Imagine this article was a map guiding you to a far away destination. Would you want to take a long, winding road filled with pitfalls and detours? Or would you prefer we just got to the damn point?
Yes, this is a metaphor for hiring.
Here’s the fast truth: Your hourly hiring process is probably taking too long, and you’re losing talent because of it. Roadblocks, meandering paths, mirages — if you’re asking candidates to navigate a labyrinth you can’t be surprised when they get lost and end up somewhere you don’t want them to.
So what’s the solution? The answer is actually staring you right in the face: your smartphone (the thing that 98% of your candidates demographic owns). It’s a gateway to infinite lightweight, frictionless hiring experiences. But more than experiences, smartphones are obviously about conversations. And conversations are simple. People love simple.
That’s the path to winning in hourly hiring. It’s about transforming something that is traditionally tedious and time-consuming into something light and consumer-esque. It means taking each individual aspect of the candidate journey, stripping it down, and building it back up as part of a cohesive, streamlined experience from start to finish.
It might sound like really hard work. Making things simple usually does. But with the right roadmap, and the right software, it’s easier than you think.
Remember, you and your candidates ultimately want to arrive in the same, magical destination: a job. So just get to the damn point.
It’s time I got to mine.
Your entry point should be a text.
In hourly hiring, convenience and simplicity trumps loyalty. The trick, then, is getting to the candidate first and being fastest to an offer. And every single click, tab, screen, and form that you’re putting between your candidate and your application is an unnecessary roadblock.
Even when things seem simple, they can often be as cumbersome as the steps they’re replacing. QR codes, for instance, are a lightweight solution on the surface — but if the code takes a candidate to a career site only to go through the same outdated process as before, the process hasn’t really been simplified.
The solution: Text to apply.
Text to apply software is the most streamlined way to move candidates along the hiring journey and eliminate friction to practically zero. It’s also just how your candidates interact with the world now — 70% of Gen Z prefer to communicate via text. Text to apply keeps the candidate experience mobile (check) and turns applications into conversations (double check).
The entry point into this conversation is a shortcode — like, JUMPSTART, for instance — that can be advertised anywhere your potential candidates are: a drive-thru window, a dining table, on social media. Texting the shortcode instantly initiates a chat with a conversational AI assistant (more on this in a bit), who will ask core questions to make sure they’re qualified. Over 90% of candidates complete this type of screening process.
No typing in URLs or wading through outdated platforms. No friction. No frustration. And most importantly, no opportunity for a candidate to wander off the path you’ve paved for them.
Your screening and application should be a conversation.
Note that the subheader above doesn’t say it should feel like a conversation. Nope, it should literally be one. Once someone texts your shortcode, a conversational assistant takes over and automates 95% of the hiring process.
Job search. Screening. Scheduling. Interview reminders. Onboarding. All automated. Right on the candidate’s phone. It looks like this:
With this process, a customer becomes an active candidate in minutes. It’s an experience that’s simple, unobtrusive, and modern. We know that people won’t fill out dozens of dull form fields, but they will have a quick conversation with a friend. That’s why we use the word “assistant” instead of “chatbot.” It’s not robotic or impersonal — it’s actually extremely human and provides a more hands-on, 24/7 experience than the touch-and-go, back-and-forth communication a busy hiring manager does.
When you think “assistant” you probably think of Siri. Or Google Maps. You think of tech that’s actively making your life easier by automating tasks you don’t have time for. It guides you. It assists you. Conversational hiring assistants work the same way, only instead of navigating or ordering groceries, they help people get hired.
Using a conversational assistant, franchise owner Meritage Hospitality Group reduced time to offer at 300+ Wendy’s locations to under four days and saved store managers 2+ hours every week.
Your onboarding should be mobile, too.
Great — you were the first to send your candidate an offer. Time to roll out the welcome mat, right?
Not quite. There’s still one more speed bump that could derail your entire candidate journey; one in five candidates who accept an offer won’t actually show up for their first day. Nearly 20% verbally accept an offer and never fill out onboarding paperwork.
Competition accounts for some of that percentage, but the biggest factor is confusion or frustration over what comes next. You can’t take it for granted that your offer was the end of the line — candidates are still looking for a simple experience all the way up to when they step in the door on Day One, and beyond. In fact, 91% of Gen Z say technology is the most important factor when choosing a job.
That’s a problem if your onboarding process involves tons of emails and digital paperwork (or, gasp, actual paperwork). But what if it was mobile and took a few clicks? What if it was more than just forms, and instead was a process that helped candidates get comfortable for their first day?
Keep it short, keep it simple. And you’ll win.
Remember that magical destination — the job — I mentioned earlier? It’s far more reachable than it might feel right now. In fact, it really comes down to finding the right tech and letting it take the wheel.
And if you need more direction, we have a literal hiring roadmap you can download for free right here.