In today’s world of modern CDL driver recruiting, there are still some processes that are just downright antiquated and behind the times. Even though recruiters may assume drivers are part of some bygone era, they’re actually just like any regular job applicants – and they’re looking for a straightforward, modern application experience.
Enter text messaging. This mode of communication has recently entered the recruiters lexicon as a way of quickly engaging with new candidates (regardless of industry) in a way that encourages casual conversation and a swift reply.
The average American checks their phone 80 times a day, and with this kind of eye traffic, recruiters can bank on their messages being received, read, and responded to in a timely manner.
For CDL drivers, text messaging is a great way to break through the noise, improve response rates, and increase conversion from applicant to employee.
For recruiters, texting new candidates can help save time and streamline the application process. Instead of wasting time drafting follow-up emails or leaving unheard voicemails, recruiters can know immediately if a driver has received their message.
Here are 5 things to keep in mind when texting driver candidates:
- Make sure you let your drivers know you might be texting them.
The last thing you want to do is make your candidates nervous or have them think they’re receiving spam messages. As you start the application process, make sure you let your candidates know you might be reaching out via text. If they’re uncomfortable with this process, then stick to more traditional forms of communication like email or phone calls. When it comes to recruiting, ask for permission – not forgiveness. This will also help show your drivers that you value their opinion and their personal space, but that you also realize that their time is important and efficiency is key.
- Don’t expect a text back right away – especially if the driver is on the road.
If anyone fully understands the dangers of texting and driving, it’s CDL drivers. If you’re texting a candidate, don’t expect a text back right away as they might be on the road (everyone in the industry knows this could incur a HUGE fine for the driver). It’s also a good idea to preface your conversation with a caveat along the lines of ‘If you’re on the road, please wait to respond’. Text messaging is a relatively new and innovative recruiting platform, and you might need to do a little explaining to your candidates about the protocol before you get into your conversations.
- Don’t try to have a lengthy interview via text. Keep it short and sweet.
This is the M.O. of all CDL recruiting workflows (application, interviews, etc.) but for text messaging it’s especially important. Don’t ask your candidates to types out long answers over text, and don’t ask them winding questions either. Keep it short and sweet. Text messaging is typically reserved for straightforward yes-or-no questions that are more background focused.
Texts are also a great way to set up phone or in-person interviews without playing email tag back and forth. Leave the true in-depth ‘interviewing’ to an actual conversation.
- Make sure you’re tracking and storing every message for audit purposes.
As a modern CDL driver recruiter, you know that having a holistic view of the applicant process can help increase applications, conversions, and new drivers. When text messages are in the mix, this visibility shouldn’t go away.
Leveraging a full-service Applicant Tracking Solution (ATS) that allows for various communication outlets, including text messages, lets your team communicate seamlessly with applicants and track their answers in a single location for timely follow-up. It also lets everyone on your team pinpoint exactly where your applicants are in the recruiting process.
- Remember, this is still a professional conversation even if it is through texts.
Although text messaging has become an informal way of communicating with friends, if you’re using the platform for recruiting, you need to keep it professional. Stay clear of any text slang (aka, K, LOL, IMO, etc.) and make sure you’re spelling everything correctly. Also be sure to double check punctuation and capitalization, which can sometimes fall to the wayside in texts. After all, this is a professional conversation, even if it is on an informal platform.
It’s also important to remember that you should never use your personal cell phone to send text messages to recruits. Not only does this mean that messages are not tracked in a system, but there could be legal ramifications (as well as personal, hostile reasons, too).
As your team continues to build stronger, personalized recruiting processes, text messaging is a great addition to your workflow. With the above tips helping to influence your text messaging habits, you’ll be able to increase conversations and, ultimately, conversions. Learn more about CDL recruiting best practices here.