Emissary’s Text Recruiting Tool

When it comes to building new recruiting technology, the industry tends to favor products who are built by those with experience in recruiting and selling into HR. Every year I see new entrepreneurs come into the space thinking naively, their product is something recruiters want. In many cases it’s not.

But the team behind Emissary has been in the recruitment advertising space for many years running job aggregator Juju.com and other recruiting related ventures. They certainly have the experience to build practical tools that employers can get value from immediately.  Plus they they can leverage their existing client base for launching new products which is always a great asset.

Led by industry vets Euan Hayward and Brendan Cruickshank, they have launched a new text recruiting tool. Emissary is a full service text messaging platform for employers, staffing agencies and job boards. It is built for professional recruiters/organizations that have outgrown the limitations of texting via personal devices and ‘one size fits all’ texting platforms.

Emissary is now part of a small group of text recruiting tools which include TextRecruit who was recently acquired by iCiMS. Text recruiting is probably the most underserved part of hiring process that vendors have yet to capitalize on. If I were building a new product today I would focus it on texting. So the few vendors who have already launched are in great position to grow and capture clients.

The Use Cases for Text Recruiting

Every employer and staffing agency has different needs when it comes to candidate communications. Emissary aims to provide them a full range of texting options, so they can focus on the things that generate the most value for them and adapt their approach over time as their recruiting needs/strategies change.

Here are a few solutions and use cases that they came up with:

  • 1-to-1 Texting – Our Chrome browser extension allows recruiters to text candidates from any website they use as part of their process. That could be their ATS, LinkedIn or some other solution. It can really help recruiters save time. For example, scheduling an interview by text message is a lot faster and more reliable than leaving voicemail after voicemail, and takes a fraction of the time…
  • Short Codes – Lots of employers use career fairs and other forms of on-site recruiting, for example at retail locations. Emissary’s custom short code solution gives them a vehicle to capitalize on that ‘real world’ recruiting footprint by offering candidates an opportunity to request more information and interact by text.     
  • Share by Text – Lots of sites offer ‘social sharing’ options, but virtually none support sharing jobs by text message, even though texting is more universal. Our Share by Text tool allows employers to enable easier referrals by letting visitors text their jobs with a single click, while measuring the impact of that activity. It’s a great tool for job boards as well because the ROI is through the roof.    
  • Text Retargeting – This is a really unique feature that we offer. Basically, it’s an opt-in text message reminder that targets the 90-95% of candidates that visit a job, but never apply. Engagement is very high… CTR is typically 20-30% per message, as is conversion rate. Can you think of any other tool that gives you 30% conversion? This is another tool that works really well for our job board clients, as well as for employers.
  • Text Campaigns – Recruiters can upload a list of contacts in bulk, then message that list using a template that inserts details from the list dynamically, like the job seeker’s name or the position they expressed interest in. Text campaigns can be particularly useful for employers with seasonal hiring needs. For example, let’s say a ski resort wants to reach out to all its employees from the previous season to see if they’re interested in returning? An email campaign would get lost in the shuffle or ignored, but a text campaign will get read and responded to very quickly.  

Euan their CEO, tells me that they typically see response rates that are an order of magnitude better than other channels, like email. Open rates on text are over 95%. CTR is often in the 20-30% range for reminders and more automated messages, and considerably higher for personal/1-to-1 outreach. Application rates are also often 3-5X higher than other methods.

What is the cost?

Emissary’s pricing varies depending on several factors, mainly the number of users, the volume of communications and the specific set of tools being used. As a rough guide, it’s about $50-100 on a per seat basis said Hayward.

That said, text messaging is probably the highest ROI investment most recruiters can make, so many employers and staffing firms will actually see a reduction in other costs because they are able to increase the yield on their existing job site traffic, for example.  

“We want companies to be able to capitalize on texting however they see fit, so we are flexible in allowing them to focus on the parts of our platform that they see the most value in, rather than forcing them into an expensive, all-encompassing package.”, Hayward added.

How does implementation work?

Most of Emissary’s tool set requires no implementation work at all. It’s as simple as logging in and installing their Chrome plugin. For a few tools, like Share by Text and Text Retargeting, there are a few lines of javascript code that need to be installed on the employer’s career site, which is a very simple job for most web developers.

They have also signed integration partnerships with several leading ATS vendors. Those will be announced soon and will provide seamless access for employers on those platforms. ATS vendors are invited to reach out to them at partners@emissary.ai.

How Emissary Started

Emissary started out as an internal project at Juju. They were looking for ways to capture more applications from the 90-95% of job site visitors that never apply. That prompted their developers to think a lot about how people consume job content these days, and the many reasons they have for not applying, even when they are qualified/interested.

Given that 50%+ of job site traffic comes from mobile users, it’s not hard to see why so many potential applicants abandon the process.

For example, let’s say you’re looking at a great job on your phone, just as you walk into a meeting with your boss. There’s no way you’re going to apply right at that moment. In fact, you’re probably going to forget about that job and never come back. There are a million scenarios like that happening in today’s job market

So, we figured, what if we offered people the opportunity to get a reminder by text, so they can apply later? That led us to build our Text Retargeting tool. Once we launched it, the results were so good that  we realized other people could benefit from it, and Emissary was born.

The possibilities with texting are endless says Hayward.

“Once you’ve seen enough ‘next big things’ come and go, the real thing really jumps out at you when you come across it. That’s what happened for us with texting. Once we saw the results it could produce, it was clear that every employer needs it, which is why we dropped everything and built Emissary. “

Find them on the web at https://emissary.ai/


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