Back to blogs

Mastering the Art of Candidate Messaging: 6 Winning Strategies

Posted by
Craig Balkin
July 27, 2023

64% of job seekers prefer text messaging as an efficient way for recruiters to communicate with them.

Effective candidate messaging not only helps organizations to stand out from the competition but also enables them to build lasting relationships with potential hires.

I have been in the messaging/telephony services space for 20+ years and have worked with many aggregators and brands to power messaging and compliance at scale. Here at Sense, I am deeply involved in working with the carriers and ensuring compliance.

Recently in a webinar, I shared some winning text recruiting strategies to optimize conversions. Here are the key takeaways from the session.

Best practices for candidate text messaging

Let’s talk about six key candidate messaging strategies every recruiter should know about.

1. Stay on top of SMS compliance rules

It is important to follow compliance rules and regulations and stay updated about the carriers' policies.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has introduced proposed rules to control SMS spam. The FCC aims to hold carriers and aggregators responsible for reducing SMS spam from invalid, unallocated, and unused numbers in the North American Number Planning Association (NANP) system.

The Do Not Call Registry for telemarketing calls may soon include SMS, as per the FCC's notice of proposed rules. Recruiters will need to adapt their SMS recruiting strategy as these rules come into play.

10DLC and what it means for recruitment messages

To combat spam and unwanted communication via SMS, mobile carriers in the US introduced a new messaging standard called 10DLC (10-digit long code). Under this system, companies and brands that use text messaging to communicate with the public, including for recruitment purposes, must be registered as trusted senders in a centralized system managed by the mobile carriers known as The Campaign Registry. By registering their texting numbers with 10DLC, recruiting teams can significantly improve their deliverability rates compared to those who don't register.

2. Optimize SMS to avoid carrier filtering

Carriers are doing what they can to protect their customers and that's where carrier filtering rules come into play. Here are some best practices to follow to prevent SMS filtering:

Avoid trigger words

These are the banned SMS use cases:

  • SHAFT (sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, and tobacco)
  • Drugs whether legal or illegal
  • Predatory Lending
  • Debt Consolidation

While there aren't many violations of the 'SHAFT' categories in recruitment messaging, there are occasional false positives for messages containing words that could be mistaken with predatory lending or debt consolidation use cases. . These messages may contain language that overlaps with recruiting and staffing, triggering filters designed to reduce spam and unwanted communication. The filters are algorithm-based and can result in a temporary failure of all messages on the number, so it's important to correct any false positives.

Use short links

Avoid using links longer than 30 characters, as it can split up a message and cover up the candidate's phone screen. Use a shortening service or a personalized domain. However, using services like Tiny URL and Bitly is not recommended, as spammers use them, and carriers cannot identify if it's legitimate or not. Sense customers use the Sense shortener links, which are more likely to go through without issues.

Use emojis and special characters wisely

We all love emojis! They’re a great way to add a little personality to your texts. However, I recommend limiting emojis to one per message as emojis are encoded and multiple emojis may increase your chances of getting filtered. Exclamation marks and other special characters are allowed but do not overuse them. The $ sign can trigger filters so it’s best if you avoid it in your recruitment messages.

3. Keep it short and limit to 1 CTA

Keep your messages short (it’s called ‘Short Message Service’ after all 😉) and easy to read. Longer messages can cover the entire screen and are not ideal for the recipient, especially if it breaks into multiple messages. We’ve seen the best response rates come from clear, single call-to-action messages. In my experience, asking a clear question at the end of your SMS boosts engagement. Here’s an example:

4. Personalize your broadcast texts

Personalization increases response rates, builds rapport with the candidate, and shows that you care. I highly recommend personalizing messages for each recipient including mass texts and 1:1 messages, using variables such as their first name, location, etc. Broadcast texts or mass texts are viewed differently from one-on-one texting and are subject to stricter filtering. Personalization reduces the risk of filtering in broadcast messages.

5. Test your messages

Testing messages early and often is key to breaking filters, finding best practices, and crafting the right message for the right person. Test your messages with colleagues, friends, and on different devices. Review your messages on actual devices to ensure they look good on smaller screens. Don’t be afraid to play with different types of messages and tweak your SMS strategy to see what performs best for your industry.

6. Optimize your texting strategy with analytics

Schedule weekly meetings with peers and managers to assess your messaging strategy and performance. Keep an eye on messaging analytics such as response rates. Monitor opt-out rates to ensure they're not spiking. Regularly analyzing your data can also help you identify trends about which messages are resonating with your audience and which ones are not.

Ready to take your candidate messaging strategy to the next level?

Sense’s AI-powered text recruiting capabilities help you create and send messages that convert, while delivering a superior candidate experience and saving recruiter hours. Our customers have realized 3X faster replies and up to 30% increase in recruiter productivity!

Want to know how Sense Messaging can help you elevate your candidate communications? Sign up for a personalized demo today.

Read more