Recruiting, Technology

Texting Recruiting

By using short message service (SMS), the official name for text messaging, and multimedia message service (MMS), messages that support short videos, single images or slideshows, and audio clips, recruiters are interacting with job candidates in ways that are proving convenient and highly effective.

Source: Tom Merton / OJO Images / Getty Images Plus


Approximately three-quarters of Americans, 77 percent, now own a smartphone, according to the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan fact tank. Among younger adults, 18 to 29 years of age, that number is 92 percent.
Connecting with job candidates, especially younger candidates, using SMS and MMS makes a lot of sense.

Following Best Practices

Nevertheless, it’s important to realize that texting recruiting is still professional communication. Therefore, best practices apply.
First, make sure a candidate is open to receiving text messages from you. Then, respect the candidate’s time. This means keeping messages short and texting only during business hours.
Additionally, pay attention to spelling and grammar. Remember, any contact with candidates is professional communication. With this in mind, consider tone as well. Keep your messages friendly, but don’t be presumptuous.
Finally, before using a template for a standard message, make sure it reflects your style. You don’t want to establish a rapport with a candidate and end your communication with a “you didn’t get the job” canned message.

Utilizing Additional Technology

There are a number of solutions on the market that help facilitate texting recruiting.
TextUs, a provider of business text messaging solutions, for example, has a staffing and recruiting product that allows recruiters to text any candidate directly from a work landline and communicate on a computer, as with instant messaging. The idea is to streamline the process, and save time.
The time savings is significant, according to TextUs, but so too is the response rate. The company indicates that average phone response rates are 1 to 3 percent, average email response rate is 12 percent, and average text message response rate is 35 percent.
One point TextUs makes at its website is worth noting: “Candidates often feel uncomfortable checking emails about new positions while at work. Text messaging eliminates this discomfort by efficiently delivering the message directly to the candidates’ personal cell phones.”
The use of a personal device in a business setting does offer more privacy, which suggests recruiting via text will continue to gain traction. Streamlining in connection with related processes is also likely.
Another texting recruiting solutions provider, TextRecruit, for example, has a platform that allows for integration with a company’s applicant tracking system (ATS), so that candidates are automatically added. It also has a feature whereby a text message campaign can be created in connection with every job posting.
As texting recruiting becomes mainstream, look for solutions providers and talent acquisition professionals to find additional ways to integrate this method of candidate communicate.

Paula Paula Santonocito, Contributing Editor for Recruiting Daily Advisor, is a business journalist specializing in employment issues. She is the author of more than 1,000 articles on a wide range of human resource and career topics, with an emphasis on recruiting and hiring. Her articles have been featured in many global and domestic publications and information outlets, referenced in academic and legal publications as well as books, and translated into several languages.