processes out to their internal teams, they were excited to hear their recruiters loved it!

“Grayscale allows our Talent Acquisition and HR Teams to contact candidates seamlessly without having to leave our Applicant Tracking System.”

- Patrick McDermott

With buy-in from the team, and candidate engagement skyrocketing, GardaWorld is well on their way to creating a volume hiring process that’s undeniable.

 

Takeaways

  • GardaWorld learned how you can successfully use tech to keep volume hiring human-oriented
  • They leverage data to help to inform and direct strategy efforts for maximum impact
  • GardaWorld created a process to showcase how they value their employees by treating candidates with respect from the get go

When it comes to using technology in volume hiring, it’s easy to get caught up in automation. Without having a guiding light like humanizing the process, it’s possible to do more damage than good.

GardaWorld started this journey with a 22 day application to paycheck timeline. Now? That process only takes 17 days. They are on track to continue trimming and polishing the process to reach their goal of 14 days.

With the use of technological enhancements in their process they are on their way to reducing 90 day turnover.

“Employee Engagement and Retention begin in the hiring process. The best TA strategy is to keep our people, and our new uses of texting are helping us on this journey.”

- Scott

Sure, reinventing the system can feel like a lot of work. At what point does it become mission critical to take a serious look at your overall attrition? Only you can answer that, but for GardaWorld they felt it was time to deliver a white glove service to their volume hires.

 

Related

[Webinar] How GardaWorld Transformed It's High Volume Hiring


Minimize Ghosting & Accelerate Volume Hiring with Texting & Automation

Minimize Ghosting & Accelerate Volume Hiring with Texting & Automation

We sat down with William Tincup, President at RecruitingDaily, and Jessica Morales, New Business Verticals, Recruiter at DoorDash to discuss high volume hiring. They shared everything from their thoughts on process optimization, to how to better engage candidates, and what exactly they find useful to minimize ghosting!

With the market for talent as scarce as it is, we’re all struggling to meet reqs and transform this narrative of candidate ghosting.

Most recruiters are feeling a tension between creating processes that ensure quality hires while trying to scale for volume and deliver on their reqs. It leaves many of us thinking:

  • Should you focus on speed and rely heavily on automation?
  • Should you be focused on creating a human-oriented process to build trust and deeper relationships?
  • Is it even possible to find a balance?

Well, here’s what Jessica and William suggest.

 

How to Get Comfortable with Automation

William Tincup, President at RecruitingDaily, encourages us to think about all the other areas of our life where we outsource things.

"Who mows your grass? Cleans your pool? Shapes your trees?"

Knowing we only have so much time in the day. We have to decide what we enjoy enough to do, then focus on getting things we dislike off our plates. When we do that, it’s called outsourcing!

"As we think about TA as a function, what would it look like to outsource the tasks we either can’t keep up with or don’t like?"

- William

If you’re struggling to embrace using automation in your volume-hiring process, William suggests asking:

  • Where am I strong?
  • What am I struggling to accomplish?
  • Which tasks would I focus on more if I had more time?
  • If I could outsource something, what would it be?

Leveraging automation is an easy way to outsource your cumbersome tasks. In this case the thing you would be outsourcing to would include softwares, because they are built to do it more efficiently.

 

How to Leverage Texting to Engage Candidates

"My number one struggle is candidate ghosting. With the market as wild as it is now, I’m backfilling reqs left and right. I see candidates back out at the last minute every single day.”

- Jessica

For her and her team, texting has made a big difference in helping to counteract the candidate ghosting plague.

Jessica suggests building out automated texts, and scheduling follow up texts.

“Candidates usually won’t respond to the first one, but once they get a second, they usually reply saying ‘oh I thought this was a robot!’”

Since initially implementing text as a channel, Jessica and her team have baked this communication method into every stage of their process.

Jessica personally experiences a 44% response rate. There’s no denying it’s the channel to invest in.

"Candidates are so much more inclined to respond to a text than they are to an email. It’s the easiest and quickest way to hear back from them.”

Jessica and her team, leverage automated follow up texts 24-48 hours after they send the original message. She notes that the second text helps candidates realize they are talking with a person, not a robot.

“I think it promotes a lot of open communication with the candidates I’m working with.”

For Jessica, the human element is the differentiator.

 

How to Create Undeniable Offers for Candidates

Both Jessica and William agree that the most compelling experiences aren’t solely related to speed, so what can you do to help manage drop off at the offer letter phase?

William suggests having the candidate set the pace. In your early interactions ask:

  • When would you like to make a decision on this?
  • How motivated are you to move quickly?
  • We are happy to move with you, how quickly are you looking to make this decision?

His closing thoughts include changing the process as a whole. Don’t take days to send an offer letter because things change. Take the extra 5-minutes while you still have them to ask, “what would it take for you to sign this today?” Then get it to them ASAP.

Jessica believes that compelling offers aren’t solely based on the speed of the process. She notes that candidates have options and they will pick the option that affords them no surprises or inconveniences. If they can get a dollar more per hour and a shorter commute, that’s the job they are going to take.

For Jessica, it’s about asking “when would you like to make a decision about this” as soon as she can. If a candidate can’t give you a serious answer, chances are, they aren’t serious about the job.

 

So, What Does This Mean for Your Volume Hiring Process?

