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A Complete Guide to Text Recruiting

Posted by
Nupura Ughade
March 20, 2023

At this point, I don't really need to justify why you should use text messages to connect with talent. Everyone loves text messaging. We’re all (almost) always on our phones and so are candidates! The evidence speaks for itself: texts generally outperform emails in terms of reach and response rates.

Whether you’re just getting started with text recruiting or are wondering where to begin, this text recruiting guide is for you! Let’s dive in.

What is text recruiting?

Text recruiting, also known as SMS recruiting, is the practice of using text messaging to communicate with job candidates during the recruiting process. This can include sending job alerts, accepting applications, scheduling interviews, providing updates on the status of their application, and other relevant information.

Text recruiting has become increasingly popular as it offers a quick and convenient way to engage with candidates, especially given the high open rates and quick response times of text messages.

Benefits of text recruiting

Wider reach and better candidate experience

The widespread adoption of text messaging across generations is indisputable. SMS has unparalleled reach, as virtually every mobile phone can send and receive text messages without requiring a smartphone, data plan, or app download. Text messaging also allows more free-flowing conversations, contributing to a good candidate experience.

Faster responses

Text messages boast open and response rates of up to 98% and 45% respectively, in stark contrast to email rates of 20% and 6%. Research reveals that 51% of responders reply to a text message within 1 or 2 minutes. Naturally, in today’s world of instant gratification, texts are a preferred mode of communication for candidates and recruiters alike.

Ability to scale

Text recruiting can scale as your talent acquisition strategy evolves. With a good text recruiting platform, you can personalize texts at scale, schedule messages, standardize communications with pre-written templates. A robust talent engagement platform will also enable you to use text recruiting with email automation tools so you can execute a well-crafted multi-channel communication strategy. But more on that, later.

Enhanced hiring efficiency

The average time for which highly sought-after candidates remain available in the job market is 10 days. If your recruitment process takes longer than that, you’re missing out. Text recruiting platforms help enhance hiring efficiency by automating redundant tasks and boosting recruiter productivity. According to our data, text recruiting improves recruiter productivity by 30% and results in 3X faster responses!

How text recruiting works

Here are some real-world examples and use cases of a text recruiting software and how it can transform your hiring.

Leverage two-way text recruiting

Most candidates feel no connection with recruiters and find it easy to drop off or ghost them. You can fix this with two-way texting. With a texting app for recruiting, you can send thoughtfully crafted, personalized text messages to specific candidate segments using the data in your ATS or candidate database. Here’s an example of how two-way texting works:

Two-way texting
Two-way texting

Run text broadcasting campaigns

Recruiters need to send hundreds of messages each day. Texting apps offer the ability to send customized broadcast messages to reach hundreds of contacts at once. When you are hiring, send out dynamic text broadcasts to let your database know about open roles or hiring events.

Enhance top-of-funnel with text-to-apply

Let candidates apply via text. Text-to-apply recruiting is a game-changing way to let candidates apply to open roles at your company via texting. The application process is completed in just minutes -- the candidate gets a confirmation, and recruiters get an instant alert.

Standardize communication with texting templates

Standardizing communication with texting templates can help recruiters save time, ensure consistency, and provide a better candidate experience. 

Run multi-channel campaigns 

An integrated recruiting automation platform (such as, ahem, Sense) lets you engage candidates through personalized, multi-channel campaigns, including text, email, chatbots, and notifications. You can send messages based on application status, specific events, and more. As part of custom workflows, you can even trigger email or text notifications to hiring managers and recruiters about pending tasks or to keep them in the loop.

How to use text recruiting throughout the hiring process

Here are some recommendations on how to effectively use text recruiting platforms throughout the hiring cycle:

Hiring Outreach: Leverage the power of dynamic text broadcasts to notify your database about open positions and hiring events. Personalize your message to specific segments based on their job function, location, or any other relevant criteria. This helps ensure that you are targeting the right candidates with the right message.

Candidate Communication: Texting is a great way to keep candidates updated throughout the hiring process. Keep them informed about their application status, timelines, and next steps. Even if there are no updates, sending a quick message can provide candidates with a sense of clarity and transparency, which can help improve candidate experience.

Offer Acceptance: After extending an offer, it's critical to keep in touch with the candidate, especially if they are considering other offers. Use text messaging to maintain contact with casual check-ins, welcome messages, and other communication that make the candidate feel valued and wanted.

Referral Programs: Use broadcast texting to keep your employees and alumni informed about open positions so that they can refer qualified candidates from their networks. This can help expand your reach and bring in high-quality talent that might not have otherwise applied.

Talent Engagement: Keep your talent engaged through casual text check-ins, even if you're not currently hiring. This builds a positive impression and maintains a relationship with qualified candidates. By staying in touch, you will be better positioned to attract top talent when you are ready to hire again.

Text recruiting best practices

Since candidates prefer texts, something’s off if your recruiting text messages aren’t performing well. Follow these text recruiting best practices to get back on track:

Don’t send generic messages

At its heart, hiring is a personal process. Sending generic text messages is a lost opportunity in building deep candidate relationships. Recruiters can craft personalized texts by using automated templates that pull variable data from their ATS. These templates help ensure relevant, personalized communication at every stage of the recruitment process. Additionally, sending wishes for fun moments like birthdays and anniversaries can help nurture stronger relationships.

Show some personality

Use professional yet personable language. This includes using emojis 😎, which are widely used by both recruiters and candidates. Additionally, using relevant emojis and GIFs when following up with candidates one-on-one can help build rapport and strengthen relationships. After all, who doesn’t love a good GIF?

Get to the point

Texting is meant to be a quick and concise method of communication. In fact, we recommend using no more than 140 characters! If you want to send additional information, you can follow up your quick text with a voicemail or email that has the additional details.

Ask for a response

Ask and you shall receive! Don’t forget to include a call to action in your texts. In particular, asking for feedback through text can be super effective. Rather than waiting until the annual NPS survey, you can gather critical feedback from talent throughout the entire talent cycle.

Honor opt-outs

Respect user preferences and always double-check opt-outs from your ATS. Ensure that your text recruiting software supports the functionality to honor opt-outs.

Monitor analytics

Keep a close eye on how your text recruiting campaigns are performing. Most text recruiting platforms provide messaging analytics, including response rates and recruiter performance. Continuously improve your campaign with data-driven decisions.

Choosing the right text recruiting platform

Choosing the right text recruiting platform is a big decision. Keep the following factors in mind before you make your decision:

Factors to consider

Is it purpose-built for recruiting?

Does it offer texting automation and scheduling capabilities?

Does it offer the ability to set up broadcasts as well as 1:1 texting campaigns?

Does it offer detailed messaging analytics?

Does it have the ability to target candidates precisely with filters and search?

Does it ensure compliance with regulations such as GDPR, TCPA, and FCC?

Does it integrate seamlessly with your ATS and other HR systems?

Check out our detailed checklist for choosing a SMS recruiting platform here.

There are several text recruiting platforms to choose from, including Sense Messaging, TextRecruit, and TextUs (to name a few). In a detailed blog, we have a detailed breakdown of the major texting platforms for recruiting to help you make the best decision for your organization.


Text recruiting has become an essential part of any successful recruiting strategy. As AI technology continues to advance, recruiters need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and tools to effectively engage with top talent.

Want to take your text recruiting to the next level? Sense enables recruiters to seamlessly integrate texting into their recruiting workflow, from initial outreach to scheduling interviews and following up with candidates.

Schedule a personalized demo and see how Sense Messaging can help you.

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