Live, person-to-person communication is always a good thing. As a recruiter, you know that there’s a lot you can learn from hearing someone’s voice rather than just reading their words. But calling a candidate doesn’t guarantee they will be available to answer. And playing phone tag is supremely frustrating for everyone concerned. That’s why tech-savvy recruiters are now using text messaging for certain purposes. Learn how texting can aide recruiters with the tips listed below.

Text messaging offers two benefits

  1. It is non-intrusive. If your prospect or candidate is employed elsewhere, speaking with you via phone may not be possible. However, your text message will be delivered instantly to their personal cell phone, and they can read it and respond as soon as it’s convenient for them.
  2. It is efficient. Not every message requires a personal conversation. On your end, texting is ideal for scheduling or confirming interview appointments, providing directions or other quick communications. On their end, a minimal text message is all that’s required to accompany attachments such as work samples or other documents.

You might say email offers these same benefits, but that’s not always the case. Your prospects and in-pipeline candidates undoubtedly have computer access, but they are not always in front of their computer. You could wind up playing “e-tag” instead of phone tag, with similarly frustrating results. The longer you have to wait for your prospect to receive your message and respond, the more it drags out the hiring process.

On the other hand, today’s adults are rarely far from their smartphones. And many of us use multiple mobile devices, which further increases your ability to reach candidates quickly. It’s just as easy to send and receive text messages from a tablet as a phone.

Texting is commonplace now. It can be both fast and informal, but it is also considered an entirely professional form of business communication, especially among those under 45.

Use text messaging to reach out to potential prospects

People actively looking for a new position are already using their mobile devices to research job openings, prospective companies, and so on. Why wait for them to find you? (And what if they don’t?) Using text messaging to alert them to a relevant opening at your company is a natural way to connect with job-hunters. It’s another tool in your HR marketing toolbox.

The key is relevance. That requires careful targeting, otherwise you’ll reach the wrong people, wasting everyone’s time. The more effort you put into building your target list, the more likely you are to reach – and impress – the top-flight candidates you want. If you’re hiring for a difficult-to-fill position, target individuals already working in that type of job. Include individuals you have your eye on as well as unknowns who may be interested, but make sure you use a quality, reliable source for that list of unknowns.

Don’t expect to send a single message with an application link and receive a slew of responses. Instead, treat your text campaign as you would any other marketing – as a process of lead generation and nurturing. Start by introducing your job opening(s) and inviting them to ask questions. Then provide additional information as appropriate, along with an application link. This engagement starts the relationship-building process and ensures the strongest, most interested candidates will apply.

Use text messaging to stay in touch with current candidates

As noted at the beginning, texting is an ideal way to deliver short informational messages as you move forward in the hiring process. There are even specialized software apps you can use to streamline your efforts and analyze results.

Be judicious about when you send text messages. We have all gotten used to the idea that we can email people any time, even if it’s three o’clock in the morning. After all, it’s up to them when they choose to read and respond. But text messages go to your prospect’s phone. “Businesslike” timing will underscore your professional intent and avoid inadvertently upsetting someone.


Should text messaging take the place of “real” communication? Never. But using it appropriately shows prospects and candidates that your company is up-to-date and efficient. That helps separate you from the competition, and it helps create a higher quality experience for job-seekers.

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