 

Don’t be afraid to outsource things that are burdensome.

Allow yourself the freedom to do a few things exceedingly well, in place of doing everything good.

 

Lean into the channels your candidates are reachable on.

Why swim upstream if you can float down the river? If your candidates are willing to fire off text messages, it’s not worth the fight to solely use email.

 

Work in collaboration with your candidates to provide undeniable offers.

Being able to serve candidates a completely customizable experience at scale by letting them set the pace is a game changer. Lean into this collaboration to minimize your ghosting.


The Ultimate Guide to Eliminating Candidate Ghosting

A study by Indeed shows that 57% of employers say candidate ghosting is prevalent, and getting worse. Most of us are jumping this hurdle on a daily basis.

In today’s market, it takes a white-glove experience to engage great candidates. It can feel like an impossible task to think about creating sustainable, scalable processes which prioritize personalization.

When we hire at scale, 43% of our candidates to drop off right after clicking apply. To curb this, we have to think about our processes through a new lens. We are responsible for creating dynamic hiring systems that are simple, efficient, and streamlined.

Candidates have never spooked easier; it’s now mission-critical to create a process that allows applicants a frictionless experience. Friction amplifies ghosting.

If a candidate feels:

  • The process is complicated or overwhelming, they are gone
  • The experience is poor or impersonal, they will ghost
  • Ghosted by you, they won’t hesitate to return the favor

If you’re looking to help your team optimize their time, minimize the amount of candidates that ghost, and enhance your Candidate Net Promoter Score (cNPS), you are in the right place. Let’s dig in. ✨

 

How Big of a Problem Is Candidate Ghosting?

Most recruiters are currently trying to solve the candidate ghosting dilemma. No matter what roles you’re hiring for, it’s more prevalent than ever before. Thanks to “easy apply,” candidates and businesses alike are stuck playing a numbers game.

"83% of companies face candidate ghosting. The remaining 17% are either misinterpreting their data, or confused by the question. Every recruiter has experienced candidate ghosting more than once.”

Craig de Faselle, Blitz Media

With drop-off rates higher than ever, it’s important to understand the main reasons why candidates are ghosting.

 

 

Additionally, candidates are applying to more places than ever – the “spray and pray” method rules today’s hiring climate. Without a reason to remember you, candidates won’t think twice about ghosting you.

More and more, this isn’t limited to the application process. It’s seeping into the next phase of the recruitment process, onboarding. Candidates will sign the offer letter and then ghost before their first day.

Metrics like Time to First Interview, Time in Stage, and Time to Offer are becoming critical measurements. Across the board, you should be exploring ways to lower these.

 

What Does This Look Like in Practice?

We talked about three of the reasons candidates are admitting to ghosting. In our eyes, they fall in one of two categories.

  1. Too Much Friction in the Hiring Process
  2. Life Is Messy and Unpredictable

Now, put yourself in the mindset of a candidate applying to a high-volume hiring position and then getting lost in the application process.

 

1. Too Much Friction in the Hiring Process

We must acclimate our processes to get applicants from apply to paycheck ASAP. Our friends at Dick’s Sporting Goods believe candidates ghost for three reasons.

 

 

You may not be able to change the compensation, but you can create a simple, straightforward process that enables candidates to move quickly.

"Candidates behave like water, they naturally find and gravitate towards the path of least resistance."

Ty Abernethy, Grayscale

As you think about removing friction from your hiring process, we suggest reflecting on these questions:

  • Where am I seeing a significant drop-off?
  • Is this a point of friction that I can change?
  • What purpose does this step serve in my overall workflow?

The most successful processes allow applicants to move seamlessly at their own pace. The longer your time to hire is, the more likely you are to see a significant amount of applicants dropping off at every stage.

 

2. Life Is Messy & Unpredictable

I’m sure we could all name a time or two when something in our personal life took over our brains. Maybe we forget to text friends back or drop the ball on some professional responsibilities. We weren’t at our best during these times, but we were trying.

"There are stellar applicants in your pipeline who are struggling with burdens they have no option but to carry."

Randalyn Hill, Grayscale

Reaching out and throwing them a lifeline can be a thoughtful way to re-engage them. When you reach back out, don’t forget: humans connect best with humans. Bring your warm, empathic personality to the conversation.

We’re seeing organizations successfully rewrite this ghosting narrative when they focus on the personal, human connections their recruiters are making with candidates.

 

How to Create a Human-Centric Approach to Prevent Candidate Ghosting

When we think about the best hiring experiences, we think about the people we’re hiring! We got to know them, and in turn, both parties developed an excitement for the job and the idea of working together. Now, it’s up to us to replicate that experience at scale.

"You can't remove the human from human resources."

Andrew Delabar, Peloton

Recruiters are people people! They want to get to know the candidates, talk with them, learn about them, and build a long-term relationship with them even if they aren’t perfect for this specific job.

At the end of the day, it’s mission-critical to have personal touchpoints. Our customers are changing the ghosting narrative by creating tech-enabled processes to help candidates build a connection with a team member faster.

"Successful hiring teams use technology to enhance the candidate journey, not remove or automate out the human elements."

Hubert Liu, Grayscale

 

What You Can Do to Rewrite the Ghosting Story

When it comes to reaching out to ghosted candidates, we see success approaching these candidates with compassion and empathy.

