The vast majority of us rely on our mobile phones to keep connected and informed. As much as we'd hate to admit it, we check our devices regularly from morning till night – the average smartphone user does this 58 times a day, in fact!
Heavy mobile phone usage is one of the reasons why many businesses turn to SMS messaging to communicate with customers and employees alike. SMS is a direct messaging channel – texts arrive with a ping in the home screen notification panel and usually stay there until they're opened.
SMS works well in many different sectors, including recruitment. Text-based recruiting can be used to grab the attention of potential talent and help carry out the hiring process. Here, you'll learn all about text recruiting. We've included some essential dos and don'ts for SMS recruitment, along with some recruiting text message examples to guide you along your hiring journey.
What is text-based recruiting?
Text message recruiting is where a recruiter uses SMS to contact job hunters about employment opportunities, interviews, and follow-ups. You can also ask candidates to text to apply for a job opening. With or without switching to MMS, a job candidate can go so far as to send their CV in text message format, making it quickly and easily viewable on the recruiter's phone. If you want to keep things casual or get through the basic screening questions faster, you can also follow the initial application with a text interview.
In a recruitment company where talent spotters have several jobs to fill on any given day, it makes sense to use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to manage and organize candidates based on their skill sets and job preferences. Depending on the system, it may be possible to integrate an SMS API or text recruiting software to simplify and automate certain text messaging campaigns.
Messente, for instance, integrates with more than 4,000 apps through Zapier, including Personio, Monday.com, Bullhorn CRM, and Workable, for seamless, professional SMS recruiting. The bulk messaging service can be used to circulate all sorts of candidate outreach messages, such as a general "open call for new talent" text message or a more specific "we are hiring" text message detailing all your requirements. The two-way messaging capabilities can be used to receive SMS job application responses from the candidate pool. There are many other ways to leverage SMS, as you'll see in the recruitment message examples discussed ahead.
Why use text messages for recruiting job candidates?
Time is of the essence when recruiting for some job positions. A text message is sent and delivered virtually instantly. Transmission relies on a cellular connection instead of the internet, making it a reliable and stable form of communication.
Text messages are also very effective in getting noticed – SMS is a somewhat personal channel, usually reserved for conversations with friends and family. That said, open rates are as high as 98%, compared to 21.14% for email (in the Recruitment and Staffing sector).
Texts are harder to ignore, too – we simply don't get as many of them as we do emails. The average professional has 200 emails in their inbox, all competing for attention. What's more, they get another 120 emails each day but only respond to 25% of them.
It's also worth noting that job candidates seem to appreciate the text messaging channel. One survey reports that 73% of job seekers want to receive targeted jobs via text message. The same study also suggests that job search efforts and applications are increasingly made from smartphones nowadays.
Let's talk about a few more benefits of using a recruiting texting service.
By sending recruitment text messages, you can achieve better candidate targeting compared to posting to the masses via a job board.
A text-to-recruit system can be more cost-effective and give you better value for your money compared to advertising on job sites.
You can make easy interview process arrangements. Send confirmations and reminders quickly via the relevant form of job interview text message.
Leveraging a text recruiting platform can improve engagement and candidate experience. Text messages get better response rates than email, plus communication appears more personal when sent via text.
How to write a recruiting text message to job seekers
Text messages can be used for various aspects of the recruitment process, including promoting job opportunities to active and passive candidates, scheduling interviews, confirming a job offer, and nurturing talent. You can even use text message/SMS for job interview conduction. However, there's a bit more to texting candidates than you might think. Here are some dos and don'ts for HR texting to help guide your messaging strategy and clarify the basic rules on how to text someone about a job.
Text-based hiring process dos and don'ts
Do – get permission. Before you text candidates, make sure you obtain their express consent. This is to ensure you comply with data protection and SMS telemarketing regulations, such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Do – personalize your text message and ensure it's relevant to the candidate. Greet them using their name and include your own name and company. Explain why they're getting a recruitment message from you.
