As more services in the financial industry are automated, financial services recruiters are working to fill higher value and more advanced roles. Financial services is more than just banking, insurance, and investing, Recruiters are also searching for accounting, data analyst, financial compliance, and data engineer candidates. Finding candidates with the right blend of financial and business experience combined with analytical and technical skills can be challenging. Where to start? Your candidate outreach is going to be a cornerstone of your recruiting strategy for financial services candidates.
While financial services industry recruiting trends evolve, recruiters are changing their outreach methodology to adapt to next-generation candidates. This means that email and text messaging can be your sharpest tools for reaching qualified applicants and building your talent pipeline so you’re prepared for the positions you have open now, as well as future requisitions. The biggest challenge: Qualified candidates are operating in a near zero unemployment economy, which means they’re being inundated with messaging from recruiters. In order to stand out from competitors, your messaging must be unique, personal, timely, targeted…in short: customized.
Consider that you already have a list of leads to start with. Every candidate in your ATS or CRM has a phone number and email address. Every resume in your system has a contact number and email address. This gives you thousands of candidates that you can add to your outreach list for your open positions. And because you have this data, you can also segment your candidates based on qualifications, certifications, and experience so that you can target only the candidates most likely to engage with your messaging.
Text Messaging for Candidate Outreach in Financial Services
Most ATSs aren’t built like a CRM tool, which allows recruiters to source talent in their own databases and leave notes for the recruiter themselves or others, like one would do in a traditional CRM technology like SalesForce. Text messaging services within a CRM can make it easy for you to stay engaged with candidates or re-establish contact with a candidate who interviewed or applied for roles previously but wasn’t offered the job. Whether you use a CRM or not, text messaging is a quick way to engage a candidate who you’ve had a previous relationship with; one that allows you to customize the message for a personal touch.
One of the strongest arguments for adopting text messaging as a candidate outreach strategy is the response rate. According to SMS Global, there is a 45% response rate for SMS messages (email has just 8%), but more importantly, the interaction with texts is also significantly higher than other marketing tools. Because the number of mobile phone users has nearly tripled over the past decade, with over 5 billion people using a mobile phone in 2017, mobile has become a huge marketing platform, with text messaging topping the list.
You can use text messages as an ask (such as whether or not a previously considered candidate would want to know about your new open positions), to send a link to your open positions, to schedule a time to speak to a potential candidate, and in many other creative ways. If you’re new to mobile and text-based marketing, we’ve written a step-by-step post that can help.
Email Personalization is Critical for Effective Candidate Outreach
As I previously mentioned, personalization is the key to standing out in a sea of employers with your hiring message. This means that standard automation is going to be difficult, and emailing candidates becomes more of a high-touch task. But it’s one that pays off.
When it comes to emails or InMail on LinkedIn, a template isn’t going to increase your open or response rates. That’s what your competition is sending to the same job seekers you want to reach. All it takes to outpace your competition for talent in a tight talent marketplace is a bit of personalization. This works with your current candidate database, as well as outreach to cold candidates.
While recruiting in financial services is absolutely a numbers game, you can stack the odds in your favor by doing research and customizing your messages in creative, targeted ways. A good subject line is imperative. Ask a question, mention a detail about them, or focus on a highlight of your requisition. “Here’s why I think you’d be a great fit for [Company X]” or “you have the experience our company is looking for” are more likely to be opened and pique a candidate’s interest.
Additionally, email isn’t the place you want to use “clickbait” content, particularly with financial services candidates. You don’t want to overwhelm a potential candidate with information, but do be certain to include the most relevant points and an opportunity to schedule a time to discuss further. Candidates are more likely to respond if you include some details about what makes your position unique, what your company can offer with regards to benefits and culture, and (important!) why you’re emailing them.
Finally, in the financial services sector, consider that the majority of the candidates you want to reach are likely already employed and will be unlikely to respond to phone calls during the day. Text messaging and email outreach gives you the ability to reach out to candidates discreetly and allow them to respond when they are able. It also gives you the opportunity to test and scale your outreach strategy based on data, like open and response rates.