Chris Russell

2 min read

applying by text

Is Text to Apply the Next Big Thing in Recruiting?

As the use of texting grows in recruiting, the ability to apply by text is slowly becoming more of a reality. As of now, you can’t typically apply through text messaging other than beginning the apply process by answering a few questions. But text based chatbots now allow you to essentially collect the basic data points you need to capture a candidate’s information and intent.

For a growing number of jobs you don’t really need to collect a resume. Blue collar positions, entry level, customer service, gig work and even software developers  can be included in this job cohort.

What Is Text to Apply?

Text to apply is simply a text based conversation with a software bot that enables a candidate to apply to a job through a series of text messages that help to pre-screen and filter that applicant to determine first if they are qualified or not qualified status. If they are, the sequence of texts would then continue to gather information about their skills and experience in order to move them through the recruiting funnel.text candidates

Platforms like HackerRank have popped up to assess software developers ability to code and that is really all you need to know in order to understand if they can do the job you have. Instead of asking for a resume you could simply send them direct to the code assessment. But that’s a special case. When it comes to the blue collar type work I mentioned before, a short conversation with a bot should be all you need to allow that job seeker to apply or express interest.

How do you apply for a job through text?

A text based apply sequence for a truck driver might read like this;

Bot: Thanks for checking out our job. Would you like to apply via text?

Candidiate: Yes

Bot: Great, let’s start by giving me your contact details. Whats your full name?

Candidiate: its Bobby Axelrod

Bot: Thanks, whats your email?


Bot: Awesome, do you have your commercial trucking license? If so please list all your certifications.

Candidiate: CDL

Bot: Are you currently employed? If so what company do you work for?

Candidiate: Axelrod Trucking

Bot: Great, how many years have you been driving commercial trucks?

Candidiate: 5 years

Bot: Do you have a solid driving record?

Candidiate: yes I do

Bot: Perfect, it looks like you meet our minimum qualifications. A recruiter will be in touch within the next 24-48 hours to ask you some follow up questions. We appreciate you taking the time to apply with us!


This simple exchange provides enough data to get the ball started with the candidate. From here, the candidates answers would be inserted directly into the ATS or CRM as a new “lead” and a recruiter can then follow up to request additional info or schedule a text interview. Applying via a web page is at best a chore. Applying via text is a friction-less process that more companies need to adapt, particularly if they have consistent hard to fill jobs.

To be sure, the resume is still the biggest barrier when it comes to applying via text. There is no way to accept it other than forcing the candidate to go to a web page for uploading. This fact is unlikely to change anytime soon. But for certain jobs the text to apply functionality is already here. It needs only an internal champion to implement it at your organization.

About Emissary

Emissary is a candidate engagement platform built to empower recruiters with efficient, modern communication tools that work in harmony with other recruiting solutions.

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