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The 7 best text recruiting software in 2024

Text Recruiting Software

Competition for top talent is fiercer than ever. If you’re slow to schedule interviews or track down standout talent, you may be inadvertently helping competitors fill their open positions.

The real secret of efficient recruitment isn’t really a secret — because text recruiting software is now the new frontier of hiring. Texts are far more personal than emails, phone calls, and LinkedIn messages, so candidates are much more unlikely to slip through the cracks (or wind up working for a competitor).

But how do you get started with recruitment SMS? And how do you choose the right platform for your team?

You can start by evaluating the best available platforms.

The top text recruiting software at a glance is:

1. OpenPhone: Best choice for small businesses and growing teams
2. HireVue: Best choice for candidate assessments
3. iCIMS Text Engagement: Best choice for virtual career fairs
4. Sense Messaging: Best choice for mass recruitment texting
5. TextUs: Best choice for text-enabled landline numbers
6. Brazen: Best choice for FAQ bots
7. Jobvite: Best choice for pre-screen forms

Let’s take a closer look at the prices, features, and benefits of each.

But first, let’s clarify our terms.

What exactly is text recruiting? 

Text recruiting is exactly what it sounds like: Using messages to connect with potential job candidates. You can use text messages at every stage of the hiring process, from vetting applications to scheduling interviews and follow-ups.

One of the biggest benefits of text recruiting is higher candidate engagement. Text messages boast a 98% open rate and  45% response rate, according to Gartner, which is far superior to traditional channels like email and phone.

That said, text recruiting isn’t without certain drawbacks. 

Let’s take a closer look at them below.

Advantages and potential disadvantages of text recruiting

Text messaging can make or break your recruitment process.

Here are some pros and cons to consider before getting started:

Text recruiting advantages

  • Saves time so you can focus on building better relationships
  • Texts are far less likely to get lost in someone’s inbox
  • Personalized texts enhance the candidate’s experience and increase response rates 

Text recruiting disadvantages

  • Too many messages can overwhelm job seekers and potentially induce analysis paralysis
  • Some text recruiting tools have a steep learning curve
  • Texts need to be concise, so you may not be able to mention all the details of a role

Done right, SMS recruiting stops 70% of candidates from ghosting your hiring managers.

You just have to know how to implement it correctly.

Let’s start with some best practices to maximize your reach.

5 best practices for text recruiting

Here are some suggestions for reaching candidates via text:

1. Save time with automation

Manual texting can be a huge drain on your time, especially if you’re messaging dozens of candidates per day. Automation is a great way to speed up the process and save time for tasks like personalized follow-up messages.

With OpenPhone’s snippets (aka templated messages), you can automate repetitive texts like meeting reminders and interview appointments. You can set and save templates on shared numbers, too, which means everyone on your team can perform outreach with consistency.

Snippets OpenPhone

Check out our recruiting text examples guide for specific templates your team can use throughout the hiring cycle. 

2. Stay organized with tagging

Not every candidate is a good fit for every job. Thankfully, the right text recruiting software can help you make informed decisions. Platforms like OpenPhone let you leave context in contact notes so you can re-evaluate candidates for future open positions.

Client note OpenPhone

3. Stay compliant by following texting etiquette

You can legally text candidates under one of two circumstances:

  1. You have a pre-established relationship
  2. They’ve opted into receiving messages

Getting opt-in consent for every candidate is the best way to avoid legal snafus in the future.

To get consent from candidates, you must:

  • Include an opt-in box in your job application (like ‘by checking this box, you agree to receive text messages from our team’)
  • Add an opt-out clause to each text (like ‘to end messages, reply STOP’)
  • Register with the FCC and other carriers so you’re not accidentally labeled as spam

If you’re not familiar with TCPA opt-in and opt-out requirements, now’s a good time to learn more.

4. Text during business hours

Let’s be real: nobody wants to deal with a recruiter in the wee hours of the morning. Keeping your texts within business hours is a proactive way to stay in good standing with great candidates.

Texting in a window also sets the tone for what candidates can expect as future employees. If the recruiters don’t have a work/life balance, what does that say about the potential role?

With OpenPhone, you can schedule messages during business hours within your recipient’s time zone. You can also set custom business hours for your number(s) so you only receive incoming call notifications when you’re working.

5. Keep texts short and sweet

One of the biggest benefits of text over email is how easy it is to connect. You can write a quick message, send it instantly, and expect a reply in a few minutes or less.

