Eighty percent of Americans—nearly 300 million people—use text messaging, and many employers have found text messaging to be the best form of communication for their blue-collar workers. The issue is, no one wants to use their personal cell phone to text employees, and not everyone gets a work phone.
Luckily, there is software to solve that problem. But what do you need to look for in communication software? Depends on what you're trying to accomplish. We’ve compared a few different platforms (iCIMS, JazzHR, BreezyHR, ClearCompany, Simple Texting, EZTexting & Team Engine) to see who offers employee messaging, automated text messages, surveys, and candidate communication, and why those features are important.
Employee Text Messaging
When your workforce is on the move, it can be hard to get everyone together to discuss changes in schedules, projects, or other workplace issues. Yet, most problems that arise are matters that need to be addressed urgently. Being able to send your employees a text message is essential, but not every software offers that.
iCIMS offers TextHR, an employee communication messaging platform. TextHR allows you to send text messages through their software to have 1-on-1 or group messages with your employees. TextHR is part of the advanced communication suite.
SimpleTexting is an SMS messaging platform that is typically used for marketing, but can also be used for employee messaging. With SimpleTexting you can choose to use your business number, or implement a new number. Their platform allows for you to message employees 1-on-1 or to create group messages. You can also set up text templates. SimpleTexting works by purchasing credits, one text message is one credit, and one multimedia message (an image or video) is three credits.
EZTexting is an SMS messaging platform that is also typically used for marketing, but because of their credit pricing plan EZTexting can be used for employee messaging. EZTexting allows for 1-on-1 messaging and group messages.
Team Engine offers 1-on-1 and group employee text messaging as a standard feature of the platform. You can connect with just a single employee to ask specific questions such as missing clock-out times, uniform size, or incident reports. You can also create groups with assigned supervisors so field managers have access to their team messaging at no additional cost.
You can also send out announcements to the entire company or groups without worrying about individuals replying to the entire group. All replies are only sent back to you, not the entire group message; so, you never need to stress about embarrassing or unprofessional group messages again.
*Note: ClearCompany, JazzHR, and BreezyHR only support candidate messages and do not offer any employee texting features as of today.
It’s important to give your employees a voice. You can’t wait around for annual reviews to get feedback, or expect employees to come to you with unsolicited advice for improvement. It can be difficult to hunt everyone down just to ask them a question, but by texting out a single-question survey, you can quickly get the responses you need.
We searched high and low for another hiring, recruitment, or team management software that offers employee surveys to compare to Team Engine, and we were sorely disappointed. Surveys are essential to ensure your employees are happy in their position, to give you the input necessary to improve the work environment, and to react quickly when needed. With Team Engine, you can send out onboarding surveys, employee surveys, exit surveys, and everything in between, straight to your employees’ cell phones.
Here's how one customer in the green industry used our employee survey feature to poll snow plow drivers for last-minute availability:
If emailing your current employees isn’t working, emailing your applicants definitely isn’t working. Something to look for in a communication software is the ability to send text messages to candidates. Applicants provide their cell phone numbers in their applications, but most people don’t pick up calls from unknown numbers anymore. But, when they get texts from a company they applied to, they’ll reply. So which platforms are offering texting with candidates?
ClearCompany provides ClearText. It’s built into their ATS to allow you to text candidates off of the software. With ClearText, you select a candidate and connect 1-on-1 via text messages. Those messages are then saved to the candidate’s profile.
SimpleTexting offers candidate communication as well. If you purchase their credits to use for business messaging, you can send out text messages to both your employees and candidates. As long as you have the credits to use, you can utilize the messaging however you would like.
iCIMS purchased TextRecruit, so they’ve built an advanced communication suite. You can text candidates 1-on-1 through your recruiting process. The communication suite is a separate purchase from the recruitment marketing suite and hiring suite.
JazzHR offers candidate texting as an option for hiring managers. Candidate texting isn’t part of the software package, but can be purchased at an additional price, with a few different package options. With JazzHR, you can communicate with candidates 1-on-1, and you can also set up template messages for repetitive communications.
BreezyHR also offers candidate texting. Like the other platforms, BreezyHR allows you to message candidates 1-on-1 through the software. Candidate texting is a paid feature, so you purchase it as an add-on to the basic BreezyHR package.
Team Engine is a blue-collar team management platform, so of course, the focus is on communication. Candidate texting helps recruiters & HR managers connect with candidates more efficiently. Your account is assigned a dedicated local number from which you can send messages through the software right to candidates’ phones. This feature is included as a standard part of the platform at no additional cost.
Automated Text Messages
Some software have offers the ability to send automated text messages, so when you’re busy working (or not working in the evening and on weekends) the software can keep the conversation going for you.
iCIMS offers ARI, an AI recruiting assistant. The assistant allows you to automate messages, which means ARI can text candidates while you are working on another project. ARI learns from the messages sent through the iCIMS platform to anticipate questions. ARI is also part of the advanced communication suite.
BreezyHR has automated messages for different actions. You can create a template for when someone applies, or for when you move them to the next stage like accepting an application or interviewing. This means the message will automatically send out when you move the applicant to another stage.
Team Engine provides automated candidate texting as part of the standard subscription. You can set up templates to send a message after someone applies, usually to acknowledge receipt of the application and to ask them why they're interested in working for the company.
Team Engine’s Intelligent Hiring Assistant uses these first few messages to monitor the candidate's responsiveness, which is one of several metrics used to screen candidates. You can also set up these messages to collect any additional information that you need from the applicant, such as their driver's license number or required certifications. Templates can also be sent out when you move a candidate to a new stage in the hiring process, such as from Reviewing to Interviewing. Once there, Team Engine automatically sends interview reminders via text to make sure there are no no-shows.
When implementing software for texting candidates and employees, you want to make sure they offer everything you need. If you’re looking for an all-encompassing team management platform, then Team Engine is right for you. We’ve worked hard to build an intelligent suite of hiring and communication tools. If you’d like to see how simple and effective texting for employees can be, try Team Engine at no cost.