Recruiting Through Texts: Recruiting Text Message Templates, Best Practices, And More

As a recruiter, if you haven’t thought about using text messaging as part of your hiring process, here are a few reasons why you should consider: 

  1. Texting is quick: It enables you to reach out to a large number of people in a short time. You can send out one text/second with a long code and up to 100 texts/second with a shortcode texting service
  2. Texting is a reliable channel for important updates, given that it has an open rate of 98%, higher than most other channels. 
  3. It’s highly scalable: You can create conversation flows and set up auto-responses to facilitate conversations without human intervention.  

Texting doesn’t just make things easy for you; it is also a channel that your prospective candidates prefer.

  • At least 66% of job-seekers consider it acceptable to be contacted via texts by a recruiter. 
  • Research shows that recruiting text messages have a response rate of 60-70%, which is higher than any other channel. 

It’s clear that texting is not just a good-to-have outreach strategy for recruiters anymore but a must-have strategy. 

If you’re not sure about how to leverage this channel for recruiting, this post will cover everything you need to know to get started. 

Types of text messaging methods that recruiters can use 

Since each texting method has unique advantages that make it perfect for different aspects of recruitment, let’s start by understanding the different texting methods suitable for recruiting. 

The three major texting tools for staffing and recruiting include: 

  1. SMS opt-in
  2. SMS broadcast
  3. Peer-to-peer texting

Here’s how each works. 

SMS opt-in

As the name suggests, SMS opt-in is a texting method used to get people to opt-in to your SMS list. Here’s how it works: 

  • Rent a shortcode (or long code) and choose a keyword related to your company or use case. People will text the keyword to this number to express their interest in opting in.
  • Promote your keyword and number through online (social media, your website, job boards) and offline channels (banners, posters on streets, or shops) to grab attention and get people to subscribe to your list. 
  • Set up an automated response when someone texts you the keyword. This reply can either be a simple confirmation for the opt-in or an entire series of responses to collect more information on the user, as shown in the example below.
recruiting-text-message-opt-in

Recruiters often use SMS opt-in to:

  • Get new prospective candidates to subscribe to their list to receive job alerts.
  • Have shortlisted candidates opt-in to get text reminders about interview schedules and other updates. 

SMS opt-ins are also essential because they are a way for you to get the prospect’s consent to text them. You need their consent to maintain compliance in your texting outreach.

Learn more about setting up an SMS opt-in campaign here

SMS broadcast

An SMS broadcast or mass text is one that is sent out to a large group of people at once. It works the same way you send a text to a contact from your phone, except on a larger scale. Here’s how you send a broadcast out: 

  • Add the list of contacts to your phone book(s) in your mass texting software. These are all the people who will receive your SMS. 
  • Draft your message with merge tags to personalize it as per the receiver. For example, the first name is one tag commonly used to address the prospect by their name in the SMS. 
  • Set a time and date for when the message is to be sent. 
  • You can also set up prompts for close-ended replies to your SMS broadcast. For example, when you send out a job opening update and want interested people to reply with a “YES” so you can follow up with them later. 
recruiting-text-message-broadcast

SMS broadcasts come in handy for recruiters to share:

  • New job updates with their SMS subscriber list.
  • Interview schedules or reminders with candidates currently applying for a position.
  • Blogs, video links, or other resources to keep their subscribers engaged. 

Learn more about setting an SMS broadcast campaign here

If you want to make your broadcasts more engaging, you can also jazz them up with media like GIFs, videos, or images. Some texting solutions, like CallHub, let you send out MMS broadcasts that have proven to be more engaging and drive higher conversions

Peer-to-peer texting

Peer-to-peer texting (or P2P texting) lets recruiters have personal, one-to-one conversations with multiple people at the same time. Here’s how:

  • Upload your contact list. 
  • Draft message templates. These templates include the initial message that everyone will receive and replies for common questions that you may get in response to it. You can personalize both types of templates with merge tags. 
  • Send or schedule the initial texts. Keep in mind that you have to click the button for each contact you wish to text. This makes it easy to maintain compliance since you’re not sending out a text to everyone at once using an automated system. 
  • As people reply, you can choose to send them a templated response or type in a custom reply. 

Here’s a demo video to show how P2P texting works for more clarity. 

Recruiters can use P2P texting to: 

  • Discuss particularities of an interview with a candidate. 
  • Have two-way conversations with candidates to screen them before the first interview. 
  • Send text surveys to interviewees or prospective candidates to get insights on how to improve the recruitment process. 

Learn more about setting up a P2P texting campaign here

Recruiting text messaging best practices

When sending out recruiting text messages to candidates, the following best practices can help increase your chances of getting through to the candidate.  

Get permission from your candidate before you text. 

Getting the candidate’s permission before you start texting them is important to maintain compliance. The easiest way to get their permission is by getting them to opt-in to your SMS list (as explained above)

Apart from that, you can also include a contact number field on a form on your website or even ask them to subscribe to your list over email. Just keep in mind that you don’t text them without consent, as it could lead to a lawsuit. 

Personalize your recruitment messages. 

Personalizing your recruiting text messages ensure that your candidates feel valued and convey that you have a genuine interest in them. This, in turn, increases their interest in applying for the position and actually going through the process. 

Generic messages can often feel like spam, and many job seekers may just ignore them. 

Keep it short and simple.

One drawback with text recruitment is the character limit of 160 for an SMS. This doesn’t provide you with a lot of room to convey a long message. 

Therefore, when sending out recruiting text messages, keep it short and simple. Convey key information and provide a link that they can refer to for more details. 

Track your campaigns 

Tracking your campaigns gives you insights into what’s working for you and what’s not. You can use these insights to tweak your campaigns and achieve a higher success rate. 

