SMS for HR: How can HR Incorporate SMS to Reach Employees?


Last year’s ‘Beast from the East’ created a HR nightmare, with many employees left wondering if their workplace was open whilst many employers struggled to communicate with their teams.


So how can HR teams quickly get in touch with all members of the team in an emergency? And how can they ensure that their messages are received?

This is where SMS comes in. Texting is a quick, effective and reliable channel to broadcast important messages to your teams. Using an online platform which allows bulk text messages to be sent instantly, delivering your message to employees but without having to stand out among the hundreds of emails and telephone calls staff receive in a day.

We often talk about the fact that SMS messages have a 98% open rate  - a statistic which shows a benefit of SMS for HR too, making it the perfect channel for employee engagement. When HR need to contact an employee they often need to do so urgently, or because the message is important. It’s no good if the message gets ignored or lost amongst the large volume of work and spam emails employees receive in a day. The high open rates of SMS means that HR can feel secure in the knowledge that their message will get seen and real-time delivery reporting confirms that the message has been delivered.

And it’s not just emergencies where SMS can be useful (we’ve previously written about how SMS can be used in crisis situations) – here’s a brief look at some of the situations where texting can assist HR teams.


Many members of staff or contractors do not have company email addresses, or computer access, so are unable to check email throughout their shift. But this doesn’t mean that these employees don’t need to be contacted – in many situations HR will need to schedule appointments and performance reviews (among other things). The fact that most people carry their phone on them - and at very least check it during their breaks - make it an effective tool for arranging these appointments.


It’s widely accepted that the more motivated and engaged an employee is, the more productive they are. Using SMS for HR to send messages of encouragement to staff, or acknowledging good work creates a positive culture, where employees feel valued. Particularly where employees aren’t office based -- Sales Reps who are out on the road for example -- a simple text message advising how close they are to hitting their next target or congratulating them for passing a certain milestone can be both engaging and motivating.


Many HR teams know the struggle of trying to get employees to attend various training sessions, which can be particularly frustrating as these are often tied to compliance and professional development goals. Sending a well-timed text message reminder on the day of the training can help engage staff and jog their memory about the session. And unlike email, the message is less likely to be read and then forgotten, or worse still, completely ignored.


One of the biggest challenges facing HR teams is the process of recruiting and onboarding new employees. Texting prospective candidates to arrange interviews or schedule a call can be valuable, as many of the candidates you’re considering will be at work so it’s much easier for them to respond to you via a text message than it is to step away from their desks for a call. Similarly, when onboarding new recruits, texting can be a simple and effective way to communicate information about key training dates, forms required and even send them a Google Maps location to where they need to be on their first day.


Organising large numbers of employees can be a logistical nightmare. When there are last minute changes to the schedule this can create chaos, however SMS can allow HR to quickly contact staff members to let them know the changes so that everyone is on the same page. And in the case where a staff member advises they can’t attend work at the last minute, SMS can be a powerful tool for finding a quick replacement.

Using SMS for HR provides a whole host of benefits to Human Resources Managers. For a no obligation demo of our Mobile Messenger service, sign up here and a member of our team will get in touch to arrange.

Megan Dickie