Pioneering the trend in SMS-based recruitment, SMS 24/7 has been a trailblazer helping companies especially across the F&B industry as of now, to hire employees fast and generate quick responses to potential candidates such as to not lose out on brilliant talent in the current situation.
Recruiting candidates from the lower lung of the ladder to the top senior managers, SMS 24/7 provides a simple automated platform for jobseekers and companies to connect using their SMS-based services. Qian Li, Business Partner and Marketing Manager, SMS 24/7 Pte Ltd goes candid on how SMS-based recruiting is accelerating the hiring process for recruitment managers across different industries in Singapore and Asia.
“What we realised through our interaction with customers is to reach out to the right customer, you need to choose the right medium. So if we go using traditional media for recruitment such as newspapers and magazines, it is very hard for companies to make this advertisement interactive. So that’s where our solution comes in. We need to provide a certain platform to make this automated and simple.”
Sneak Peek into Recruitment Challenges in Singapore
Qian Li opines, “The biggest challenge in recruiting is to attract and hire Singaporeans. Post hiring, retention of talent is another major challenge, of course. As of currently, when HR professionals place job advertisements seeking a prospective hire, sometimes 80 to 90 percent of all job applicants are non-Singaporeans. Hence the HR professionals get very distracted and are unable to focus on the core-group, and this is where our SMS-based service offerings, come in to help companies in Singapore.”
Empowering Recruitment via SMS
SMS 24/7 provides various companies across different industries with a unique code (or a numero) in their job advertisements, be it online or offline medium. A candidate can immediately reach out to the potential employer through use of this unique number at any time of the day or night via SMS or call. Message from the candidate will automatically trigger our system servers at the backend. This works on a chat-based auto interview and auto forwarding service.
At the employer front (client side), applications come in during anytime of the day/night(as over 40% of candidates generally apply on weekends and post office hours), which are automatically processed instantly. If the candidate meets the job requirement criteria, SMS 24/7 forwards the candidate’s information –via email or SMS immediately to the company. The HR managers at the client’s end can then follow up next day.
“There is no competitor to this unique service offering model of SMS 24/7, we offer to our customers. The main competitors for us, will be agencies, who operate on a different model, but there is no other company providing services similar to us in Asia that we know as of today,” Qian Li confirms.
The recruitment service empowered by SMS messaging is very helpful to companies and HR professionals, who have very little time on hand to scan multiple candidate profiles applying for a particular position.
Considering HR managers also need to perform other administrative functions such as payroll management, leave calculation, talent management and lot more other activities, SMS 24/7 services filter out candidates through automated screening processes that helps improve efficiency by 50% or more.
With companies publishing job advertisements across all kinds of media, it is hard to filter candidates who meet the job criteria through a large talent pool.
Quantifying results from the use of this SMS-empowered recruitment agent, Qian Li says, “In terms of numbers, the number of applications our clients/companies receive through usage of SMS-based recruiting has increased by 14 times, according to our data. Considering more than 40 percent of job applications are received after work hours, these applications which could have been otherwise lost, are potentially captured through our integrated system at odd application hours.”
To enumerate one of our experiences, Qian Li explains, “Our customer posted an advertisement on JobStreet with SMS 24/7’s unique numero code (which is different for each job application and customer) to call or SMS on the number to apply for the job role. Quite interestingly, a lot of potential candidates chose to call in or drop a SMS on the number provided instead of email.”
“This experience also made us realise that an increasing number of applicants prefer getting information from various sources, both online and offline. However, when it comes to applying for jobs,they seek faster-response time to their applications. Through automated candidate screening processes, our services let the candidates know in real-time whether they would be considered for a position or not.”
“At the same point in time, if the candidate meets the requirements then we forward the candidate details to the companies, such that they can follow up at their convenience.”
Is the Candidate Data True and Reliable on SMS?
Verifying the authenticity of candidate information without background checks and sometime inaccurate details via SMS or call can turn out to be quite a time consuming exercise for HR managers and employers looking forward to accelerate their recruitment operations. SMS-empowered recruitment software help address this challenge as well.
