Using SMS Messaging for Recruiting

Recruiting is a spontaneous process and having something to guide new employees through the employment process step by step is more helpful than ever. It will help to fill job openings faster, improve the overall experience for the candidate, and enable better compliance. With how texting works nowadays, it is a good way to remain connected with potential candidates.

Why is Text Recruiting Necessary?


Communication is important between vetting candidates.  If recruiters waste too much time struggling to coordinate with candidates for a good opportunity to talk, it will result in congestion in the hiring process.  Worse, this could give candidates the impression that the company has lost interest and in turn lose interest themselves.  There’s plenty of reason to look for solutions to this problem, and SMS could very well be the key.

Benefits of Texting Candidates


Texting can better work with integrating into existing recruitment software, allowing for much better back-and-forth communication as the employer keeps tabs on the candidate’s progress.  As mobile devices remain prevalent in people’s lives, so too will the messaging applications people frequently visit.  Any responses that do return are kept within the confines of a single app, making organization fairly simple.  Additionally, SMS messaging has tools for ensuring constant engagement, such as automated messaging and ease of use with scheduling applications such as calendars.  A message can contain a link that will then set up a physical interview reminder on the candidate’s schedule to avoid just completely ghosting them altogether.

Better Experience

Candidates have long since become familiar with chat applications such as Slack, Discord, Twitter, and Facebook.  It’s a low pressure environment that users will more likely feel comfortable in when approached with a job proposition.  Don’t forget that candidates need to feel like what is being offered is from an angle of transparency, communicability, and approachability.  Take the time needed to personalize these messages.

Faster Time to Fill

It’s no secret that text messages are not only more likely to be opened, but also share a much more compact reading format, usually taking much less time to read than an email would.  Time is valuable, and most people don’t necessarily have the convenience to make the most and meet recruiters.  Finally, people on average take much less time to compose a text message to respond than they take to compose a response email.  Overall, this whole exercise will mentally appear like less of a time devotion on the candidate’s part.  They can respond to the SMS on their own terms and feel like doing so takes minimal effort.

Compliance Purposes

Communications between employer and candidate need to be trackable for compliance purposes.  Text messages and the like are already in written form, providing for easier documentation for the conversation that has transpired.

Things to Avoid


There is undoubtedly going to be a learning curve to using SMS messaging to recruit future talent.  On mobile, there is a wide variety of platforms that may prove more or less successful.  Using the right software for message distribution can be a challenge too, and becoming familiar with such software should be prioritized.  Finally, people do have an expectation that a text message will receive an answer faster than an email, meaning mass SMS campaigns will undoubtedly receive plenty of responses.

Either way, this is uneasy ground to tread upon, and there’s no shortage of pitfalls that could lead to the company’s number being blocked or legitimacy being undermined.  Take careful note of the following:

  • Do Not Spam: There are some heavy legal implications around spamming messages.  Predatory practices are not healthy for either the company or the people who are trying to be recruited, and potential contacts will report a flood of messages, resulting in the company number being marked for spam.  There are some workarounds in such a situation, but just best to avoid these entirely.
  • Keep the Contacts List Clean: Thin out the number of contacts who definitely want to remain on that contact list.  Firstly, keep this confined to people who have signed up within the past couple of years or so, leaving people who are most definitely still looking for a job.  Then, hand off yes/no questions ascertaining the validity of the saved contact information and if they are definitely interested in career options (i.e., is {firstName, lastName} still using this number?).  Otherwise, you’re just wasting effort on reaching out to people who definitely will not make the time and money worth it.
  • Opt-Out Messaging:  It’s important that customers feel like they have some degree of control over what is sent to them.  Have messages that use keywords with ‘stop’ or ‘yes/no’ inputs so that the automated SMSs can stop rolling out to them.  Going back to the issue of compliance, this is one of those key issues to remember.

Closing Thoughts


This is gradually becoming an automated process.  As this becomes a developing trend, there will be a reduced amount of needed input to help thin out potential candidates for any given position.  Overall, this means less time wasted on just finding the right candidate, and more effort spend on either training or other endeavors.

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Dolan Cleary

Dolan Cleary

I am a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin - Stout and am now working as a web technician. Currently working within the marketing department.

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