Q&A: More hotels use text message to recruit talent

BHN speaks to Canvas CEO Aman Brar about how more and more hotels are using text messaging to recruit talent, such as millennials.

  • What does Canvas do?

Canvas is the first text-based, intelligent interviewing system that empowers recruiters to screen more job candidates and market employment brands. The enterprise-grade software platform, which is also available as an iOS and Android mobile app and Chrome Extension, enables organisations to better reach today’s talent. Canvas is available through a subscription-based model and is scalable for hotels and companies of all sizes.

Using Canvas, a team of four recruiters can save 3,689 hours per year and recruit up to ten times the number of candidates they previously could using traditional methods. In addition, the average time to screen a candidate takes just 4.4 minutes.

Recruiters have a portfolio of interview questions always at their side and they can easily send employment brand information, such as culture videos, benefits and job descriptions, straight to the candidate’s mobile phone. The platform even makes response recommendations for the recruiter, prompting them to send the right message at the right time to the right candidate.

  • How has text recruiting helped to recruit the millennial generation?

Young professionals today may be sending videos via Snapchat or getting breaking news updates on Twitter, but it is not likely they will answer a phone call from an unknown number. As millennials quickly overtake baby boomers as America’s largest talent generation, it is important to rethink traditional practices and find new ways to engage today’s workforce and attract top talent by reaching them where they are: on their phone.

In fact, a KPCB 2016 Internet Trends Report shows that only 12 per cent of millennials and 29 per cent of Gen Xers favour the phone for business communication. That is why talent acquisition leaders are relying on texting to connect with today’s on-the-go workforce and replace outdated recruiting practices.

  • What advice would you give to people interviewing on this platform?

Canvas is innovative and easy to use. Candidates receive and answer questions from recruiters via text, while recruiters have the option to use the desktop or mobile app version-available on iOS and Android to facilitate the interviews.

Text recruiting is also a great way to start a conversation and get to know the candidate before a face-to-face interview or phone call. Through text, the recruiter and candidate can easily break the ice and show their personalities. Having a casual conversation will also allow a candidate’s personality to shine through so the recruiter can catch a glimpse of how they interact in everyday life.

Another thing we tell people is to add language on applications or the “Careers” page of their website indicating they may contact qualified candidates through text for an initial screening interview. This way, a candidate can keep an open mind about text-recruiting and when they recieve a text message from an unrecognised number, they will not be surprised.

  • How can hotels use this technology to hire top talent?

Hotels can use texting to help bring in the best candidates, whether it is for concierge, housekeeping, food services or front-desk positions.

Hiring managers and recruiters often spend countless hours reaching out to and following up with applicants who may no longer be interested in or were never qualified for the positions in the hospitality industry. By screening candidates via text message, managers can not only reach ten times more candidates each day but connect to the best people for the job. Engaging candidates through text messages first helps narrow the candidate pool and allows managers to invest their second and third interviews, whether it be over the phone or in-person, with the right candidates for the job.

The hiring manager can even send pre-selected interview questions to candidates, as well as the hotel’s employment brand information, workplace culture videos and benefits. This not only helps hiring manager get the right information to the right candidates at the right time, it also improves the candidate’s experience and ability to make an informed decision about whether the job opportunity and hospitality industry is a good fit for them.

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