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Using SMS in Recruitment

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 9:54pm Thursday 08 January 2009    Print Article

SMS is an important marketing medium, but has limited application in Recruitment/Job Search. Most of the messages you could send are transactional. The key to a successful SMS marketing campaign relies on the 3 pillars - planning, content and execution. In this blog post I have just summarised my thoughts and ideas into various groups - Uses in Recruitment, Advantages, Disadvantages, Measuring SMS, Questions to ask yourself before sending SMS, Tips and Common mistakes I hear from recruiters.

We use SMS in our own business mostly as a notification service for myself and other admins. When a sale, or new directory listing is submitted we are notified - as I belive it is important to process a sale as soon as possible. I have also integrated it into our various job boards - When a new job, client order, or client wants to sms a user. But how can you use it?

Uses in Recruitment

  • Notify job seekers when a new role matches there profile "Thomas, 2 new roles with CLIENT, PAY, LOCATION. For more info URL"
  • Remind candidates about attending interview. "Thomas, just a reminder you have a interview with CLIENT, TIME/DATE, LOCATION. Problems call me"
  • Administration "Thomas, 5 new resumes from JOB BOARD" or "Thomas, JOB AD TITLE is about to close"
  • Please call "Thomas, please call RECRUITER regarding MESSAGE"
  • Timesheets "Thomas, timesheet due DATE/TIME, questions CONTACT"
  • Payroll "Thomas, $PAY deposited to bank account DATE. Check email for pay slip. URL"
  • Referrals "Do you know a JOBTITLE? LOCATION, PAY RATE, REFERAL REWARD more info URL"
  • Most ATS or Recruitment Databases have an SMS function or module available to use

  • The personal nature of mobile phones makes SMS marketing a very powerful tool.
  • Most mobile users keep it on them all the time - meaning they can be effective for time sensitive messages.
  • Users are inclined to read virtually every SMS they get - unlike email and other means of advertising.
  • Bulk SMS marketing is very economical and one can send thousands of text messages to consumers at low prices.
  • Bulk SMS saves time - instead of writing a message and then sending it to each mobile subscriber, one message is created and then sent to a whole group of subscribers.
  • Tracking of SMS delivery and responses is very easy.
  • Automated
  • Delivery of the text messages is almost instant.
  • Sending SMS can be done from a software application or through a internet website

  • Opt-in. Need to get permission from users before sending SMS
  • SMS message is 140 - 160 characters long. You may need to refer the user to a website or email for further information
  • Impersonal
  • Can dilute a message
  • No emotion, mechanical

Measuring SMS
  • Open rates
  • Traffic to URL/Website links
  • Offer acceptance
  • Replies or response numbers/rate
  • Redemption rate
  • Brand awareness

Questions to ask yourself before sending SMS
  • Why are you communicating via SMS? Should you call? Email?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • What is your message? You only have a limited number of characters. Use them wisely
  • When should the message be sent?
  • Can we personalise the message?
  • Who are we targeting?
  • Is viral marketing a possibility?
  • Do you need to cap the responses?
  • Do we have you systems to send out messages, handle the volume and responses?
  • Who is identified as the sender?

Common mistakes I
hear from recruiters
  • We did not target the right market, the message was not relevant
  • We did not identify ourselves as the sender, we received many responses "who is this" and so forth
  • Poor ad copy
  • Targeting wrong audience with wrong offer/message
  • Messages sent out at wrong time
  • Not allowing recipient to unsubscribe
  • Spelling mistakes and typos
  • No personalisation
  • SMS system fails

  • Personalise - "Hi FIRST_NAME, just a reminder about your interview with CLIENT_NAME at TIME/DATE, LOCATION"
  • Always include details to unsubscribe
  • Talk in the same language as your customers. Lrn txt spk-especially for youth markets
  • Test different networks (ie. Telstra, Optus, 3, Vodaphone)
  • Check to see if the appropriate replies are sent etc
  • If it is a competition, plan for unusual/wrong answers and have suitable replies in place.
  • Test language, typos and technical (not all symbols will come out as you expect).
  • Shop around for the best SMS wholesale provider. I use

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