How to Use Text Recruiting to Your Advantage

Man sending text message and sms with smartphone.

When hiring someone new, you can spend hours searching through resumes and finding the perfect candidate. Too many times, you contact hires only not to hear back. So then, you invest more time finding additional recruits to contact. But what if there was a better way? Text recruiting, or text message recruiting, can be a powerful tool!

Text message recruiting is the use of text messages to communicate with candidates. Though texting may sound too casual when you first consider it, it’s become one of the most popular ways to contact potential hires. A lot of managers wonder, is it okay to text a recruit? The answer is yes. Only about one in five emails are actually opened, which means if you’re still relying on getting noticed in a prospective candidate’s inbox, the odds are stacked against you. With texting, on the other hand, 80% of users read the notification within five minutes of receiving a message. That’s why more companies are turning toward text recruiting to attract candidates. 

So, is it an effective form of recruiting? Could it help your business secure potential hires? Read our ultimate guide below to using text recruiting, including pros and cons, when it’s appropriate to text hires, and how to use text recruiting to your advantage.

Who Can Use Text Recruiting?

Any number of businesses can use text recruiting, but there are some industries where it’s more standard. Many times, it’s used for high-volume businesses like the food service industry, retail, nursing, customer service, and other similar jobs. However, there are also many professional businesses that are now using it and have seen the benefits of text recruiting.

As with anything, there are both benefits and disadvantages to text recruiting. 85% of American adults own a smartphone. So, nearly everyone you try to get in contact with can be reached through their cell phone. If you’re looking to test text recruiting, here are the pros and cons:

Pros of Text Recruiting

Texting can feel personal

When text recruiting is done correctly, it can feel incredibly personal. We’re all on our phones quite often, and there’s more of an informal feeling with a text message rather than an email. This can work to your advantage, as many people are looking for deeper connections rather than the impersonal emails they’re used to. 

It can help get easy questions out of the way

For industries with specific shifts or skill sets needed, it can take a long time to weed out the potential candidates from those who aren’t qualified. While you can send out many emails or have phone calls asking each candidate about these different things, it wastes the time of your current employees or recruiters. Instead, your employees could have multiple text conversations occurring at one time, in which they could ask simple questions about skill sets and available working times.

If someone isn’t available for the shift you need, then you don’t have to go through the process of interviewing them. Or, if they don’t have the specific skill set you need, you can remove them from the interview pool.

You can hire a service to do it for you

To save you even more time, you can hire a service to do it for you. Just like there are email recruiters out there, text recruitment companies also exist. And they’re fairly cheap. Your company could pay for a recruitment service to send out these text messages and review the different candidates to sort through who will and won’t be in your hiring pool.

There’s a higher response rate

While just 20% of emails get read, 98% of text messages get read. For those potential hires that you email, you may lose some to a spam filter, others may read the message and forget to respond, and others may not open the emails at all. But if you send a text message, you can almost guarantee that they will open it.

Those who use text recruiting have found that there is a much higher response rate when they send a text rather than an email. If you need to hire many individuals within a short time, text recruiting is quicker, more cost-efficient, and easier.

Cons of Text Recruiting

It can seem unprofessional

Depending on the industry, shooting off a text rather than an email can seem unprofessional. Some people may view it as impersonal or think that you’re mass-texting to get a response back.

It’s hard to get the message across

You can’t say much through text messages. Because of this, it can be hard to really get your point across. The message may be confusing for some, and you may not have enough space to include all the information you need to include.

The replies are numerous

If you hire a service to send the text messages out for you, or you have a lot of people to hire, you may become overwhelmed with the replies. They’ll come in quickly, and keeping up with that can be hard for someone who is doing all the hiring. Make sure there is a dedicated person that can handle the replies.

It’s different than email

You can’t say the same things you say in an email to someone that you’re texting. There’s not enough space, nor is the tone the same. Some people will try to mimic emails, which only hurts you in the long run.

When is it Appropriate to Text a Recruit?

The most common question regarding text recruiting is when to use it. Can you text a potential hire from the beginning of the process? It really depends on your industry and your goals of hiring. Make sure the person is okay with receiving texts. This can be discussed on an application. If you’re trying to have an interview over text, it’s not going to work. Text recruiting should be used as a pre-screening tactic to determine whether or not the person is eligible to interview.

Another thing you need to watch when using text recruiting is the time of day you’re sending the texts. You don’t want to send texts too early in the morning or after working hours. Most people suggest sending out the texts around noon. Again, this could be difficult if only one person is tasked with the job. If you hire a service to do it for you, they can pre-schedule all the texts to be sent out at an appropriate time.

Related: The Do’s and Don’ts of Communicating with Candidates

How to Get the Most Out of Text Recruiting

There are ways that text recruiting can set you apart from the crowd. Because most people prefer text to email, you can use it within your industry to stand out. You’ll look more modern by using text recruiting, which may also make some candidates feel comfortable. Here are some tips for using text recruiting to your advantage:

  • Personalize the texts using the candidate’s name so you don’t look like you’re sending out mass texts
  • Keep the texts short and sweet
  • Use plain language and nix the heavy jargon
  • Give them only the information they need; this is not the time for flowery language
  • Keep it informal but professional
  • Less is more – you don’t need emojis

Related: What is Mobile Recruiting & How to Use it Effectively

Text Recruiting Templates

When you set out to start texting recruits, you may be lost as to what actually to say to them. What you say in the text will depend on your goals of hiring. Are you cold calling or following up on an application? Depending on this, here are a few templates you can use.