Writing an ultra-long message can ruin this effect — because it turns your text back into an email. Walls of text could overwhelm recipients and potentially slow down the outreach process. 

That’s why it’s best to keep messages at 160 characters or less. Think of it like a one-on-one conversation where you’re only exchanging a few sentences at a time.

Best text recruiting software: A closer look

What text recruiting software would be the best fit for your business?

Let’s start with the #1 rated tool for small businesses on G2:

1. OpenPhone: Best choice for small businesses and growing teams

Text recruiting software: OpenPhone

First on our list is OpenPhone, a VoIP platform for growing brands. As long as you have an internet connection, you can send unlimited SMS and MMS messages to candidates and clients in the United States and Canada. Plus, unlimited calling to these countries using the same phone number(s). 

With OpenPhone, you can keep records of each candidate’s conversation history — including call transcripts and text messages — in a single thread. You can also tag other team members with internal threads to get (or leave) context on past interactions.

Speaking of teams, you can also use shared numbers to split responsibility for recruitment tasks. Everyone can work together to reach out to candidates and check if a recruiter has already been in touch.

You can also use OpenPhone to automate repetitive tasks and focus your efforts on building relationships with candidates. First, you can write snippets for frequently sent messages. Then, you can queue them up to go out during business hours. Messages won’t go through if the candidate responds first, so you don’t have to worry about any awkward exchanges.

Still need to respond while out of the office? You can use auto-replies to set expectations. Let candidates know when you expect to return or provide more information about how else they can reach you.

OpenPhone is more than just a texting platform, though. Recruiters can also:

  • Build phone menus to help candidates reach the right department or recruiter
  • Automatically record calls and access AI transcripts to share phone interviews with the right decision-makers
  • Check call and message analytics to identify useful trends (like your busiest days for messages so you know when to allocate more human resources)

Plus, OpenPhone integrates with the tools you’re already using so you can streamline the recruitment process and push data to the right place. Using the OpenPhone Zapier integration, for example, you could configure your ATS to send automatic texts whenever you change a candidate’s interview stage.

See how OpenPhone could fit into your team’s workflows by signing up for a seven-day free trial.

Key features of OpenPhone

  • Unlimited SMS and MMS
  • US, Canadian, and toll-free numbers
  • Phone menus (IVR)
  • Shared phone numbers and inboxes
  • Text message scheduling
  • Snippets
  • Auto-replies
  • AI call transcripts and summaries
  • Call and message analytics
  • Integrations with Zapier, HubSpot CRM, Slack, and more

OpenPhone pricing

OpenPhone pricing
  • Starter: $15 per user per month for unlimited SMS and MMS in the US and Canada, international messaging, snippets, AI message responses, internal threads, auto-replies, group messaging, and more
  • Business: $23 per user per month to access phone menus (IVR), call transfers, analytics, CRM integrations, and more
  • Enterprise: Contact us for more information about audit logs, dedicated account managers, and more

2. HireVue: Best choice for candidate assessments

Text recruiting software: HireVue

HireVue offers end-to-end recruitment software with video interviews, document storage, and AI assessments. Candidates can text their responses to interview questions, then take a technical assessment to demonstrate their practical skills.

HireVue’s text recruiting service revolves around SMS and WhatsApp. The AI and automation sequences automatically match candidates to jobs, notify them about new openings, and move them along the ATS. 

But you should know HireVue was designed for major enterprise brands — its above-average cost reflects this. Prices start at $35,000 per year for 2,500 to 5,000 employees. Even then, many of their best features (like Text-to-Apply) are only available as add-on services.

If you do choose to purchase HireVue, be prepared for some features not to work as expected. Many past users report connectivity issues with video calls — which is incredibly frustrating if you’re paying a five-digit price tag.

One past user wrote:

“The video quality is sometimes poor and any interruption (like phone calls, etc.) disrupts the proper functioning of the software.”GetApp

Key features of HireVue

  • 1:1 or campaign messaging
  • Individual or team inboxes
  • Fully GDPR compliant with high security standards
  • On demand digital interviews

HireVue pricing

HireVue pricing
  • Corporate: Starts at $35,000 for companies under 5,000 employees to unlock live video interviewing, interview guides, SMS & WhatsApp-enabled invites, and more
  • Enterprise: Contact sales for automated scheduling, chatbots, text-to-apply, and more

3. iCIMS Text Engagement: Best choice for virtual career fairs

Text recruiting software: iCIMS

Formerly known as TextRecruit, iCIMS Text Engagement is part of the iCIMS Talent Cloud. For the unfamiliar, this is a legacy recruitment platform built for the manufacturing, finance, and healthcare industries.