Our knee-jerk reaction when someone ghosts is usually anger or frustration, but those emotions don’t serve to create a deeper connection with our candidates. We challenge you to take an empathetic approach here and always assume positive intent.

 

1. The Proactive Reminder

Open and frequent communication will keep you top of mind when it comes to staying ahead of the ghosting trend. We all get these reminders about doctors/dentist appointments, and they work! If and when something changes, this open line of communication makes it easier for a candidate to stay in touch and not fall off the radar.

 

2. The Empathic Reachout

If a candidate ghosts for some reason, it’s easy to let them go and not follow up with them. However, adding an automated reach out to your ATS makes following up seamless and intentional. A kind, thoughtful text will help draw most of your candidates back into the fold!

 

3. Closing the Loop

When you have an automated drip campaign, you can easily close the loop. When people disappear, this kind of final olive branch will help bring a handful of candidates back or leave those who don’t return with a positive experience.

 

Using templates like these can help:

  • Create open lines of communication between your recruiters and their candidates
  • Remove or limit the mixed emotions a candidate may have about accidentally ghosting
  • Facilitate professional vulnerability and gives the recruiter an opportunity to better understand and serve the candidate

When you see promising candidates drop off the radar at the last minute, make it a point to follow up with them in a way that stops the shame cycle.

Take a second and imagine it for yourself: you’re moving through a hiring process quickly, and life happens. You miss your interview and feel like you have ruined the opportunity. It’s embarrassing, unprofessional, and disappointing. Now, before you can get too far into that thought spiral, you get a text checking in and asking you if everything is ok. It feels like a breath of fresh air. ☺️

When we’re faced with the option to react harshly or act with intention, we encourage you to create a compassionate plan to follow up with your ghosted applicants.

 

How You Can Use Tech to Limit Ghosting

Now that you have some ideas on how to follow up with candidates who do ghost, it’s also important to take a proactive approach to the problem. Usually, the most effective approaches involve using all your channels cohesively and respectfully.

When you use multiple channels to connect with a candidate, it helps you stay top of mind. It also gives them more opportunities to experience your personality and form an attachment to the brand.

SMS

In recent years, we’ve seen many businesses incorporate text professionally. Now, it’s easier to reach candidates in the one inbox they manage. So send over that scheduling link, or remind them to check their email, and you’ll see a whole new level of candidate engagement.

Email

This channel leans professional. Usually, emails include important information, like offer letters or scheduling links. Still, not everyone is checking them as frequently as we would like, use sparingly and make sure your email efforts with the company are aligned, so they aren’t overwhelmed by too many communications at once.

 

If They Have a Reason to Remember You, It’s Harder for Them to Walk Away

One of Blitz Media’s favorite stories is about the recruiter who felt so strongly against using text as a communication channel. By the end of their work together, not only had she started using it, but she was raving about it. By incorporating SMS in her hiring process, she had hired an all-star employee.

“This recruiter started using SMS, bringing her warm personality into reminder texts. A candidate was visiting his mom when he received a reminder text about an upcoming interview. His mom made sure he was seriously considering this company, because it was such an intentional and personal experience.”

Scott de Faselle, Blitz Media

 

Creating Human-Focused, Tech-Enabled Workflows

We get it. Using more technology to create a human-oriented process seems oxymoronic. So here’s what makes it work: use technology to enable quicker movement through the mundane processes.

"The goal with technology in your candidate journey should be to get them talking with a real human faster, not replacing the human element."

Ty Abernethy, Grayscale

These use cases could include Assessment Prompts, Scheduling, and Upcoming Event Reminders.

“We use software to automate scheduling, remind candidates about interviews and next steps, so that when we get them in person we can focus on that interaction whole heartedly.”

Rick Jordan, Dick's Sporting Goods

For DSG, it’s about using tech to increase their interview sit rate. On average, they see a 47% increase in their interview sit rate when they incorporate texting as a means to schedule and remind their candidates.

A lot of our customers cheer their candidates on during the process - scheduling automated, personalized texts after each stage-change.

 

Automated Message Examples

 

Final Takeaways on How to Minimize Ghosting

Is candidate ghosting an unsolvable problem? Absolutely not. Does it take some creative solutions to captivate your applicants from start to finish? Absolutely.

Every hiring team has the opportunity to stick out and create an uncommon, memorable experience for their candidates.

The goal should be to rewrite and transform our hiring processes to create personalized touch-points at every step to scale with ease.

No matter what systems you incorporate to create this personalized, white-glove process, be sure to create a human-centric process that treats candidates the way you’d want to be treated.


How Amazon Pharmacy Leverages SMS & Automation to Create a Best-in-Class Candidate Experience Hero Image

How Amazon Pharmacy Leverages SMS & Automation to Create a Best-in-Class Candidate Experience

Amazon Pharmacy was looking to facilitate an incredibly high volume hiring process while maintaining their company value of being customer (and candidate) obsessed. The workload quickly became unmanageable for their recruiters, and they began looking for ways to create an automated candidate communication system.

They wanted to create an automated system to support their recruiters as they adjusted to a new volume in order to keep pace with the growing demand for their services.

"At this time, Amazon Pharmacy’s main goal was automation.”

