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!



[Webinar] Tried and True Strategies for High Volume Recruiting

How GardaWorld Leverages SMS to Humanize Their Volume Hiring

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.



  • 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.

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

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.


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.


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.