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    How Jack in the Box Franchisees Use Text Recruiting in 2021

    Today, hiring is all about speed. If we do not engage our applicants and move them down the hiring process fast enough, we could have lost a potential quality candidate. Tune in as Austin Truong, Hiring Specialist at Workstream, shares more about how big brands like Jack in the Box franchisees have utilized text recruiting to hire quality candidates in the current pandemic.


    Tabitha: Thanks everybody for joining us. I have Austin from Workstream. Workstream is a text recruiting and hiring tool for local businesses and quick service restaurants. They help you to hire faster with texting and cut the time to engage, hire and onboard hourly workers, saving you time helping you hire the right talent faster. They've helped business and operators from Jamba, Chick-fil-A, McDonald's, Dunkin', Applebee's, Cinnabon, and they're here to help you increase your efficiencies by over 150 and increase the bottom line. The ultimate goal is really that cost savings and helping you get the right employees faster so I'm going to turn it over to Austin and let them tell us how to do this.

    Austin: Yeah thank you thank you so much and more importantly today, I would love to talk a little bit more about specifically how we're helping all the franchisees Jack in the Box included, especially during this really hard time of COVID and we found a big leverage during this time is by using texting and ways of having as little amount of contact when it comes to the hiring process.

    Workstream's Founding Story

    (01:10 - 02:22)

    Austin: So I'm Austin and I'm one of the leading hiring specialists here at Workstream,  to give a little bit of background, the company was actually started by our co-founder and CEO, Desmond Lim. He ran a Thai restaurant for about 10 years and ran into a lot of challenges when it comes to hiring so he designed and built the company to help this process. We're already working with a lot of brands as you've seen Jack in the Box, Firehouse Subs, Chick-fil-A and many more. Hoping to go over how COVID's going on right now, how that's affecting hiring, how you're able to leverage text recruiting, contactless hiring - what are ways that you can reduce and keep it safe when you're going through the hiring process, lastly go over case studies and a few slides about what we do at Workstream and some Q&A.

    How COVID Affects Hiring

    (02:23 - 05:30)

    Austin: We've been speaking to a lot of owners about the current landscape during COVID and it's been a tough time this year and hopefully going 2021 things will get a bit better but it's going to take some time as we're doing a few challenges. Some of the pain points we've heard talking with different owners is dealing with unemployment benefits, now it's really hard to get people to want to go into work, also being able to hire in a way that makes the applicant feel safe and also your team feel safe going through the process. When it comes to finding ways to help screen applicants before they get to the interview to reduce that contact and make sure that they are more highly qualified when they do show up for the in-person interview or hopefully even ways of finding ways to do virtual interviews from Zoom, from phone calls or finding ways to take advantage of some of the technologies here today and then lastly what we found right now is being able to schedule interviews, we found ways to getting interviews back and forth playing a little bit of that phone, email tag to getting interviews scheduled.

    Philip Hsia, Jack in the Box franchisee, used  Workstream and he really found a lot of value with the screening aspect, especially during COVID, is hey how can I make sure when people are showing up to the interviews that they are the most qualified applicants I'm not taking anyone through the door as they're trying to reduce that time in contact with people today.

    We're finding a big success right now with texting and not even just during COVID but this new generation, a lot of the team members you're looking to hire today are spending a lot of time on their cell phones right they're on their apps like Tik Tok, they're on the apps like Instagram everything is being done on the phone these days which is why the best way to engage with this new generation applicants, these team members is through texting. The research of what we found is that 98 of people open up their text messages versus 20 with their emails. A lot of times, people don't even have an email address today so it's a lot of times emails kind of falling apart with this new generation. Secondly when it comes to that response time, a response time to a text message is average 90 seconds people are reading and responding fast versus an email it ranges from 90 minutes to respond. Even when you are calling people, we always recommend to try to call people, but today there's a lot of spam calls which is reducing a lot of times applicants are actually picking up their cell phones. So what we're finding is you lead in with a text message first and say congrats, we're excited that you've applied and then give them a call, that's going to increase the chance that they're going to actually pick up the call. We're seeing texting as a great way as a first engagement to these applicants you're looking to hire and to really target this 18 and 34 year old bracket who are your current new potential employees, they are really adopting this new way of communication through texting.

    What is Text Recruiting

    (05:31 - 06:28)

    Austin: Text recruiting is being able to use text messages all the way from the beginning of the process when they first apply getting a text message right away and being able to communicate them through text. When it comes to the screening process, when they're going through a variety of questions they're able to upload a video introducing themselves so you can better get to know the candidate before the interview, all the way to the onboarding process that these applicants can now be onboarded through training videos, through any paperwork, they're able to do this all directly from their cell phone. As you're using this as your medium  to find applicants, you're going to find the generation of applicants that are tech savvy, they're great with technology, these are the people you do want to hire while reducing the time to hire significantly, because now you're not doing manual emails, manual calls, a system is helping you in that process.