Zack Tucker, Amazon

 

The Challenges

They wanted to create a system that accomplished very specific criteria.

  • Amazon wanted to get to a place where one recruiter could handle upwards of 1000 candidates
  • They needed something that both provided scalability and a unique personal touch
  • Their recruiters needed a way to increase their response rate with candidates and keep more applicants in their pipeline longer
  • It was imperative that they give every single candidate an unprecedented experience

When hiring at scale like Amazon Pharmacy was, it can become increasingly difficult for the company’s recruiting team to maintain a personal relationship with each candidate.

A single recruiter could be responsible for over a thousand applicants in order to hire at the scale they needed to fulfill demand.

With that in mind, these recruiters were primarily reaching out via phone calls and emails. This left the process painstakingly slow and outdated. Top it off with the lack of personal attention each candidate was getting, and it left their best applicants feeling forgotten about!

These historic communication methods resulted in poor response rates and left the applicants without good instructions regarding what they needed to accomplish next.

It was no longer optional to revisit their recruiting tech stack! They needed something that would help automate and personalize their candidate experiences so their recruiters could work more efficiently.

 

The Solutions

Amazon Pharmacy's formula for success:

  • Leveraging SMS to engage with candidates throughout the hiring and onboarding process
  • Automating the candidate journey for consistent, personalized nudges to keep them moving quickly through the process
  • Seamless ATS integration meant the team didn't have to leave their ATS to make this all a reality

When Amazon Pharmacy integrated Grayscale into their ATS, Lever, it’s no surprise to use that they saw a positive impact within the first few days! It was now easier than ever to ensure candidates moved quickly and efficiently through the process without getting stuck with questions or getting confused and jumping ship.

"Automation from Grayscale is one of my team’s favorite features.”

Prior to finding a scalable system, it would take two recruiters almost a whole month to hire 12 candidates. Now, Zach is hiring like a pro.

“With Grayscale’s help, I hired over a hundred and fifty people last winter on my own.”

So, what are the lasting impacts Amazon sees in their recruiting process?

  • Scalability. Now, Amazon Pharmacy can handle a ratio of 1000 candidates per recruiter thanks for the automated candidate communication provided by Grayscale.
  • Increased engagement. At each stage in the hiring process, Amazon has set up personalized, automated touchpoints via SMS. The automated messages keep candidates engaged and drive a 51% response rate and 6-minute response time on average.
  • Consistent candidate experiences. When hiring at scale it can be hard to ensure your candidates are experiencing a consistent, best-in-class experience. With templated communication, a seamless integration with their ATS, and robust automations, every applicant experiences an identical high-touch process.

Amazon notes that being accessible via SMS helps create an open communication channel allowing the candidates to connect with the team directly and quickly when they need assistance.

“Once we implemented Grayscale, our engagement numbers went way up, and all of our data looked a lot better. We saw the biggest change in the shape of our funnel, instead of experiencing a large initial drop-off, we see candidates regularly get farther into the process!”

One of Zach’s favorite features is the simple integration with their ATS making it easy to follow up with candidates who are falling behind in the process before they get too disengaged and ghost.

“Grayscale is so user-friendly. It has a very simple interface, and the responsiveness and customer service has been top-notch. It is definitely one of our best integrations.”

 

Bringing It All Together

Their seamless process in action:

  • Amazon Pharmacy created a human-first automated candidate communication system
  • Amazon Pharmacy improved their candidate experience and enhanced their candidate engagement scores
  • They found a long-term partner to help them scale their high-volume hiring systems

We all know that technology is impacting and transforming almost everything we know.

Why stick with outdated methods of communication? Leveraging a channel like texting can go a long way in revolutionizing your hiring process to ensure you don’t lose top talent due to process failures.

 

RelatedHow Amazon Pharmacy Automates a High-Touch Candidate Experience v2

 

If you’re ready to attract and retain top talent in your pipeline, it could be time to chat with us about how we help create an unparalleled hiring experience. Get connected.


How Leading Companies Drive Candidate and Employee Engagement Using Text Recruiting Platform Grayscale

How Leading Companies Drive Candidate & Employee Engagement with Grayscale

When business plans are in flux, it can be extremely easy for communication to break down between key stakeholders: from candidates to furloughed employees, to current staff and hiring managers. It’s now more critical than ever to prioritize a structured process and lean into clear, effective communication.

Let’s explore how Greenhouse customers across different industries are tweaking their candidate and employee engagement strategies to address challenges that may arise during a shifting economy.

 

How Centria Healthcare Is Addressing Their Acute Hiring Needs

Whether you’re experiencing an uptick in applicants or a slowdown in hiring, it never hurts to be prepared. For Centria Healthcare, an in-home healthcare company operating across 10 states, the pandemic has brought with it an urgent need to recruit critical field staff.

Many of Centria’s clients are challenged with conditions like respiratory failure, so it’s paramount that the team is able to keep clients out of the hospital during this time; not only for their own safety, but to keep hospital beds free for an influx of new patients.

Brandon DuBois, Centria’s Director of Operations and Healthcare Recruiting, feels it is extremely important to keep an active and engaged candidate pool during this period, and he sees texting as an ideal channel to do so.