Qian Li explains, “We do not do an entire candidate screening process. What we realised post our interaction with several companies is that there are only 2-3 basic criteria. In case of Singapore, where we have an Employee quota based on nationality – the first question generally asked is, are you a Singaporean? And the next question is, do you follow instructions? Established companies and restaurants all have SOPs to follow. So a problem arises if an employee does not follow the instructions. This is one question that no CV is able to filter out.”
How does SMS 24/7 Service Offerings Work?
Candidates call or send a SMS to the numero and initiate an automated interview, which is customized to each local context. For example, in Singapore, in compliance with Personal Data Protection Act, SMS 24/7 services adds a disclaimer and mentions for what purposes the data will be used. The next message will be to ask the candidate if they are interested in applying online, then the candidate will be routed to the employer/job posting website for application.
“Else, if the candidate chooses to apply via SMS, we provide a series of generic questions put across to the prospective talent suchas: Are you a Singaporean applicant? If yes, press 101 or else press 102 for others. Based on this response, several other questions pertinent to the job requirements in specific are followed up with numeric codes assigned for answers to be typed in. This is how our process works.”
“One of the final questions our automated system request response is about candidate information. We instruct candidates to follow a certain format to enter the code for the application to be considered valid. If the applicant chooses to enter the code correctly, we will recognise this candidate as someone who can read and follow instructions, thus placing the candidate information on higher priority to be forwarded immediately to the company by SMS or email.”
When a potential candidate fails to follow the instructions and proper format then the candidature goes into SMS 24/7 database as a Tier-2 candidate. In case, companies (ie. our customers) would like to contact tier-2 candidates, SMS 24/7 provides them with a list of the potential tier-2 candidates to follow up.
Otherwise, HR teams that are small and multi-functional may not have a lot of time to contact all candidates. “Based on this SMS-empowered feature, the candidates/job applicants need not have to register with us for applying to jobs. We are aware of the fact that it is pretty cumbersome for jobseekers to provide all information time and again on many job portals and career websites. Further on, for some kind of manual jobs, CV is not a pre-requisite to be shortlisted for an interview.”
This software can be automatically upgraded online.The current version is very user friendly. However, as of now candidates need to enter information in a certain format. In future, SMS 24/7 hopes to allow candidates to express themselves better by facilitating information input in a format of their choice, such as to do away with stringent methodical processes of job applications. This will further simplifythe process of applying for jobs at finger tips with added ease, convenience and mobility.
How Does SMS-Based Recruitment target High-Profile Jobs?
“For CEOs and high-profile jobs, there are many services available in Singapore. SMS 24/7 caters to the bottom of the pyramid wherein many workers want jobs and there are many companies who want to give them jobs.Our services help companies connect with the potential jobseekers through SMS or call and this is how we help bridge the gap. An average time spent by HR professional on a CV is generally one to three minutes and what we understand from HR professionals is that generally on a CV, they normally look for only specific 2-3 criteria, before they decide to follow up.”
Growth and Expansion Plans
Expansion plans of SMS 24/7 underway include: to attract more prominent hotels, retail chains, warehouses, hospitality sector, factories and many more industries as a part of our customer-base. To optimally harness SMS-empowered service offerings to reach out to potential passive talent easily without the need for managing multiple job advertisements on different job boards and mediums.
“Our focus is on the bottom of the pyramid for expansion and hence we will be looking at ASEAN’s developing cities. We currently have operations in Singapore, Malaysia and Japan. As our service reaches out to the rank and file workers, we are looking to be of service to our ASEAN friends, specifically Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia in the next phase. Following which, we are also considering India, Africa and South America in future. We aim to continuously improve our understanding of the conditions in each country so as to achieve our vision of “From Singapore, to ASEAN and the world,” Qian Li affirms.
To explore further details about SMS 24/7 service offerings for clients based in Asia and Singapore, you can visit: www.sms247.com.sg
Do feel free to write in with your comments and feedback.
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