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SMS for HR: 9 ways enterprise HR teams can use texting

Alia Paavola
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Enterprise companies rely on HR departments to relay important information to employees. Effective communication prevents misunderstandings and ensures employees feel supported. However, it can be tricky to ensure employees read HR messages.

That’s why more HR teams are turning to SMS. Text messaging boasts an impressive 98 percent open rate and is a preferred communication channel for employees. In fact, 70 percent of employees reported they want to use SMS for interoffice communication.

This blog explores nine ways HR teams can harness the immediacy of texting to improve communication with employees.

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<h2 id="How">How does SMS solve common enterprise HR challenges?</h2>

Human resource departments oversee essential employee functions, including hiring, training, payroll, retention, and benefits enrollment. These important tasks come with some unique challenges. Let’s dive into five common enterprise HR challenges and how text messaging can help overcome them.

Challenge 1: Enterprise HR teams must deliver critical messages to the employee base

HR departments must inform people on policies, enrollment, training, and more. Employees must get HR messages, read them, and take action. The reality is that emails often sit unread. This is why some HR teams, especially those with remote and field workers, are turning to SMS.

Business texting helps HR teams solve this challenge because:

  • Mass text messages reach hundreds to thousands of contacts simultaneously. This can help you keep a large number of employees informed.
  • The average text has a 98 percent open rate, nearly five times an email's open rate.
  • Texts are read in 90 seconds, compared to 90 minutes with email.
  • Texting doesn’t require employees to download a separate application. They just need a cell phone, which 97 percent of Americans own. 

Get additional stats that show why businesses are turning to texting.

Challenge 2: HR departments at large companies oversee recruiting, which can be long and cumbersome

The recruiting process involves a lot of schedule coordination and back-and-forth communication. Despite the desire for a smooth recruiting process, 43 percent of job seekers said their last job search was frustratingly long. Texting’s speed and open rate can help companies combat this challenge and streamline the process. Here are some of the top recruitment texting use cases:

  • Schedule and reschedule interviews
  • Send interview reminders
  • Follow-up post-interview
  • Inform candidates about application status
  • Share important onboarding information and documents
  • Advertise open positions

Check out our complete guide on SMS for recruitment for additional inspiration.

Challenge 3: HR teams often struggle to collect valuable feedback from employees.

HR departments must keep a pulse on how employees feel about their jobs. Plus, a simple survey about a company outing can go a long way in boosting morale. Despite this need, it’s often challenging to collect and manage feedback. In fact, 36 percent of employees say they don’t have a way to provide feedback at their organization. Plus, 25 percent of HR professionals say their methods of soliciting feedback are very ineffective.

Many HR departments say that digital surveys are a more effective method of gaining feedback. These surveys are more accessible and easier to take. While there are many ways to send surveys, one of the most effective is via SMS.

Studies show that SMS outperforms other channels like email for survey responses. That’s because texts are more likely to be read.

Enterprise HR teams should consider using an SMS platform like Textline to help send and manage bulk surveys. Textline is built to help HR teams manage survey responses. Our SMS surveys have pre-built metrics that help teams track responses, validate answers, and group trends. 

Challenge 4: Reminding employees about important deadlines and ensuring completion of tasks on time can be hard to manage

Many tasks HR teams manage have strict deadlines, including insurance enrollment, mandatory training, and payroll. HR teams must ensure employees know about these deadlines and complete tasks on time to mitigate risk. However, it can be challenging to remind employees and ensure completion of these tasks.

That’s where an SMS platform can come in handy. You can send employees text message reminders about deadlines. SMS reminders are well received and gentle nudges to complete work.

An SMS platform like Textline solves this for HR teams as it allows them to:

  • Schedule text message reminders to send at the optimal time
  • Segment contact lists to target messages to specific employees
  • Track metrics like delivery rate and response rate

Challenge 5: HR teams are the culture-setters tasked with maintaining a positive work environment to retain employees 

HR departments foster a positive work environment for employees. They play a role in boosting morale, career development, and onboarding. It can be tricky for HR teams to maintain this positivity, but here’s a look at how SMS can help:

  • Give a shoutout to a team or particular employee via text
  • Use SMS polls to gather employee opinions on company outings
  • Invite employees to company events via text
  • Automate birthday messages to employees
  • Stay connected with field workers and remote employees

<h2 id="Ways">9 ways to use SMS to enhance your HR department</h2>

Texting for HR is versatile as it’s a great way to get information to employees quickly. Let’s dive into nine real-world SMS use cases for enterprise HR teams. 