    Contactless Hiring

    (06:29 - 09:07)

    Austin: Contactless hiring is an end-to-end hiring process all the way from sourcing, screening, scheduling, and all the way to onboarding where it can be done completely virtually. It makes sense for some parts to have that in-person contact if it means for the on-site interview but with the tools today, it is possible to find great candidates, all virtually today. So the sourcing piece means taking advantage of all the job boards out there, there's dozens of job boards that you can post to, make sure you're taking advantage of that building in referral programs through social media through your current employees, being able to invite them to go for a job giving those ways for benefits, also from the website. 

    So secondly from the screening process, as applicants are going through the process how are you actually trying to screen candidates and make sure to find the right candidates and make sure you're only interviewing with the candidates that are worth interviewing with. So being able to do that all through text message and also being able to do video introduction videos, a one-way video where applicants can upload and talk a little bit more about themselves, you can get a better idea of how they are even before you decide to schedule that interview.

    Next would be scheduling. When interviews are going to be scheduled, you're able to automatically have applicants self-schedule interviews, so rather than having team manually reach out, manually call, manually email, applicants are able to get a text message and automatically select a best time for the interview and being able to do that either of course on-site today but also take advantage of some of the technologies that we have to offer today such as using Zoom, using phone call, using some of these technologies that will allow you to do interviews even before in-person. Think about the potential time savings there, a lot of these times you're getting people who show up for interviews and sometimes they don't show up, sometimes it's going to save your team a bit of time if they're able to do an interview quickly over Zoom on that process.

    Lastly when it comes to onboarding, if there's any training videos or any onboarding employee paperwork, they're able to do this all directly on their cell phones through text messages and not having to deal with actual physical paper and being able to apply this ongoing process completely from a virtual standpoint.

    The Importance of Text Recruiting

    (09:08 - 10:25)

    Austin: What we've been seeing is it's all about speed today, these applicants when they're applying for a job at your Jack in the Box they're probably applying for 10, 15, to 20 other jobs all at once and whoever is the fastest restaurant to engage with them in the process, get them to schedule an interview, is likely going to be the person that will actually hire them in the process. So right now you might already be spending money posting on Indeed, no matter how much that budget is, if you're not responding back to the applicant within at least two days, hopefully the same day, you're just wasting it because there's a high chance that they've applied somewhere else and they've already responded back quicker and faster and they're already in the interview process. So what we're seeing is that speed is extremely important and texting is what they're going to be checking so if you're just emailing them they might not even check their email until maybe two three days from now. But if you're sending the text message right when they apply, they're going to for sure check that within that minute to a minute and a half time frame and you're going to move them to that interview process sooner than a competitor is going to be able to do that.


    (10:26 - 11:58)

    Austin: We're seeing a lot of franchises printing out text-to-apply posters. You're able to print this out and actually put this on your drive-through and as customers are coming in, they can quickly text this number and scan this QR code and actually apply for a job. What we've also seen to be very beneficial is that you're able to print out this poster and laminate it and when people are walking in for paper applications, you're able to just hand them this QR code and they can scan it. Everything will go through a texting system and it will keep everything very organized, so we've been seeing that very beneficial. 

    How to Maximize Screening

    (11:59 - 12:35)

    Austin: The best way is to ensure that when people are showing up to interviews, they are as qualified as possible to really be able to safely minimize the amount of in-person interaction to reduce that chances of COVID. So talking about really having administration questions and knockout questions, if they're already not going to be good fit, also eligibility when it comes to videos which can all be done through texting.

    Workstream's Customers

    (12:36 - 14:29)

    Austin: What I'd love to do now is briefly talk about some of the different franchisees that have been using  Workstream as a tool and found a lot of success. So Jack in the Box, Philip, he's been using a lot of functionalities - smart screening, text recruiting, a lot of the hiring automation. We also have case studies online talking about Philip's experience, we're working with Auntie Anne's, Cinnabon. New Jersey, Cinnabon, have over 48 locations using  Workstream, they've already sent out 28,540 text messages. The system is doing this all for them, so it's all done really automated, you're not having a general manager sending all these text messages, it's the system that is really doing it in the background almost as a machine for you. They've been able to source over 18,260 applicants to all the job boards we post to, so rather than using just one job board, Indeed, they have access to as many job boards as possible. Jamba also has 102,000 text messages sent. We've 228 locations with Jamba, they've been saving around 10.5 hours and we got a big group of franchisees using  Workstream from the Jamba group here. What I've heard more and more from owners these days, it's the saying of always be hiring right, there's never a time you're not hiring and if you find that golden team member, you'll find a place to fit him in a role if that means putting an extra position for him because people are the big investment that you want to invest in. We're hoping to build a machine in the background and continue helping you find the best talent.

