Inherently stressful and incredibly rewarding. That sums up what it’s like to be a recruiter — especially in the current “candidate market.”
You must leverage job sites, LinkedIn, social media, and more to generate leads and build robust talent pools. You also have to pinpoint that perfect candidate and snatch them up before a savvier competitor does.
Unfortunately, if you rely on the phone or email for the bulk of your communication, you’re letting qualified potential employees slip through your fingers.
Thankfully, texts are another way to keep them engaged in the hiring process.
Why try texting? Candidates are just as connected to their smartphones as the friends and family you text on a daily basis. And with SMS’ 98% open rates, you have every reason to incorporate it into your recruiting efforts.
We’ll share what you need to know about texting for recruiting, including why you should use it, best practices to follow, and some suggested templates. Along the way, we’ll explain how you can use OpenPhone to support SMS recruiting.
Let’s get started.
Why recruiters should use text messaging
You text your friends and family, the doctor’s office, and the pharmacy. You allow brands to text you promotions and coupons, and you sign up for emergency alerts and library notifications, to name a few. So why aren’t you using this effective, convenient communication channel in your job?
Filling entry-level, minimum wage, or executive-level positions, text recruiting allows you to share information quickly and build strong relationships within your talent pool.
You can text through the entire process for some roles, including advertising the position, extending the job offer, and onboarding.
Whether you use text recruiting software, a mass texting platform, OpenPhone, or a combination, 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 — 73% of them prefer communicating via text.
Texting builds connection
Connection is a core human need — both at home and in the workplace. Texting is a great way to build a 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 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 that fails to show up for an interview. Voicemail and email reminders can be easily and innocently overlooked. A text? Not so much.
Texting templates when communicating with candidates
In today’s market, recruiters must establish an early rapport and remain approachable and reachable throughout the candidate’s experience. Here are some texting templates to help you incorporate text into your recruiting process. We’ve also included some examples of text automation using Zapier workflows and OpenPhone.
Before we dive in, remember to:
- Include an opt-out message with every text, such as: “To opt out of texts from us, reply STOP. ”
- Gain written consent to send text messages from candidates during the application process before texting. This can be done through a digital form or physical application.
1. Updates and next steps
Providing updates and next steps via text is an easy way to keep the hiring process moving.
Example: Hi [candidate name], [recruiter name] with [company] here! Just letting you know we’re still awaiting feedback from the hiring managers on the [role]. I will reach out when I have more information. To opt out of texts from us at any time, reply back STOP.
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2. Interview reminders
No-shows are no good for a busy recruiter, so use texts to send reminders for interviews. You can use OpenPhone’s integration with Zapier to send automated reminders.
Example: Hi [candidate name], it’s [recruiter name] from [company]. I just sent an invite for [date] at [time] for a Google Hangout video call. More information to follow. Have a great day! If you wish to no longer receive texts from us, reply STOP.
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For example, if you use Greenhouse as your ATS you can use the below Zap to set up automatic interview reminders. Keep in mind you’ll need a starter (or higher) Zapier plan.
With this Zap, you can minimize the possibility of a no-show by using Zap delays based on a specific time interval through OpenPhone.
Here’s how to set an automatic reminder 55 minutes before a meeting:
There are several ways you can personalize the text message. For example:
3. Pre-screening candidates
Whether five, 50, or 100 job seekers apply for a single position, texting can be an efficient way to pre-screen them — and there’s no scheduling required.
Example:Hi [candidate name], it’s [recruiter name] from [company]. Thanks for applying for [role]. As the first step in our hiring process, we’ll ask several questions via text message. Just answer whenever you have a free minute in the next day or two. Reply back YES to get started. To opt out of receiving texts from us, reply STOP.
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4. Feedback request
Getting feedback from candidates after an interview is essential to ensure quality in your hiring process and helps you get ahead of negative feedback that you’d otherwise only find out about once it’s posted on Glassdoor. Texting is the perfect way to gather feedback.
Example: Hi [candidate name]. I hope your interview with [interviewer] went well. Please provide any feedback and let me know if you are interested in moving forward in the hiring process for the [role]. To opt out of texts from us, reply STOP.
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Of course, feedback requests can be automated and integrated with your recruiting platform or ATS.
For instance, you can use the below Zap to send a text through OpenPhone after you update a candidate’s stage in Workable and they’ve been interviewed.
5. Scheduling interviews
You can eliminate the back and forth of finding a time that works for everyone simply by providing the candidate access to a calendar via text.
Example: Hi [candidate name]. We’d like to set up an interview over Zoom as a next step. Please select a time between today and [date] that works for you: [Calendly link]. If you wish to no longer receive messages from us, reply back STOP.
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This Zap below then automatically sends a text message confirming the interview.
6. Application receipt confirmation
Texts allow you to preemptively address candidates’ frequently asked questions (including candidates checking to see if you received their application) preemptively while avoiding unnecessary back and forth.
Example: Thank you for your application to [company]! Your application is currently being reviewed. In the meantime, please check your spam folder and whitelist [company] emails. We’ll be in touch soon! To opt out of receiving texts from us, reply STOP.
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7. Hiring event followup
If in-person hiring events or webinars are part of your recruiting strategy, try using text as a way to follow up.
Example: Hi [candidate name], it was nice to meet you at the [event name]. My name is [recruiter name] from [company]. I’d like to hear more about your career interests and explore potential opportunities with [company]. Choose a time that works for you here: [Calendly link]. If you prefer to no longer receive messages from us, please respond with STOP.
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Best practices for text recruiting
Just because texts have a great open rate doesn’t mean your SMS recruiting efforts will be successful. You’ll need to incorporate some best practices too.
1. Automate where possible
There’s no need to type or copy and paste the same response over and over again when you text candidates. Instead, with OpenPhone, you can save your standard SMS messages as snippets to communicate faster and save time. 🙌 Just type “/snippets” into the text box and select the snippet you’d like, whether you’re answering a frequently asked question or following up with a candidate. If you want that message to go out later, you can also schedule texts in OpenPhone.
You can save even more time by sending automated texts throughout the recruiting process with Zapier.
2. Leverage tags
You regularly meet strong candidates who aren’t the right fit for the role you’re filling. That’s why it’s important to use tags within your applicant tracking system (ATS), so you can circle back and text your talent pool about new opportunities. If you use OpenPhone, you can also add custom properties to tag contacts you wish to circle back with in the future.
3. Involve team members
You’re not the only person involved in the hiring process. Why not delegate responsibility for text communication? For example, use the @mention feature in OpenPhone to tag teammates to text benefits information or prepare an offer letter, so you can focus on talent acquisition.
4. Mute notifications
Once you reach out to someone’s personal cell phone, there’s no such thing as business hours. So save your sanity and mute notifications if you don’t want to be bothered after you’re done for the day. 😴
5. Mind the rules
While texting is an inherently casual form of communication, there are some important things to keep in mind. For instance, you should consider the employer brand in your messaging style and tone (i.e., are emojis appropriate). Remember, you also must include an opt-out every time you send a message, regardless of whether you’ve had previous contact with the candidate. For more insight, check out our post about proper SMS texting etiquette.
Add text messages to your recruiting strategy today
You have a limited amount of time to convince qualified candidates to consider the role you’re trying to fill. One study suggests they’re off the market in 10 days — less if you’re targeting upper-level executives.
And while there will be times you need to pick up the phone, communicating by text will increase your chances of attracting top talent.
Try OpenPhone free for seven days to see how it can support texting for recruiting and streamline all your business communication.