With feature-rich texting tools, like CallHub, it’s easy to track various metrics as the data is readily available in the tracking dashboard. 

texting-analytics-dashboard

A few metrics that you should be looking into include: 

  • Delivery rate: This gives you an idea of how clean your list is, and if the number is small, you will need to change how you source these numbers. 
  • Responses received: Take a look at the kind of responses you’ve received to tweak the conversation flows accordingly and make them more clear and compelling. 
  • Response rate against the time of the day the campaign went live: You may see higher numbers at some times and lower at others. This will give you an insight into when you should prefer scheduling your SMS campaigns. 

Time your texts right

Another aspect of personalizing your recruiting text messages is the timing of your texts. 

If you want more positive responses from your prospective candidates, make sure that you text them at a time that they are comfortable with or prefer. Texting them at odd times may lead to them ignoring your SMS and then forgetting about it. 

A simple way of following this best practice is to analyze your response rates for different periods of a day and select the period with the highest rate. A study showed that most people prefer getting recruiting text messages between 8 AM and 12 PM, which is a good period to start with. 

Recruiting text message templates for different scenarios

The character limit of SMS can make it challenging for you to convey key information in one text, especially if you’re not very experienced. But here are some recruitment message templates that you can copy and use to hit the right note. 

1. Introduction text

When texting a candidate, it’s good to let them know that there is another person (and not a bot) on the other end. This makes interactions more personal and less creepy. 

Introductory texts are typically sent if you’re trying to get a prospect to apply to a position (or wish to move ahead with someone’s application). 

The first text you send out to prospects from a purchased contact list should also be an introduction to the company and the recruiter (the primary point of contact) if you want to increase your chances of them permitting you to receive updates. 

Generally, P2P texting is recommended for introductions since the chances of you receiving an open-ended reply are high. 

Hi {Name}, {Recruiter name} from {Company name}. We have an opening for {Position} and based on your profile, I think it might be perfect for you. Would you be interested in it? 

Hi {Name}, this is {Recruiter name} from {Company name}. I received your application for the {Position} position & was super impressed by it. Are you free for a quick chat?

Hi {Name}, {Recruiter name} from {Company name}. We have a lot of open positions relevant to your profile and would love to send them to you. Would you be interested? 

2. Job opening 

You’ll send out these updates to prospects who have given you permission to send them texts and to those who have opted-in to receive them. 

Make sure to segment your contact list based on profiles (or departments) to send them SMS broadcasts of only relevant openings. 

Hi {Name}. We have an opening for a {Position} @ {Company name} that is perfect for you. Follow the link for the job description and to apply: bit.ly/5EgH4 

{Name}, we think you’ll be perfect for our {Position} role that has just opened up. Follow the link for the job description and to apply bit.ly/5EgH4

3. Application update

81% of candidates say that continuously communicating their application status to them would greatly improve the candidate experience. With texts, you can do that quite easily by segmenting the applicants based on their status and sending out an SMS broadcast. 

Hey {Name}! Congratulations, {Company Name} would like to move ahead with you for the second round of interviews. We’ll get in touch shortly to fix a schedule. 

Hi {Name}! {Recruiter name} from {Company name}. Thanks for applying to the {Position} role. I’ve received your profile and will be in touch to discuss the next steps. 

4. Interview scheduling 

For candidates who make it to the interview round, you will need to have a more detailed conversation to fix a time that is suitable for both the interviewer and the candidate. For such conversations, P2P texts are perfect. 

Hey {Name}! Congratulations, we loved your profile and assignment and wanted to move to the interview round. Would the 24th (Thursday), 2:00 PM work for you? 

Response: Sure

Great! Here’s how you can get to our office for the interview {Map URL}. Let me know if you need further help. Good luck!

Hi {Name}! We loved your profile and assignment and want to schedule an interview. Would you be free for it on 24th (Thursday) at 2:00 PM? 

Response: Hey, sorry. I wouldn’t be available that day. Could you keep it on Wednesday instead? 

Sure {Name}. We can keep it on the 23rd (Wednesday) instead. Does 3:00 PM work for you? 

Response: Yes.

Great! Here are the directions to our office {Map URL}. It’ll be great if you could come 10 minutes earlier so we have time to process your documents first.

5. Interview reminder

A study by CV-Library showed that at least 22% of candidates expect to receive a reminder for their interview, or they may forget about it. 

With their high open rates, texts would prove to be effective appointment reminders. 

All you have to do is schedule an SMS broadcast with relevant information like date, day, and time and send it out to your list. 

Hey {Name}! Just a reminder that your interview is scheduled for 2:00 PM today. Here’s the add. {Map URL}. Please bring a copy of your resume and an ID card. 

6. Post-interview follow up

Right after their interview, make sure you don’t ghost them. Stay in touch until you have a final answer to whether you want to move forward with their application or not. 

A post-interview follow-up ensures a positive candidate experience which is essential because 63% of candidates will likely reject an offer if their experience is poor

For the follow-up, you can use both a P2P text or an SMS broadcast. If you’re using the latter, make sure to drop a contact number that they can reach out to for any queries. For the former, they can continue the conversation in the same thread. 

Hey {Name}! Thanks for coming in, it was great meeting you. I’ll be in touch with you soon for further steps. Reach out to me here if you have any queries. 

Hi {Name}, thanks for coming in today. I’ll be in touch with you soon for further steps. Feel free to reach out at {contact no.} if you have any queries.

What next?

A recruitment texting strategy can make the process more efficient and less cumbersome. You already know the best practices to follow and also have recruiting text message templates to use. 

Now, all you need is a user-friendly mass texting software equipped with all the texting methods we spoke about above. Since you’re already here, why not sign up for CallHub for free and take it for a spin. You’ll see the benefits almost immediately. 

Featured image source: Cottonbro