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Applicant Tracking System Recruiting & Hiring

What is Text-to-Apply Software and How Does It Work?

June 10, 2020
6 min read
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Performance Management, Supercharged


Many organizations believe that a candidate application is a company or recruiter-driven process. They think, “We have a job. If you want to be considered, here’s what you have to do.” However, it is the candidate that makes the decision to invest their time and apply. Therefore, in reality, this is an applicant-driven process. As such, and to achieve the best results, you should seek an application toolkit that can quickly adapt to meet the needs of a diverse talent community where they are.

Text-to-Apply is a technology that will allow you to take a major leap forward in meeting this goal while giving you a competitive advantage in the process. Texts have a 99% open rate, and 95% of texts are read within three minutes of being sent. Texting is the most used form of communication for Americans under 50, and it is 10 times quicker than phone calls. Furthermore, employers say they see an increase of 40-50% in response rates from candidates when they use text platforms over emails.

What is #TextToApply and how are @ClearCompany #recruiters using it? Find out here:

Who Should Be Using Text-to-Apply?

Any employer posting requisitions can benefit from having Text-to-Apply functionality because it provides an immediate call to action. For example, if you currently post to LinkedIn, the platform may highlight your job opening to both active and passive candidates. They may be at a conference, waiting for curbside takeout, or on a break before an all-hands video call. If they are casually considering opportunities or too booked up at the moment to apply, they might end up forgetting all about your opportunity by the time their schedules free up.

With Text-to-Apply, they can text a code to a specified number and apply for a role within seconds of viewing it. Here are just a few other examples of where Text-to-Apply software may be vital to achieving competitive advantage:

  • Industries where desired candidates don’t sit in front of a computer, such as truck drivers. Recruiters can include text-to-apply instructions on industry-specific job boards that hit drivers’ mobile devices, billboards, or truck stop ad spaces.
  • Businesses where recruiters have access to physical locations like storefronts or restaurants. At a drive-through, customers can view text-to-apply instructions on signage and apply while they wait for their order. If customers are dining in, text-to-apply instructions can be added to signs or menus.
  • Recruiters with access to existing print and advertising budgets, signs, billboards, subway ads, etc. Companies can realize a larger return on this existing investment by incorporating text-to-apply instructions into existing ad space.
  • Recruiters doing high volume, competitive, or rapid recruitment.
  • ClearCompany ClearText customers seeking an inbound compliment to their SMS-based rapid recruitment feature set.

Other added benefits of using rapid-response, candidate-friendly Text-to-Apply functionality are:

  • Publicize Your Openings. Advertise in high-traffic public places to increase visibility.
  • Widen Your Net. Connect with hard-to-reach potential applicants who are not on computers.
  • Enable Quick Interactions. Facilitate efficient, on-the-go, low-pressure candidate communications.
  • Make it Personal. Connect one-on-one by text to show that your company is modern, responsive, and approachable.
  • Accelerate the Process. Speed up information sharing and generate faster candidate responses.

How Does Text-to-Apply Work?

There are two key components to execute Text-to-Apply. They are:

  • An apply code: This is a unique identifier the candidate types into the body of their text message, which will help identify the position(s) the candidate is applying to. For example, they might see instructions to text the apply code DRIVER to 234-456-5678.
  • A phone number: This is the number a candidate types into the contact destination field to identify where they’re texting. Using the previous example, this is the phone number 234-456-5678.

Text-to-Apply can be accomplished in a few short steps:

  1. Candidates text an apply code unique to a specified requisition to a company phone number.
  2. The candidate will be prompted to answer 3 questions via text: first name, last name, and email address. Recruiters can choose whether or not to include an application link, which will then allow the ability to capture a resume and/or responses to knock-out questions.
  3. A candidate profile is created within your specific requisition, and the source is tracked as “Text-to-Apply”.

people text recruiting clear text cta

It is highly advantageous to utilize ClearCompany’s Text-to-Apply tool. Here’s why:

  • ClearCompany allows the ability to generate a unique application code for every requisition, whereas many competitors are operating under a shared model. In a shared model, you’re actually sharing one phone number with other companies, including your competitors, which leads to a complex decision tree design that results in your applicants answering maybe 20+ questions via text instead of three. Further, you typically use one apply code for all of your requisitions, so you’ll have to manually position applicants against the appropriate requisitions to manage your workflows.
  • With ClearCompany, you can utilize 10-digit phone numbers. This provides a wide range of flexibility in campaign management as well as options for developing custom apply codes and phone numbers.
  • Our system allows you to apply specific area codes by location. For example, if your office is in a 970 area code, you can enable that area code for your custom phone number.
  • ClearCompany provides a seamless and customizable ATS-integrated design, not a standalone tool. Many standalone tools only offer only the expensive, shared model. In the end, an integrated design coupled with your existing texting capabilities provides a more efficient application process for candidates and recruiters. With a standalone solution, more than likely, you will be manually doubling your process steps that an integrated solution can automate in one.
  • Additionally, our system will detect duplicate profiles based on phone numbers and email addresses, and ClearCompany’s Text-to-Apply works well with QR codes.

How ClearCompany Plans to Leverage Text-to-Apply

To begin, we will utilize one number for each of our three office locations using a local area code. The first place we will put our text-to-apply instructions is within our existing requisition templates. As a result, every time a new requisition is created, it will automatically include the Text-to-Apply instructions. Further, since we have the ability to auto-post open positions to multiple job boards with a single click, the Text-to-Apply instructions will broadcast to all of our existing outreach channels.

Secondly, when we participate in job events, we will use Text-to-Apply in two ways:

  1. We will include text-to-apply instructions on signage at our booth linked to a job-fair-specific requisition. This will allow interested candidates to apply on the spot and provide us with a custom method to track the success of each event.
  2. Sometimes, A-players who are considering multiple companies may not be immediately compelled to apply to your role. They need more information or time to think it over. Since we’ll typically have a hard copy resume from these events, we can email or utilize ClearText to reach out to those top-notch candidates with text-to-apply instructions. This gives them a quick, convenient way to apply and is a much more personalized approach that conveys your specific individual interest in their skills and abilities.
How does using text messaging improve your #recruiting? Texts receive up to 50% better response rates from applicants. Find out more on the @ClearCompany blog:

Next, there are many candidate avenues that are now available to us that previously proved to be too cost or time prohibitive. For example, in one of our offices, a hiring manager would comment on how some top candidates worked in office buildings around us. Some of them go to the same gyms, eat lunch in the same spots, and possibly work within a different office in the same building. But how do we draw them out and connect with them?

One of our past solutions was to locate these individuals via LinkedIn and invite them to an on-site open house to network. However, the required time investment often netted a very low return on the time and cost investment. Additionally, many of the top passive candidates were more casually looking and unwilling to commit several hours. Now, we can look at the possibility of advertising in local transportation hubs, gyms, restaurants, or non-career-oriented publications with our Text-to-Apply tool. In a matter of seconds, candidates can put their hats in the ring to be considered.

We also have some regional roles requiring a fair amount of travel that have been challenging to fill. We can now explore a variety of advertising options to reach them where they are and have them apply while on the go.

ClearCompany’s Text-to-Apply tool, combined with our existing Applicant Tracking System functionality, will provide us with a wide range of creative options for reaching candidates. In turn, we will continue to maintain our edge in hiring A-players through changing business cycles. For more information about ClearText and to see Text-to-Apply in action, schedule a free demo today.

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