Many companies are using recruiting texting in their hiring operations.

The open rates for marketing texts are legendary. Some studies put the text open rate above 90%! Compare that with around 45% for emails.

No Communication is More Immediate

Consider this: if a person has set up texting notifications, they can see a preview without opening the message. If the text is short, they can probably see the whole message in the notification window.

Many people allow notifications even when their screen is locked.

If you want immediacy, texting is clearly the way to go.

One caveat; you can’t apply all marketing texting statistics to recruitment texting. They aren’t the same thing. Yes, recruitment has a marketing component. But once a candidate applies, it becomes a form of business communication.

This fact should guide your recruiting texting policies.

How Do You Use Recruiting Texting?

Let’s discuss the specific ways recruiters use texting.

1. Hiring Process Updates

When a candidate has applied, they are in your pipeline. But your applicant has probably applied at several different companies. Interact frequently (but briefly) so you don’t get lost in the shuffle.

Hi Chase, this is Madison at Pro-Tech. Thanks for applying! Is it okay if I text you going forward?

2. Engaging With Your Talent Pipeline

You have a database of applicants in your ATS. Many of them almost made the cut the last time they applied. Keep your talent pipeline engaged for future opportunities. Each quick text strengthens your relationship.

Hey John. This is Lisa at Pinnacle Solutions. How are things? I thought you might enjoy our new ebook on IT interview tips. [LINK]

3. Appointment Confirmation

Recruiters who use self-serve interview scheduling should confirm appointments. You want your candidate to know that their interview appointment is on the books. They may prefer a text over an email.

Hi David. This is Brett at Springfield Home Health. Your interview is set for June 4 at 11:00 a.m. Let me know if you have questions. Thanks!

4. Day-of-Interview Instructions

The morning of the interview, send a text with a map link. Include parking or building access instructions.

Hello Charlotte, Amber from KBY. Here are the directions to our office. [MAP LINK] Use visitor parking on the north side. I will meet you at the main entrance. See you at 2:00!

5. Cold Texting Passive Candidates

Many companies don’t allow cold texting for recruiting. I included it in this list because some recruiters have success with it. You will have to decide if it’s right for your organization.

Tread carefully. Do you know anyone who likes cold sales calls?

This person has not given you permission to text them. Ask yourself these questions;

  • Is this person actively searching for a job?
  • Has cold emailing worked for this type of position?
  • Am I willing to risk driving this potential candidate away?
  • Is this a good time to send this?

Hello Katelyn—I saw you on LinkedIn. I’m Mark Shepherd, hiring manager at WCT Enterprises. Hope you don’t mind the text. We have a Data Analyst position open. Can I send an email with the specifics?

Create a Texting Policy

When everyone is going rogue when it comes to texting candidates, it creates more problems than it solves.

If your hiring team is using texting, create a formal policy. It will help you reap the most benefits from the communication medium without creating headaches you don’t need.

This article explains how to create a recruitment texting policy: 5 Best Practices For Recruitment Texting: How To Maintain Professionalism

Make sure legal signs off on your texting policy. (Better safe than sorry…)

Use an Applicant Tracking System With Texting

Advanced applicant tracking systems (ATS) with texting offer many advantages. You write and send your messages in the software. The system saves the conversations. Everyone on the hiring team can see the history.

Several members of your hiring team can communicate with one voice. If you prefer, you can use an actual keyboard and a large screen. This makes it easier to spot spelling or grammatical errors.

If your hiring team is not using recruiting texting yet, it’s time to consider this form of communication. It can shorten hiring time by several days. You can reach candidates that may not otherwise engage.

It’s unlikely you will be competitive if you don’t incorporate texting to some degree in your hiring process.

By Liz Strikwerda