With iCIMS Text Engagement, you can create text campaigns inside their ATS and send 1:1 messages from the mobile app. They also put a spin on older recruiting methods, such as virtual career fairs where you can chat with potential candidates.

But virtual career fairs aren’t the only old-school thing about iCIMS: The clunky, hard-to-learn interface could be difficult to navigate. You also need credits to send messages to candidates — no more credits, no more conversations.

The kicker? You can’t send MMS messages through iCIMS Text Engagement. This means there’s no way to text photos, send videos, or receive PDFs from candidates’ phone numbers — a pretty significant deal breaker in the age of virtual recruitment.

Key features of iCIMS

  • Broadcast message campaigns
  • Text-to-apply via keywords
  • Virtual career fairs
  • Texting across SMS, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger

iCIMS pricing

iCIMS Text Engagement doesn’t list its prices online. The only way to get a quote is to contact their sales department.

4. Sense Messaging: Best choice for mass recruitment texting

Text recruiting software: Sense Messaging

Sense Messaging is geared toward staffing companies looking to recruit, retain, and redeploy contractors. In addition to their multi-user inbox for teams, you can create mass broadcast campaigns and message candidates via mobile and desktop apps.

Unfortunately, there’s no free trial available and no public pricing on the website. This means the only way to get a quote or see the platform for yourself is to schedule a demo with the sales team.

You should also know some users report the software can be slow and glitchy. It may also be difficult to build a custom workflow, as one past user suggests:

“Make sure you know going in that they are growing and testing. There will be issues if you are not using it in a cookie-cutter fashion.”G2

Key features of Sense Messaging

  • Two-way text messaging
  • Dynamic broadcast campaigns
  • Shared inbox
  • Advanced search based on number, name, and tags
  • Integrates bi-directionally with your ATS

Sense Messaging pricing

Like iCIMS, Sense Messaging doesn’t post any pricing online. You need to fill out a contact form to request a custom quote.

5. TextUs: Best choice for text-enabled landline numbers

Text recruiting software: TextUs

TextUs is a generalized business texting platform not necessarily built for recruitment workflows. That said, you can still use automated text messaging features (like automated drip campaigns) to get the job done.

One unique service you can get with TextUs is an SMS-enabled landline number. This may be helpful if you’re still using traditional desk phones. However, if you want to hold phone interviews and reach candidates via text, you need to combine TextUs with a business phone solution.

There are a few other drawbacks worth mentioning here, including the expensive paywall. Most of the time-saving, high-efficiency features — think A/B testing, automation sequences, and automation with unlimited keywords — require an upgrade to the Plus plan.

There’s no public pricing available for the Plus plan, so there’s no transparency about what you might have to pay. But since the base plan starts at $300 per month, you can assume it’s more expensive than several providers on this list.

Key features of TextUs

  • Two-way 1:1 text messaging
  • Campaigns with A/B testing (upgrade required) 
  • SMS automation
  • Keyword-driven contact groups

TextUs pricing

TextUs pricing
  • Essential: Starts at $300 per month for two-way messaging, analytics, text campaigns, and support
  • Plus: Contact sales for A/B testing and rich media
  • Pro: Contact sales for unlimited keywords and automation sequences

6. Brazen: Best choice for FAQ bots

Text recruiting software: Brazen

Brazen offers text recruiting services as part of a larger solution, which includes virtual career fairs, professional development programs, and online/in-person hiring events. 

Most people use Brazen for its automation services. First, you can use an FAQ bot to route the right talent to the right recruiters. Then, you can set up 1:1 video chats to vet qualified candidates online.

But Brazen falls short with team collaboration. Due to the platform’s limited chat features, employers and administrators can’t communicate directly.

Other users report lag and video chat glitches that significantly affect the quality of calls. You could miss out on key interactions and unintentionally disengage potential candidates.

One past user wrote:

“It just doesn’t work with numbers in the 700-900 mark. There’s lag to join rooms, features drop away (i.e. wait and queue length, even video chat glitches out), and there are security concerns where a user profile other than your own is shown. Software support (for non-US users) was non-existent during the event period.” — GetApp

Key features of Brazen

  • Live chat and recruiting chatbots
  • FAQ concierge
  • Virtual recruiting events
  • 1:1 chat with candidates via video, audio, or text
  • API integrations

Brazen pricing

Like many other platforms on this list, Brazen doesn’t publicly disclose its pricing. The only way to know is to contact sales to request a customized quote.

