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Text recruiting delivers hot candidates to Domino's

For Domino's largest franchisee, RPM Pizza, text recruiting helped deliver the right candidates to HR's door.

Text recruiting software can be especially helpful in the food industry, where turnover, hiring volume and competition are high and job candidates tend to be digital natives.

There were both challenges and benefits of text recruiting and an AI-powered recruitment chatbot, said Merrin Mueller, who heads the company's hiring and training efforts, in a video interview at the 2019 HR Technology Conference & Exposition.

RPM Pizza chose TextRecruit, an online recruitment platform iCIMS acquired in 2018.

RPM Pizza is the largest Domino's pizza franchisee in the U.S., employing more than 4,000 people in 187 stores in five Midwest and Southern states.

Before TextRecruit, recruiters had to make phone calls to follow up with candidates who had applied through the company's applicant tracking system, Mueller said.

Company leaders decided they needed more than just a phone call because, sometimes, candidates don't answer, she said.

Now, people apply for jobs at the Domino's job page or go through RPM's text recruiting platform. They send a text message and receive an automatic response from a recruitment chatbot named Dottie.

Recruiters can use the platform to monitor text conversations and run hiring campaigns by texting multiple people, Mueller said.

Dottie helps filter out applicants who aren't a good fit by asking questions, such as whether an applicant is old enough to drive. Dottie was key in driving traffic to the text recruiting system, Mueller said.

"It makes it a lot more efficient," Mueller said. "We made her our official recruiter for the face of RPM Pizza."

But getting Dottie to interact appropriately with applicants took some work. The recruitment team would keep an eye on her phrasing and, sometimes, contact TextRecruit to request changes.

"You have to train her on keywords," Mueller said. "Someone's got to give it the information and the knowledge."

Response rates increased by 15%, and hiring was 66% faster, according to Mueller's conference session.

The text recruiting tool also helps fight turnover by setting the stage for engaging with employees.

"It helps [us] keep ourselves internally accountable for giving that same experience all the way through if they've stayed with us," Mueller said.

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