The vast majority of us rely on our mobile phones to keep connected and informed. We don't like to confess this, but 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 to communicate with customers and employees. 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, where it can be used to grab the attention of potential talent and help administer the hiring process. Here, you'll learn all about text recruiting, including some dos and don'ts when writing your recruiting text message, plus text message templates to guide you.
What is text recruiting?
Text message recruiting is where a recruiter uses SMS to contact job hunters about employment opportunities, interviews and follow-ups.
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 organise candidates based on their skill set 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.
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 worth also noting that job candidates seem to appreciate this channel. One survey reports that 73% of job seekers want to receive targeted jobs via text message. The same study also suggests that job searches and applications are increasingly made from smartphones nowadays.
Other benefits of text recruiting include:
Better candidate targeting compared to posting to the masses via job boards.
More cost-effective and better value for money compared to advertising on job sites.
Easy interview arrangements as you can send confirmations and reminders quickly via text.
- Improved engagement and candidate experience – text messages get better response rates than email, plus communication appears more personal sent via text.
How to write a recruiting text message
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. However, there's a bit more to texting candidates than you might think. Here are some dos and don'ts to help guide your messaging strategy.
Text recruiting dos and don'ts
Do – get permission from candidates before texting them. This is to ensure you comply with data protection and SMS telemarketing regulations (such as the TCPA and GDPR).
Do – personalise 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 you're texting them.
Do – be polite and professional, yet human. The candidate needs to know the recruiting text message is coming from a real person, not a bot.
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 (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. Call them and 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 recruitment process, take a look at these examples below:
Job opportunity text:
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?
Interview scheduling text:
Hi [First Name], thank you for your job application. I'd like to invite you for an interview on [Date] at [Time]. Please reply to confirm.
Interview reminder text:
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:
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:
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.
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 short, concise communications like promoting specific jobs, confirming job applications, sending interview reminders, or maintaining contact with potential candidates.
Text recruiting can also enhance the candidate experience – SMS is a direct and personal channel where job seekers appreciate being contacted.