"We’re utilizing the ability to text at all hours of the day to follow up with our recruited and onboarding staff for interviewing and documentation status. We wouldn’t be able to keep up with our current pipeline and interview volume, not to mention the onboarding of new hires, without text messaging."

Lesson learned from Centria Healthcare: When your business is hiring rapidly, moving with agility is key.

If your business is facing acute hiring needs, a texting and automation tool can help your team address these challenges in stride.

 

How Eyecare Partners Is Managing Communication with Candidates and Employees

These are uncertain times – and if you’ve recently found yourself in the unfortunate position of needing to pause hiring or furlough employees, you know what a tough decision that is.

EyeCare Partners, a Greenhouse customer with nearly 500 retail eye care locations, put all of their 100+ open roles on hold the minute their retail locations were unable to operate amid the pandemic.

Their Director of Talent Acquisition, Kirby Cole, was determined to keep a warm pipeline of talent, despite not having any open positions. This would allow them to move quickly, as soon as their retail locations start to open back up.

“We want to keep our talent warm, engaged and ready to go as soon as we can start hiring again. We found texting to be the ideal channel to nurture relationships with candidates and keep them up to speed during this season.”

Kirby also found texting to be the best method for giving real-time updates for their staff.

“We’re communicating with our staff via SMS, keeping them updated and informed so everyone is in the loop and key communication isn’t overlooked.”

Here are some best practices Kirby recommends keeping in mind when leveraging texting as a candidate and employee communication channel:

  • Candidates are experiencing a lot of uncertainty, so make sure you clearly communicate what you know and what you don't.
  • Set expectations and communicate updates as often as possible.
  • Open up a line of communication for candidates and employees to text your team directly with questions.
  • Use this time to highlight your employment brand, company mission and values.

If you’re currently experiencing a hiring slowdown, once things get cranking again, you’ll want your candidates to be ready to go – updated, engaged and excited to get to work immediately. Texting is an ideal channel for keeping in touch with existing staff and keeping candidates ready to go at a moment's notice.

 

How Upwork Is Doubling Down on Candidate Experience

Companies like online talent solution company Upwork are currently doubling down on their candidate experience, providing them a huge competitive advantage in-market.

Dan Collins, Upwork’s Director of Talent Acquisition, implemented texting with the goal of positively impacting candidate survey scores and reducing time-to-fill.

Dan and his team have automated much of their communication to create a high-touch experience throughout their process, whether a candidate is selected to move forward or not.

"We were looking to automate our communication to candidates and hiring managers as much as possible, while keeping the recruiter in the driver seat."

The recent global pandemic has only increased Upwork’s use of texting, as they find new and creative ways to engage their talent, keep candidates warm and automate more of their process. In the first 30 days of adding texting to their strategies, it was clear to Dan that they were seeing the results they set out to achieve.

“We have already positively impacted candidate survey scores on our process and time-to-hire metrics. Adding Grayscale to our toolbox has been the best investment of the last 12 months.”

Using a channel like texting and automating critical communication points in your hiring process, helps deliver a consistent, high-touch candidate experience that scales to meet the needs of your business – however those needs may evolve over time.

 

Start Texting Within Greenhouse

These are challenging times and recruiters need the right set of tools to effectively navigate them. Using a conversational recruiting platform like Grayscale makes it easy for recruiters to engage candidates, automate workflows and deliver a high-touch candidate experience, directly from within Greenhouse.

While the use of channels like texting will become increasingly important over the coming months, don’t get overwhelmed and feel like you need to make sweeping changes to your process. Start small by looking for the most value-add use cases for texting at this moment.

For Greenhouse customers whose hiring has been impacted by COVID-19, Grayscale is offering a 20% discount on its texting and automation platform to help you keep your candidates warm and your furloughed employees up to speed.

 

Originally posted to Greenhouse.io


Three Benefits of Utilizing Text to Engage Candidates and Employees

Three Benefits of Utilizing Text to Engage Candidates & Employees

Chances are you’ve heard a lot of buzz recently about texting. And with the recent hiring slowdown, texting is becoming even more of a necessity for talent acquisition teams.

Many talent acquisition leaders are taking this time to adjust their strategy and tech stacks to better align with their evolving business needs — prioritizing solutions that allow for real-time candidate and employee engagement, along with intelligent automation to eliminate friction throughout the process. Let’s be honest — for many, resources are tighter.

In this article, we’ll explore some simple, effective ways to leverage texting to keep your candidates and furloughed employees engaged during this slowdown, while preparing yourself for the likely hiring uptick in the months to come.

 

Why Texting Is a Must-Have in the Post COVID-19 World

There was a day in the not-too-distant past where texting candidates was off-limits for recruiters. Conventional wisdom said texting was a personal communication channel and too invasive to be leveraged by recruiters.

But that day has come and gone.

In today’s climate, recruiters are leveraging texting to engage candidates and furloughed employees in real-time, ensuring nothing and no one falls through the cracks.

Cell phone usage is up 53% from this time last year. We as a society aren’t living in email right now — we’re inside our homes, tethered to our phones and new forms for communication are able to cut through the noise. Texting engages people in a new way and enabling individuals to get all their critical information easily in this uncertain time.

Another benefit to texting? Candidates respond to emails only about 2% of the time, while text messages get, on average, a 37% response rate. That’s an 18x increase, which can make a huge difference when you’re dealing with critical communication.