Do – be polite and professional, yet human. The candidate needs to know the recruiting SMS message is coming from a real person, not a chatbot.
Do – respond quickly to inbound text messages. This shows the candidate you value them and want to help them succeed in finding the perfect job.
Do – use SMS in conjunction with email when you need to send detailed information, such as full job descriptions or company background information. Follow up by SMS to ensure your email has been received.
Don't – text job seekers who've said they don't want to receive text messages (or have since opted out). This could land you in trouble with regulatory bodies.
Don't – send too many recruiting text messages to candidates (you don't want your messages to be seen as spammy). Reserve texts for job openings you know the candidate will be ideal for.
Don't – use too many emojis, as this can look unprofessional. Use one at most, preferably in a follow-up text, once you've got a rapport with the candidate.
Don't – use text messages to inform a candidate they've been unsuccessful. Phone calls are best for this purpose. Give them verbal feedback instead.
Recruitment text message templates
To give you more of an idea of the ways you can use text messaging for the hiring process, take a look at these recruiting text message examples below.
General open invitation to apply for a job template:
Dear [First Name]. We loved seeing you at the career fair. [Company name] is hiring for multiple roles! See details and apply here: [URL]
Sample text message for job opportunity:
Hi [First Name], Sara here from Harper's Recruitment. I have an opportunity for the role of [Job Title] that you'd be perfect for. Could we have a quick chat?
In-person interview invitation text message:
Hi [First Name], thank you for your job application. I'd like to invite you for an interview on [Date] at [Time] at our offices. Please reply to confirm.
Text message for job interview online:
Hi [First Name], thank you for your job application. I'd like to invite you for a video interview via Zoom on [Date] at [Time]. Please reply to confirm.
Text interview scheduling template:
There's no fixed formula for this. But here's something you can start with.
Hi [First Name], we loved your application! Is it okay if I ask you a few questions here? No lengthy details. It'll take a few minutes.
Basic interview questions that don't require detailed answers can easily be asked over SMS in the form of an informal or semi-formal text-based interview.
Interview reminder text message:
Hi [First Name], just a friendly reminder that your scheduled job interview is tomorrow at [Time]. The client looks forward to meeting you.
Reschedule interview text request:
Hi [First Name], I need to reschedule tomorrow's interview to next week instead due to unforeseen circumstances. Can you do [Date] at [Time], please?
Follow-up text message sample:
Hello [First Name], I've just sent over the full job description to you by email. Please let me know if you haven't received it.
Follow-up text message after interview:
Hello [First Name], thank you for interviewing with us. We'll keep you posted. In the meantime, do watch this space: [Company Social Media URL]
Job offer text message:
Hello [First Name], after an amazing interview round, we're happy to offer you the role of [Job Title]. Let's get on a quick call to discuss the details.
Another sample text message for hired applicant:
Hello [First Name], your last interview round had us hyped! Congratulations and welcome to the team! When can you start?
This type of text creates an opportunity for a more casual back-and-forth between the recruiter and the candidate.
Rejection text message example:
While it's not ideal to communicate bad news about a job via text, here's a gentle way to do it if you absolutely need to.
Hi [First Name]. After a rigorous interview process, we've selected another candidate for the [Job Title] role. Thank you for your time, and good luck!
You can also include some quick interview feedback or offer to get on a call with the applicant to share the interviewer's detailed comments.
Hi [First Name], as a past applicant with us, I thought you might like our latest blog on how to find the top companies to work for. [URL]
How to get started with text recruiting
In the world of recruitment and HR, text messaging can be a game-changer, saving time, money, and hassle during the recruiting process. It's ideal for sending various types of recruitment messages, from promoting specific jobs and confirming job applications to sending phone interview reminders and maintaining long-term contact with potential candidates for the future.
Text recruiting can also enhance the candidate experience – SMS is a direct and personal channel where job seekers appreciate being contacted.