    Workstream's Product

    (14:30 - 17:48)

    Austin: We're an all-in-one applicant dashboard when it comes to posting to all the major job boards and then as applicants apply for a job, they're going to be taken through essentially a process where they're going to get a text message. And if you went through that process, you're going to see that where everything will be organized and it will be a framework and system to keep applicants moving throughout the process all the way, so you can get an interview scheduled before another potential restaurant is able to hire them before you. We're posting to all the major job boards, so Indeed, LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, Glassdoor. You don't want to limit your ability to actually have candidates only from one place, you want to widen that pool as much as possible while having screening questions to make sure that you are finding the right applicants out of all the people that are showing up. We built in with AI where it helps you find the best job boards to post to at the right time for you and it's built for high volume workforce so when you're dealing with consistent hiring on on a day-to-day basis, on a month-to-month basis, that consistently need a system that has a two-way texting process where you're able to text the applicant directly in the system, no need to give up your personal cell phone, when it comes to onboarding videos, all the way to sending out signatures for W-4s I-9s and even your employee handbooks. These applicants will have experience to do it all paperless directly on their cell phone and really that contactless hiring. When it comes to onboarding applicants we're going to have analytics for you to see how well your hiring is doing when it comes to the time and also which job boards you're getting the most results from. You're going to have all this data to make sure that wherever you're putting your money to when it comes to advertisement, you're getting the biggest bang for your buck because you're finding the best employees from these specific job boards.

    We're backed by some of the top investors from Joe Montana, he's a quarterback, from Jay-Z all the way to James Hardin, to Zoom's CEO, Eric Yuan, to Yelp's CEO. So a variety of investors have believed what we're doing and we really believe in solving technology problems for a space that's not solved. A lot of technology right now is being solved for the salary workers, for the the big tech companies. But we really want to help these hourly workers space where that's majority of America's economy is actually from hourly workers. So our goal is to really help with these problems. Some of the customers we work with include Panera, Seven Peaks, quite a bit of more brands I haven't even listed here but I would love to connect.

    Jack in the Box Partnership

    (17:49 - 18:28)

    Austin: We do have an exclusive partnership with Jack in the Box National Franchise Associates, we have a special exclusive deal for the association members so if anyone's interested in learning more about what we do and how we're helping other franchisees, please go to and you're going to be able to go through that link and we'll know you're coming from the association from this webinar and we'd love to chat. If you do have any questions, you can contact me. My email is so feel free to email me and I'll send my phone number, you can text me and call me at 712-5646. I'd love to chat with each of all of the franchisees or anyone in Jack in the Box corporate.


    1. I'm currently already posting on Indeed, how is Workstream different?

    • A big difference is we're more of a partner with Indeed where right now if you post on Indeed directly, when you get applicants coming in, you're manually having to reach out to them so you have to either call them, you either have to email them, and a lot of times you're taking maybe a day or two days to actually reach out to them. But when you're going through the  Workstream system and it posts on Indeed for you, that's when it goes out to Indeed and when they apply for a job they're going to get a text message right when they apply and it's going to go through that entire texting screening process. But because it's engaging with them right away, that increases the chance that they're actually going to convert to becoming an interview and hopefully you'll be able to hire them versus if you're doing it manually it might take some time for you to reach out and really engage with them and specifically with the job boards since we're actually posting to all the major job boards, you don't have to log into each individual job board. It's able to post on all the job boards for you. 

    2.  How does this work with the payroll vendor?

    • It really depends on which payroll you're using. We're working closely with a few different payroll organizations out there to make sure that we are integrated and we can seemingly  transfer that data if it's the w-4s i-9s and be able to transfer that over to your payroll system.

    3. You guys mentioned that many Chick-fil-A are using Workstream, what are they doing differently?

    • What we're seeing with Chick-fil-A is as you mentioned, they care a lot about their service and a lot about the employees they hire, that 15 to 20 second video introduction has been huge for them. What they did was they actually made those video upload part of that process optional so meaning that the people who actually decided to upload a video, these Chick-fil-A owners knew exactly that hey this is an applicant that really wants to work here because he's putting the extra effort and by seeing that you can really stack and prioritize which applicant based on if they've recorded that video so that's a big thing what Chick-fil-A is doing.

    4. Do you handle benefit offering enrollment for those who are eligible?

    • We're currently working with a few payrolls right now - we're working really closely with ADP and we have a few others on the map such as Paylocity and Paycom. We'd happy to talk with you directly and there's ways we can work together to make sure that it does integrate with your guys' payroll system.

    5. Do we have to go to the site to see for new applicants or do we get notified through text?

    • Yes, you can get notified through text message right when the applicant comes in and also an email so you're able to review the applicants on the website. But if you'd like to review it on mobile, we also have a mobile app for iPhones and Androids where you can easily review applicants on your phone. I know a lot of GMs don't have access to the computer when they're working so you can really easily review applicants on the phone too. 

    Want to learn more? Drop us an email at or contact us today!

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    Austin Truong

    Hiring specialist at Workstream. I’m a BIG optimist. I started my journey as a software engineer, then an entrepreneur, then I fell in love with B2B sales (3+ years). My passion lies in understanding business challenges and finding solutions. I’ve consistently attained quota at multiple B2B SaaS Tech Startups. I approach sales with a problem-solving mentality, developing repeatable processes. I strive in early-stage start-ups, the unknown, the grit, the scrappiness - I love it. I love to read, recommend me a book!

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