Recruiters are turning to a number of technologies to make the connection with talent, including sending text messages on a regular basis. This is the perfect media for getting in front of the multiple generations of talent. A Pew Research study found that 41% of smartphone users have researched work on their mobile at some point, and that 37% of users aged 30-49 were the most likely to search for jobs using mobile apps.
According to Software Advice, an Austin, TX firm, 60% of recruiters use texting with their clientele as a part of their recruitment practice. But, recruiters must be mindful of the legal aspects of sending SMS messages out to job seekers, says Andrew R. McIlvaine who writes at Recruiting Trends. There are some basic guidelines to follow.
Attorney John Bosco, a partner at Dallas-based Leon Cosgrove, says that companies put themselves at risk for data breaches involving candidate information. For example, Iberdrola USA was hacked, exposing nearly 5,100 job applicants to information thieves. Recruiters and human resource professionals using any form of text messaging should do so from within secure HRIS systems locked behind high level encryption. Personal identifying information should be left out.
Text messaging should be used to generate an immediate response from candidates to confirm receipt of documents, attendance at scheduled interviews, or to send directions to the company location.
Recruiters can use text messaging for communicating with candidates, but since it is harder to protect data, this should be used sparingly. All applicant tracking systems must encrypt candidate information so texting can take place from within a secure environment. It's a good business practice to use texting for sharing job leads, as long as they are accessible on a secure ATS.
At the point that candidates have completed job applications, it becomes the responsibility of employers to then protect this information. Storing candidate data separate from employee data is a sound business practice, as is monitoring access to this data.