Written by Chris Russell
19th January, 2021
Recruiting via Text Messaging
More and more recruiters are using emails and messaging platforms on the web, social media and smartphones to connect with job seekers quickly and conveniently. In an increasingly competitive job market, speed matters. Of these communication channels, texting offers the recruiter the speed they need to recruit faster. In fact, text messages are read within 5 minutes of receipt 95% of the time.
So if your talent acquisition teams aren’t using text messaging to communicate with job seekers, you’re already behind the curve. And while mass messaging to candidates can be mis-used, 1 to 1 messages can feel much more personal which is key to establishing relationships with candidates.
When it comes to guidelines don’t be too “wordy”. Less is more. Texting candidates after the initial connection is established by email / phone and till the offer is a commonly accepted practice. Texting is also a good option if the candidate is at work and can’t pick up calls.
We surveyed recruiters to see how they use texting to recruit. Here’s how they recruit via text.
Recruitment Text Message Examples
- Cold Recruiting Text: Hi this is Ryan. I have an open (role/location & sell). I can call you in (20/30/60 min) to tell you more. Interested?
- Cold Recruiting Text: I use text constantly. I generally try to call first, then text if they don’t answer. Something along the lines of “Hey its Lara with COMPANY. I called because I saw that you have a ton of experience in X, and I’m looking for a Y. Are you open to a discussion about the role?” If I found a resume online, I usually end with “Are you still interested in exploring new opportunities?”
- Cold Recruiting Text: Hi, Joe, this is Tom Johnson, a recruiter. I saw your resume on XXXX, and I am working on filling a hot JOBJOB there in CITY. When is a good time for us to talk about it?
- Cold Recruiting Text: Same thing I would say in a InMail on LinkedIn. Just make it more condensed. Text is king nowadays.
- Cold Recruiting Text: “Hey Chris! So good to talk today. You’ve done a lot in your time as an HR tech guru! I’d love to keep taking about it this role. What do you think?” I get about 50 percent response on the first send, and a little lower on follow ups.
- Cold Recruiting Text: My last few placements started out from cold texts… both lead level software engineers in the Bay Area. I was specific to why I was reaching out, how I got their number, mentioned a specific role, referenced the hiring manager and mentioned some things the hiring manager liked about their background. Also my meme and gif game varies or is nonexistent depending on their personality.
- Followup Text: I didn’t want to do another contract but a recruiter called me, left a voicemail, then followed up immediately with a text and an inmail. I respected his game and here I am, on another contract.
- Followup Text: Voicemails are outdated. When I call and nobody answers, I hang up and send a text with my profile picture and a short intro. They almost ALWAYS call me back immediately!
More Texting Advice From Recruiters
- Keep it short, direct and casual…texts should beMUCH SHORTER than an email.
- Use punctuation and emojis as you see fit. Candidates want to work with relatable people, not “headhunters”.
- Continue to use text to check in post interview for feedback or schedule a quick touch point.
- Be sure your mobile application process is quick. The last thing you’ll want is a bad mobile apply experience.
One recruiter, Stacie Ratliff told me this about her texting efforts.
“I use text more often when I have a candidate in process for a position and they are not responding to their emails. I’ll text them to nudge things along. Sometimes they respond faster: “Hi Dave. Wanted to follow-up on my email earlier this week and see what your availability is to do a tech phone screen. We’re excited to take the next step. Look forward to hearing back from you.”
She said she rarely ever contacts someone by text that she doesn’t have a pre-existing relationship with. “Some people may find this to be too personal or intrusive, so I tend to stick to email reach outs. Once I’ve met the person, I feel comfortable shooting them a text if I have an opening or want to fish for leads. I keep it short and sweet: “Hi Susannah. How are you? Last time we connected was about 6 months ago. I have an exciting opportunity for a Sr. iOS Engineer at XYZ company that I thought you might be interested in. If you’d like to know more, reply back and I’ll be happy to share a position profile. You can schedule a call with me here: calendly.com/recruiterabc”. Notice the use of the calendar link to make it easy for the candidate to schedule a call with her.
Recruiting via text can be a game changer for recruiters if they make it a primary communication tool. Today’s generation of candidates expects to be texted so meet them where they are. Platforms like Emissary exist for this very reason.