Cold calling from a job board

If you’re cold calling from a job board, you’ll want to use a template similar to this:

Hi, (name). I reviewed your resume and think you’d be a great fit for (position) at (company). Do you have time this week to discuss the job?

Pre-screening before an interview

If you have someone who has already applied for your job, you can use a template similar to this:

(Name), this is (your name) from (company) following up on your recent application. I have a few questions for you. Can I text them here?

Scheduling interviews

Scheduling interviews via text message can streamline many of the back-and-forth that often occurs with finding an appropriate time slot. When setting up interviews via text, it’s best to keep it simple and offer only one or two options at a time, like this:

(Name), we want to schedule an interview with you for our (position) opening. Are you available on (date) at (time)? 

Following up with someone

Let’s say you had someone apply, but then you haven’t heard back from them. A simple text can tell you whether or not they are still interested. A template like this can help:

Hi (name). This is (your name) from (company). Just following up to see if you’re still interested in (position). If so, I’d love to connect.

Onboarding information to hired candidates

Once a candidate is hired, text messaging is a great way to build a strong relationship and keep the line of communication open before their first day. You can use text messaging to share onboarding materials like this:

(Name), we’re pleased to have you on the team! Before your start date, please review our new hire checklist at your convenience here: (link)

Or, open the door for the new hire to ask any questions that come up during their first few days on the job with a prompt like the following:

We’re excited to have you onboard, (name). I wanted to check in to see how your first week is going. Are there any questions I can answer?

Once you get started, you’ll likely begin to think of many other types of messages that can fit within your hiring process. Just be sure to track and analyze the results of your recruiting texts continuously to ensure your messaging is clear and effective. 

Top Text Recruiting Software


Rectxt is a simple yet powerful SMS-based candidate messaging platform. Built specifically for recruiting, it offers several staffing-specific features that recruiters love, like the ability to click-to-text a candidate from within your ATS. It’s also built for safety, helping maintain the security of candidates’ information while keeping your company in compliance with all CAN-SPAM requirements. 

Sense Messaging

One of the most compelling features of text recruiting is the ability to have two-way conversations, meaning with the right software, you can not only message candidates but allow them to message you back. Sense Messaging is a platform that allows you to switch seamlessly between mass broadcasts and personalized one-on-one interactions. Conversations look and feel no different than text threads between friends, which helps build rapport and boost candidate engagement. 


If you’re looking for simplicity, SimpleTexting is hard to beat. It’s quick to get up and running, and the straightforward interface allows you to tap out your first message to candidates in a matter of minutes. This platform also simplifies analysis, enabling you to easily see how many recipients clicked links or engaged with your messages’ content.


Brazen’s SMS messaging is part of a larger recruiting communications software suite, including tools for onsite chat, virtual career fairs, and more. One of our favorite features of this platform is its sequencing capabilities, which allow you to send messaging that’s dependent on the candidate’s actions. For example, if they click a link and complete a pre-hire assessment, a candidate would be sent message A. If three days pass and they haven’t clicked the link, they’ll receive message B. This allows you to create highly customized sequences that greatly enhance the candidate experience.

iCIMS (formerly Text Recruit)

Text Recruit was an early and popular text message recruiting platform that was acquired by HR giant iCIMS in 2018. It empowers hiring teams to easily integrate SMS messaging within a larger candidate communication strategy, including live chat, an AI-powered chatbot, and more. It also comes with an added bonus for your existing staff–an internal messaging system that allows for secure text communications between employees and HR. 

Text Recruiting: Is it Worth it?

Text recruiting may seem off if you’re used to email, but it’s definitely worth exploring. Whether you’re recruiting candidates off of job boards or just following up with those who have applied to your position, texting is easy, convenient, and much quicker than traditional recruitment methods. In an era where virtually everyone has a mobile device at arm’s reach, text recruiting allows recruiters to tap into the immediacy and accessibility that it offers.

The method is useful for engaging with Millennial and Gen Z candidates who prefer quick, straightforward communication. Text recruiting meets these prospects where they are, offering a level of directness and speed that emails and phone calls can’t match. Candidates appreciate the ability to respond at their convenience without the formality and time commitment that other communication forms often require. The informal nature of texting can also foster a more authentic and comfortable exchange between recruiters and candidates.

Engage With Experts to Lead Your Text Recruiting Efforts

Our team of recruiters and headhunters have vast experience using text recruiting to attract and retain top candidates. As partners, we can assist your company with its unique hiring needs. 

We offer a variety of solutions, ranging from direct placement, contract-to-hire staffing, and contract recruiting. Our agency is fully committed to finding your company the most qualified and culture-fit talent for your open positions.
Schedule a free consultation today!

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Peter Porebski

About Peter Porebski

Peter Porebski is the Operations Manager at 4 Corner resources. A graduate of the University of Central Florida he has over 10 years of operations and process improvement experience with 7 being in the Human resources and staffing industry. In previous roles he worked to manage and analyze production flow trends and determine areas of improvement in quality control for the commercial retail industry. His areas of interest include web development, information technology, data analysis and reporting. He lives in Orlando, Florida with his wife and two cats.