At Grayscale, we’ve actually seen a spike in engagement across our customer base in recent weeks, with the average candidate response rate spiking to nearly 50%.

‍Breanne Ness, VP of Learning & Development at Transwest, who uses Grayscale in conjunction with Lever, describes the impact texting has had on her process this way:

“Response time for candidates is so much better when we can reach out via text message. If we emailed or left a voicemail, it would often take until the next day before we’d get a response. With texting, it’s within a few hours.”

Today Breanne’s team sees an average response time of less than 35 minutes for their messages.

Over time, these types of stats can have a huge impact on a business: Faster turnaround time, quicker interviewing, and real-time engagement to drive things forward.

 

The Benefits of Texting Candidates (And Employees) In the Current Climate

Texting is being utilized to solve many challenges recruiters are faced with currently. Below are some examples that may apply to your business.

 

Keep Top Candidates Warm and Ready to Go

Most companies are currently struggling to keep their top candidates warm and engaged while they wait for the “storm” to blow over.

It’s critical during this time to keep your best candidates, including candidates that were interviewing before things paused, as updated and engaged as you possibly can — otherwise, you’ll find yourself starting from scratch again when hiring begins again.

At Grayscale, we’ve seen the number of texts sent per company on the rise post COVID-19, mainly because recruiters are working hard to keep candidates updated and informed in real-time as they get new information. This can be a great opportunity to build relationships with critical talent.

Setting up a texting drip campaign can be a great way to scale this type of high touch experience for candidates. This is a good time to weave in content that highlights and reinforces your company culture as well, so look for creative ways to incorporate video clips, and links to relevant articles and press into your campaigns.

 

Engage Furloughed Employees to Keep Them up to Speed

Many of you have found yourself in the unfortunate position of needing to furlough employees. It’s a tough decision that many companies are faced with currently, and if you find yourself in this camp — we get how painful this move probably was.

You want to do right by these employees, and you want to get them back to work as soon as you possibly can.

Poor communication will send the exact wrong message to these employees — at best, it will look sloppy, and at worst, it will make employees feel expendable and unappreciated.

Some things to keep in mind while communicating with furloughed employees:

  • They are experiencing a lot of uncertainty, so make sure you communicate clearly what you know and what you don’t.
  • They want to be reassured, and not misled.
  • Make sure to properly set expectations and empathize with their situation.
  • Once things get cranking again, you want your furloughed employees to be ready to go — updated, engaged, and excited to start immediately. Texting is an ideal channel to keep in touch and quickly get the word out to employees with updates.

 

Automate Communication to Handle an Influx of Applications

When the pandemic subsides and life starts to get back to the “new normal”, 2 things will have changed: Unemployment is projected to be higher than we’ve seen thus far in our lifetimes (some estimates say as high as 20%), and most businesses will be forced to staff up quickly simply to service the basic needs of their customers. Talent acquisition teams will be forced to rely on either brute force or automation to help alleviate some of this hiring burden.

Leveraging a tool like Grayscale that can automate communication, while keeping the recruiter in the driver seat throughout, can help address this challenge head on.

For example, what if communicating with candidates was as simple as changing a candidate’s stage in Lever to trigger all relevant communication and to set up next steps?

If you moved a candidate to the “Phone Screen” stage in Lever, you could set it up to automatically send out a text to schedule an interview. For the “Offer” stage, you could trigger a text message notifying the candidate to expect an offer letter via email.

One Lever customer, McAdam Financial, automates communication throughout their hiring process, saving their team hours each week. Recruiting coordinator, Zoya Naseem, describes it this way:

“I leverage Grayscale’s automation functionality to trigger a text to go out when candidates are at various stages in our process — from interview setup, to offer, all the way through to their first day in the office. This cuts time spent manually communicating with candidates, and our response rate is between 80-85%, which is amazing!”

Another Lever customer, North Star Bluescope Steel, leverages scheduled text reminders to help reduce interview no-shows. Senior recruiter, Kristen Neubert, shares her experience:

“I used to send candidates a reminder email of their upcoming interview. Most times I never received a response back, either confirming or canceling their appointment. Now we send candidates a quick text reminding them of the appointment and we get an instant response back. Our no-show rate has significantly decreased as a result.”

If candidates can’t make the interview, they’ll simply text you back to reschedule. And if they found a job already, you’ll know it sooner so you’re not wasting anyone’s time.

These types of automated communication points ensure that no one falls through the cracks, while preventing your essential emails from going overlooked, guaranteeing you the fastest turnaround time possible.

It’s measures like these that will ensure you maintain the best possible candidate experience during this time, so you’re set up for success when things pick back up again.

 

Get Started Texting in Lever

These are unprecedented times, and recruiters need the right set of tools to effectively navigate them. Leveraging channels like texting will become increasingly important over the coming months, but don’t get overwhelmed feeling like you need to make sweeping changes to your process. Find the most value-add use cases for texting at this moment and start small.

For Lever customers being impacted by COVID-19, we’re offering a 20% discount on Grayscale’s texting and automation platform to help you keep your candidates warm and furloughed employees up to speed. We have helpful resources and templates ready to go when you sign up to help your team ramp up quickly.