Send company-wide memos

Use a mass text message to share company policies, new hires, developments, milestones, and other HR announcements with staff. This can get critical information to staff quickly and ensure that it’s read no matter where employees are located.

Sharing an HR memo via text

Share important deadlines 

HR teams oversee benefits enrollment, payroll, and mandatory training. These items typically come with strict deadlines. Use SMS reminders to get the word out about these important deadlines.

Example of texting employees about HR deadlines.

Collect employee feedback via SMS surveys

Don’t wait to ask employees for feedback on new policies, workplace events, and preferences. Gathering honest feedback throughout employment can help HR managers implement employee retention improvements. Send text surveys to your employees with ease. 

How HR can collect employee feedback via SMS.

Give employee shoutouts

As the keepers of culture, HR teams can send texts to recognize employees and bolster morale. You can share kudos for work anniversaries, job promotions, achievements, deals won, and more.

Using SMS for HR to boost morale.

Event invites and reminders

Text messages are a great way to send employees event invites and reminders. From smaller company luncheons to large-scale holiday parties, a quick text reminder can boost attendance. You can also use SMS to promote your wellness initiatives. 

Sharing an event reminder via text for employees.

Improve recruiting efforts

One popular way for HR teams to utilize SMS is to improve recruitment communication. In fact, it’s one of the most popular business texting use cases. HR teams can use it to schedule interviews, share important reminders, pre-screen candidates, and aid with onboarding. For additional inspiration, get 25 SMS recruiting templates.

Example of HR teams using texting for recruitment.

Schedule meetings

Stop letting your meeting request emails sit in crowded inboxes. Instead, use text messaging to schedule meetings with employees more efficiently. Textline even offers true group texting, which allows you to coordinate a meeting time between multiple employees.

Example of a group text for HR to schedule a meeting.

Promote professional development opportunities

Another way to use SMS for human resources is to inform employees about upcoming professional development opportunities. You can use a text message to invite and encourage employees to sign up. 

Example of HR texting to promote professional courses.

Answer employee questions and concerns

Let employees know they can contact the HR department via text message. Use this phone number to answer employee questions or schedule a time to connect quickly. SMS offers a private and less intimidating way to reach out to HR. This is especially helpful for field workers who may not have access to a cell phone.

Example of answering employee questions via text.

<h2 id="Tips">5 tips for making the most of SMS for HR</h2>

These expert tips will help you maximize text messaging for human resources. 

  • Collect opt-ins. Before texting employees or prospective candidates, you must collect consent to text them. Many HR departments collect an SMS opt-in on a job application or during employee onboarding.

  • Choose an SMS platform that meets your enterprise needs. Ensure you choose an SMS platform that has the features and security your enterprise business needs. There are many SMS platforms that are simple self-service solutions, which may not be a great fit for larger teams that desire automation and integrations.

  • Leverage automation to save time. Enterprise businesses care about efficiency. Automate your SMS workflow to put these communications on autopilot. For example, you can schedule text messages in advance for important deadlines, set up auto-replies, and trigger messages to send automatically based on a keyword or time.

  • Segment contact lists. For more targeted text messaging options, you should group your contact lists. You can create groups by department, position level, and hire date.

  • Respect employees’ personal time. HR texting offers a direct line to your employees. Be mindful to protect their personal time by keeping text messages to working hours, keeping texts work-related, and setting response expectations.

Get more best practices for texting your employees.

Tap into a better way to reach employees with SMS for HR

Texting offers enterprise HR teams a direct line to employees. Its speed and convenience help HR teams improve communication around key tasks like onboarding, training, and open enrollment.

Do you want to try text messaging for HR and recruitment? Take Textline, the industry’s most secure SMS platform, out for a spin. You can try Textline free for 14 days.

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