SMS Job Alerts

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 7:00pm Tuesday 08 September 2009

SMS is an excellent communication tool - fast, cheap, easy to send and easy to receive. But, are SMS job alerts that effective in the recruitment process?

Earlier in the year I wrote a very informative article titled Using SMS in Recruitment, and only slightly touched on sending SMS job alerts. Using SMS in the recruitment process is NOT new or revolutionary. Employers, recruiters and job boards have been using it for years to deliver notifications.
SMS works great in the temp/casual sectors because you can quickly distribute your message and receive an immediate response. Ask yourself...
Over the past few days while integrating SMS Job Alerts into our online recruitment system, I continue to identify 2 main problems with using SMS.
  1. The MESSAGE
  2. The PROCESS
A SMS can be between 140 - 160 characters long per message. Within that message we need to quickly identify the reason for sending the SMS (header) and include un-subscription details (footer).

If you are going to set up SMS job alerts, allow users to set the maximum number of SMS's received per day/week/month and set up specific search criteria for users to receive alerts - location, category, work type or keywords.

There are various methods for a user to automatically unsubscribe - send a SMS back the sender or visit a URL and enter the mobile phone number. Either way, this is mandatory!

eg. "New job alert!" (14 chars) + space (1 char) + MESSAGE + space (1 char) + "NOSMS?" (27 chars) = 43 characters used, leaving 117 for the job details.

Surly 160 characters are enough to explain the job? Not really, the SMS will inform the user to perform another step in this process - SMS/call back, check email, view website. Again, these steps need to be relayed in the message.

What ever method you use, remember to measure the open rate, traffic flow to website, replies or responce numbers/rate and un-subscription.
Are SMS job alerts that effective? Have you used SMS in the recruitment process before?