 

Originally posted to Lever.com


Upwork Team Photo

How Upwork is Doubling Down on Candidate Experience with Grayscale

Upwork makes it fast, simple, and cost-effective to find, hire, work with, and pay the best professionals anywhere, any time.

They are the top marketplace for freelancers, where businesses connect with freelancers to work on projects from web and mobile app development to SEO, social media marketing, content writing, graphic design, admin help and thousands of other projects.

 

The Challenge

Upwork was looking for a way to improve their candidate survey scores and cutting time to fill by creating a high touch candidate experience.

While many companies were scaling back or abandoning their candidate experience initiatives in the wake of COVID-19, Upwork decided it was time to double down.

Dan Collins, their Director of Talent Acquisition, implemented Grayscale with two clear goals: 1) positively impact candidate survey scores, and 2) reduce time-to-fill.

Dan and his team were looking to automate much of their communication, determined to create a high touch experience throughout their process regardless of recruiter bandwidth, regardless of whether a candidate was selected to move forward or not.

“We were looking to automate our communication as much as possible, while keeping the recruiter in the driver seat.”

- Akilah Hicks, Talent Acquisition Operations Manager

 

The Solution

After vetting the market, Dan and team selected Grayscale to power their texting and automate their communication. They integrated Grayscale into their ATS, and within days they were up and running, texting with their candidates inside Greenhouse.

In the first 30 days of leveraging texting, it was clear to Dan that they were seeing the results they set out to achieve.

“We have already positively impacted candidate survey scores on our process and time-to-hire metrics."

- Dan Collins, Director of Talent Acquisition

The recent global pandemic has only increased Upwork’s use of texting, as they find new and creative ways to engage their talent, keep candidates warm and automate more of their process.

"Adding Grayscale to our toolbox has been our best investment in the past twelve months."

- Dan Collins

 

Bringing it All Together

Upwork set out with the goal of improving their candidate experience, which they accomplished, and then some. They’ve realized this is a season where they can take big strides to transform their employment brand in ways that will have lasting impact once the global pandemic subsided.

Leveraging a channel like texting, while automating critical communication points in your process, can help deliver a consistent, high touch candidate experience that scales to meet the needs of your business – however they may evolve over the coming months.

If you’re looking to double down on candidate experience like Upwork, we’d love to help.


Retail Hiring Automation Featured Image

How Retailers like Follett Leverage Automation to Create a High Touch Candidate Experience

I'm a contacts guy - never had the urge to wear glasses.

But something changed recently. I'm not sure why, but I've had a strong desire to buy my first pair of eyeglasses.

I mean, who doesn't want to look smart and sophisticated in a hip pair of frames? 🤓

So I went with a friend and his sister to our neighborhood Warby Parker store.

We tried on a bunch of glasses and finally I landed on a pair I loved - eloquently dubbed 'Percey'. I mean, who comes up with these wonderfully hip names?

While we were there, my friend's sister - we'll call her Sarah - made a comment about how much fun it would be to work at Warby Parker. She was about to graduate from college and was working at a restaurant and trying to figure out what was next.

Then we left and I went home to show off my new frames to my wife.

I saw Sarah a few months later and asked if she ever applied with Warby Parker. She hadn't, but she had recently started an entry level sales role for an insurance company, which came from a warm referral from a friend.

Which got me thinking - when it comes to recruiting, how many potential candidates are we missing due to timing, noise, distraction, and/or just bad luck?

A modern recruiting strategy requires that you engage with potential candidates at the moment you have their attention - or risk losing them forever.

And that's where thoughtful automation comes in.

 

Automation Can Help Reimagine Your Candidate Experience

Automation gets a bad wrap. We've all experienced automation gone wrong -- where someone has carelessly pulled together an automated workflow that does nothing but benefit them.

It sucks if you're on the other end of that.

But thoughtful automation is something completely different. It requires deeply understanding the experience from a candidate's perspective.

At the end of the day, automation only works if both sides benefit.

Let's look at what a few innovative companies are doing to reimagine their candidate experience with the help of thoughtful automation.

Give Candidates the Ability to Chat About Jobs While at Your Store Locations

Let's go back to the comment Sarah made while shopping at Warby Parker.

What if, while Sarah was shopping with Warby Parker, she could have easily chat about job opportunities and schedule time with a recruiter?

What if she saw a sign by the front door or the counter that said, "Interested in exploring careers at Warby Parker? Text JOBS to 89743 to chat with us about openings."

Sarah could have been matched to jobs, had her questions answered, and if she was qualified for an opening, scheduled time with a recruiter to discuss the role further, all while shopping for frames at the store.

That's exactly what retail brands like Follett and EyeCare Partners are doing -- making it easy for candidates to get matched to open jobs and text with a recruiter while they're at their stores/clinics.

And while this greatly improves the candidate experience, it also drives nearly 60% more traffic to jobs and increases the number of qualified candidates by 20%.

Allow Candidates to Get Matched to Jobs, Pre-qualified, and Automatically Scheduled with a Recruiter - Directly From Your Career Site

As a recruiting leader, you're spending lots of money driving eyeballs to your job postings, career site, and social media pages.

What if by improving the candidate experience, you could convert up to 25% more traffic on your career site into qualified leads and applicants?

73% of the workforce is passive candidates and they aren't coming to your career site to apply -- they're in research mode, trying to better understand your company and culture and checking out the types of roles you hire for.

