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Do’s & Don’ts Of Text Recruiting

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It’s 2022 and recruiters are texting with candidates more than ever before. This trend will only continue as more Millennials and Generation Z workers make up the majority of the candidate market. Officially known as ‘Text Recruiting’ – recruiters love the unbeatable speed and response rate of texting, and candidates love how convenient and discreet it is. 

However, texting with candidates isn’t as simple as picking up your cell phone and sending them a text. Recruiters need to be aware of the risks and limitations of this modern communication channel because, if used incorrectly, it can damage your brand and could land you in hot water with the feds. On the other hand, when used correctly, incorporating texting into your recruitment process can be a game-changer and can be the fastest, easiest, and most cost-effective way of improving recruiter productivity and candidate experience.

Like other communication mediums such as email and phone, basic etiquette and common sense will get you far with text recruiting however there are some useful guidelines that all recruiters should be aware of which we’ve summarized below.

Without further ado, below are our do’s and don’ts of text recruiting.

Do’s of Text Recruiting

  • As per Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) regulations, make sure that your candidate is happy to communicate via text before you start texting them – enable them to opt-in on a job application or ask them directly.
  • Greet & introduce yourself – make sure your candidate knows who you are, the company you are from and why you are texting them.
  • Give your candidates a clear method of opting-out from future text messages (text recruiting software like Rectxt takes care of this for you and keeps you compliant with TCPA).
  • Be polite, professional and genuine in your message content (but don’t forget to show your personality!).
  • Always make sure the message content is always relevant and appropriate to each candidate.
  • Keep your messages personal and concise – the shorter the message the higher the response rate will be. If you need to send a long message then consider using email instead.
  • Be mindful of the time of day when texting candidates. During normal working hours is ideal (9 -5) but if this isn’t possible, send texts no earlier than 8am and no later than 8pm.
  • Follow up important emails with a text message to make sure the candidate received it and wasn’t stuck in a spam filter etc.
  • Respond to text messages quickly to show your candidate that you care about them and value their time. This also keeps the momentum going and the candidate engaged with your organization.
  • Finally, use specialized text recruiting software like Rectxt that integrates with SmartRecruiters to communicate with your candidates. Not only will features like Message Templates and Mass Messaging save your recruiters a bunch of time, but all text messages are automatically saved into the candidate’s SmartRecruiters profile for easy record keeping.

Don’ts of Text Recruiting

  • Don’t text with candidates who do not want to be contacted via text message.
  • Don’t send text messages to candidates who have previously opted out (Text Recruiting Software safeguards you against this).
  • Don’t use your personal cell phone number when texting with candidates unless you know and trust them (candidates are strangers too!).
  • Avoid sending any text messages that could be considered spammy or unprofessional.
  • While emojis can add personality and tone to a message, avoid using too many emojis in the same message as it’s unprofessional.
  • Rely on using texting for 100% of your communication with candidates. Email and phone are equally important and they all play their part – especially when the nature of the message requires detail or deeper context such as during salary negotiations or declining candidates.
  • Stay away from using EXCESSIVE ALL CAPS, punctuation and special characters such as ‘Hi how are YOU???????’
  • Avoid sending text messages early in the morning, late at night, or during the weekends (unless your candidate has given you permission to do so).
  • Harassing candidates by sending them multiple unanswered texts is a big no-no.
  • Don’t use your personal cell phone for text recruiting – use specialized software that integrates with SmartRecruiters instead.

If you’re not sure….

Overall, use common professional sense and text with candidates in the same way that you’d expect to be texted by them if your roles were reversed. However, if you’re not sure whether a text you are about to send falls within the best practice guidelines then we recommend that you play-it-safe and don’t send it – if you’re not sure if it’s a good idea then it’s probably not!

Useful Recruiting Text Message Templates

1:1 Messages:

Responding to job applications:

Hey [FirstName] this is Brian from AcmeCorp. You have some great experience and I would love to speak with you about your recent job application with us. How does your schedule look this week?

Online calendar interview bookings:

Hey [FirstName] this is Brian from AcmeCorp. I’ve reviewed your resume and would love to learn more about you and tell you more about opportunities with us. Feel free to book a call in my calendar:

Following up on important emails:

Hey [FirstName], I’ve just sent the job offer to your email. Please check your spam folder and let me know if you still don’t see it!

Onboarding documentation:

Hi [FirstName] we look forward to having you join us! Please click this link to access the forms required to start your onboarding process: Please let me know if you have any questions! 

Onsite interview details + google maps link:

Hi [FirstName] I have sent the interview details to your email address – please confirm you have received them! We look forward to meeting you – find our office here:

Zoom interview confirmation:

Hi [FirstName] the details of your Zoom interview should now be in your calendar. Please confirm you have received them and let me know if you have any trouble connecting to the call.

Good luck message:

Hi [FirstName] I wanted to wish you good luck for your interview today! Let me know if you need anything else in the meantime.


Hey [FirstName], I’ve just left you a voicemail – feel free to call me back at this number anytime.

Covid screening questionnaire:

Hi [FirstName], we look forward to meeting with you for your interview. Before you arrive could you please review and fill out our Covid screening questionnaire: Let me know if you have any questions!

Brian Thompson

Starting his recruiting career in 2005, Brian Thompson is a self-confessed ‘recruitment geek’ and is fascinated by using technology to solve important problems in the recruitment industry.

Brian co-founded Rectxt with the mission to create simple & accessible texting software that is authentically ‘designed by recruiters for recruiters’. Today Rectxt is the recruiting industry’s easiest and most affordable texting software and integrates with some of the world’s leading ATS platforms, including SmartRecruiters.