How To Use Text Recruiting To Your Advantage

Man sending text message and sms with smartphone.

When it comes time to hire someone new, you can spend hours searching through resumes and finding the perfect candidate. Too many times, you contact hires only to not 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 when you’re looking to hire someone new. 

Relatively new, text message recruiting is the use of text messages to contact new recruits. Though it may sound unprofessional at first thought, it’s actually become one of the most popular ways to contact potential hires. A lot of people ask, is it okay to text a recruit? The answer is yes. According to research¹, approximately 20% of emails are opened these days – meaning the emails you sent to those on job boards? They’re most likely going unopened. That’s why companies are turning toward text recruiting. In fact, 80% of businesses² are using text messages in some form. 

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 foodservice 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. 81% of Americans³ 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 these days are looking for deeper connections rather than the impersonal emails that they’re used to. 

It can help get easy questions out of the way

For industries where there are 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 ends up eating away 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 go through 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’re going to 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 a lot of individuals within a short amount of time, text recruiting is quicker, more cost-efficient, and easier.

Cons of Text Recruiting

It can seem unprofessional

Depending on the industry, it can seem unprofessional to shoot off a text rather than an email. Some people may view it as impersonal or think that you’re mass-texting just 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 come off 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 ends up hurting you in the long run.

When is it Appropriate to Text a Recruit?

The most common question when it comes to 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 for when using text recruiting is the time of day you’re sending out 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, and it may make some candidates feel comfortable as well. Here are some tips to 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 Template

When you set out to start texting recruits, you may be lost as to what to actually 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’ve looked over your resume and think you’d be a great fit for (position) at (company). Do you have time to discuss more details about the job?

Pre-screening before an interview

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

Hi (name). I’m (your name) from (company) following up about the application you sent in for (position). Before in-person interviews, we ask a few screening questions to see if each candidate is qualified for (position). You can answer them whenever you’re available. Can I text them here?

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.

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.

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 a partner, we can assist your company with its unique hiring needs. 

We offer a variety of solutions, ranging from Direct Hire Placement, contract-to-hire recruiting, and contract staffing. 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!

Resources and Sources

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.