Sarah actually went to Warby Parker's career site after we visited the store. But she had a bunch of questions and was overwhelmed, so she did nothing.

Passive candidates like Sarah aren't applying for your jobs. But it doesn't mean they aren't interested.

They will gladly engage in a conversation. And that's where a candidate-centric chatbot can come in handy.

Chatbots allow you to engage with candidates and drive more leads inbound through the power of conversation.

With a chatbot on Warby Parker's career site, Sarah could have:

  • Been quickly matched to job openings that were relevant for her
  • Gotten pre-screened for an opening on the spot
  • She could have scheduled time directly with a recruiter if she was a good fit
  • And if she had general questions about the company, culture, or process, should could have asked and gotten immediate answers

Putting candidates in the driver seat, allowing them to action on their own timeline, when and where it's convenient for them, can have a profound impact on the candidate experience.

 

Nurture and Engage Candidates via Text Message

Pause and think about the current state of your personal email inbox. Or your LinkedIn inbox for that matter.

If you're anything like me, you're getting a ridiculous amount of noise and spam and you check these channels relatively infrequently (a few times a week at best).

I regularly miss messages from friends across both channels.

But a text message? I'll see it in under 5 minutes and respond within the hour.

Your candidates are the same way.

Personal email and LinkedIn response rates are on the decline. Open rates hover around 20%.

But with channels like text message, 98% of your messages are opened, and they are responded to within the hour.

That's why we built Grayscale as a messaging-first candidate engagement tool--so you can engage and nurture talent the way they want to connect, which allows you to build stronger relationships, boost response rates, and move the process forward faster.

And you can easily respond to candidate messages and make proactive outreach directly from within your ATS, so you won't miss a beat.

Give candidate what they want - real time engagement on the channels they use every day.

 

Give All Candidates a Consistent, Thoughtful Candidate Experience

The worst thing as a candidate is to get the silent treatment from a company you're excited to work for. You spend all this time applying for a job and never hear back.

Or you interview with the company and patiently wait for feedback. But all you get is crickets.

What a terrible, disheartening experience! No wonder we all hate searching for a job.

Leveraging thoughtful automation helps ensure everyone has a great experience, regardless of whether they're a fit for your company or not.

The crazy thing is this -- by treating people with the dignity and respect they deserve, and by focusing on optimizing your process for their benefit, you deliver uncanny results for your hiring process.

You start attracting and converting more candidates. You have to do less selling. Glassdoor ratings go up. It's a virtuous cycle that helps drive down your time-to-fill.

Join us in creating high touch candidate experiences and humanizing the hiring process for all.


How EyeCare Partners Cut Time-to-Fill by 27% in 30 Days with Grayscale

EyeCare Partners is a large and rapidly growing family of Optometry and Ophthalmology practices, with over 450 locations across 20 unique brands in 13 states.

 

The Challenge

EyeCare Partners is in a highly competitive talent market, recruiting for doctors, nurses, optical and retail staff.

Candidates would unexpectedly disappear from the interview process, ghost recruiters for interviews, not respond to emails, and land a job elsewhere before the team could finish the hiring process.

Quality candidates would apply and then just disappear.

The recruiting team needed a way to get in front of more qualified candidates in the market, as well as keep the ones that did apply engaged.

“We were missing out on great talent even after they were applying. We needed a way to get in front of the right candidates faster than our competitors.”

- Kirby Cole

 

The Solution

EyeCare implemented Grayscale’s conversational recruiting platform, enabling texting capabilities integrated into their ATS, Greenhouse.

Within days, Kirby’s team of 8 recruiters was texting with candidates at every stage of the process, starting with sourcing, all the way through to onboarding. They immediately felt an impact in their response rates. Using email, response rates were around 2%. With text messaging, response rates jumped to 45%.

Response rate wasn’t the only thing that improved. Candidates were responding to recruiters within 8 minutes.

Part of EyeCare’s hiring process requires candidates to take an assessment. Typically, they saw a 54% completion rate. After adding Grayscale, 78% of candidates were completing the assessment; a huge win for the team, as it meant much fewer candidates bouncing from their process.

Within 30 days of rollout, EyeCare Partners shaved 7 days off their time-to-fill across all requisitions.

“Not only has Grayscale helped us get to candidates faster, we've been using it to invite candidates to hiring events, which has increased attendance and hires.”

- Beth Mans

But the work wasn’t done. Another one of Kirby’s goals was to lower the barrier of entry for candidates, ensuring their hiring process was dead simple so more candidates opted in.

EyeCare rolled out Text-for-Jobs, Grayscale’s ‘text apply’ functionality at hiring events and all 450+ locations. Candidates could now text in to learn more about opportunities and apply, all via text message. Almost overnight, candidates started pouring in for their jobs.

On average, EyeCare receives 150 new candidates per month through this channel, and they anticipate having upwards of 2,000 new candidates by the end of the first year.

 

Bringing it All Together

EyeCare Partners had a great process in place when they approached Grayscale. They had a fantastic ATS in place (Greenhouse), paired with a very tight, effective recruiting process. But they felt they could be more effective. We find most talent acquisition teams are in the exact same situation.

If you’d like to explore how Grayscale could help tighten up your process, we’d love to chat.