7. Jobvite: Best choice for pre-screen forms

Text recruiting software: Jobvite

Jobvite’s Candidate Messaging service is nested within the larger Jobvite Evolve Talent Acquisition Suite. The ultimate goal is hands-off automation, so your team can focus on other tasks.

First, you can send pre-screen forms via text to let candidates qualify themselves for open positions. Then, you can use keyword bot pre-screening tools to automatically route candidates to the next best steps.

Jobvite stores audit trails, documents, and text conversation logs in a single dashboard. Just be prepared to spend time setting it up — users say the deployment process can be extremely time-intensive. There’s also a steep learning curve if you’re not familiar with the Talent Acquisition Suite.

And speaking of steep, don’t neglect the price tag. You won’t find public pricing on the website, but some sources indicate a starting cost of $4,500 for teams of one to 50 users.

If you want text recruiting software with an intuitive setup process, you’re better off choosing a Jobvite alternative.

Key features of Jobvite

  • Text-to-apply 
  • Mass texting and 1:1 messaging
  • Chatbots to answer common questions
  • Text campaigns with scheduled, targeted, and sequenced messages

Jobvite pricing

As mentioned, you can’t get specific prices for Jobvite’s Candidate Messaging platform. This means you have to contact their sales department for a quote.

Why recruiters should use text messaging

In case your team is still on the fence about messaging candidates, here’s how texting for recruiting can support your recruiting efforts. 

Texting saves time

The average recruiter spends 78,352 minutes on the phone per year, and who knows how much time writing and responding to emails. Shifting some of your communications to text, where you can be brief, direct, and automate your responses, can save a ton of time.  

Texting provides a better candidate experience

Of course, the hiring process can be stressful for candidates, too. They can be juggling multiple job opportunities with different decision deadlines. And they may have questions they forgot to ask during the interview process. For instance, a key detail about your benefits package can help them narrow their options. With texting for recruiting, you can answer their questions in near real-time.  

Texting meets audiences where they are

You’ll be more effective if you leverage your audience’s favorite communication channel. And if your talent pool includes anyone under the age of 41 (Millennials and Gen Z), you’re probably aware that they don’t dig phone calls — 74% of them prefer communicating via text.  

Texting builds connection

Connection is a core human need — at home and in the workplace. Texting is a great way to build rapport with a prospective employee while providing a glimpse into what the employee/employer relationship is like. Your efforts can be the deciding factor for an in-demand candidate.  

Texting protects privacy

While building relationships with candidates is critical, so is your privacy. With OpenPhone, you’ll have a dedicated business phone number for texting (and calling) your talent pool to keep your personal and professional life separate.

Texting supports localized recruiting efforts

Projecting a local presence is essential. According to one survey, respondents were about four times more likely to pick up a phone call from local numbers. You can also expect a better response rate if you use a local number for texts (OpenPhone can provide multiple local numbers across different US and Canadian area codes to use in your recruiting efforts).   

Texting shortens the hiring cycle

In a hot job market, playing phone tag or depending on email (the latter of which has only a 20% open rate and a 6% response rate) practically guarantees you’ll lose great candidates to savvier competitors. Using texting for recruiting can shorten the hiring process and keep your employer in the running.  

Texting reduces no-shows

Nothing is more frustrating than a candidate who fails to show up for an interview. Voicemail and email reminders can be easily and innocently overlooked. A text? Not so much.  

Texting is more approachable 

Formal introductions definitely have their place, but a casual text message can create instant connections with candidates. Personalized messages can make a better first impression and generally sound more ‘human’ to recipients (which increases the likelihood of a response).

Add texting to your recruiting strategy today

Text message recruiting is one of the easiest ways to qualify, engage, and delight new candidates. Using it correctly saves you time and shows potential hires what makes your company their best career move.

With OpenPhone, you can seamlessly build better relationships with candidates and streamline job applications to save time and money. You can automate interview reminders, save snippets for recurring messages, and even integrate with other recruiting tools to build a seamless workflow.

The best part? Pricing starts at $15 per user per month. You can sign up for a seven-day free trial to start reaching candidates with text messages today

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