5 Best Practices For Recruitment Texting: How To Maintain Professionalism

ApplicantStack recruitment texting

Liz Strikwerda

Content strategist and corporate blogger (2000+ posts). Her work has been featured on G2's Learning Hub, Human Resources Today, CloserIQ, Better Buys and over 500 business websites. She plays bluegrass mandolin and enjoys hiking in the red rock wilderness of southern Utah. Connect with me on LinkedIn

To text or not to text?

Recruitment texting is an ideal way to connect with applicants in many circumstances. But not all circumstances—and only if done right.

Are you planning to start using texting for recruiting processes? Have you been texting for a while without any formal policies?

Save yourself a lot of trouble by creating guidelines for you and your team to follow.

Though texting is more informal than emails and paper correspondence, it can’t be a free-for-all. Business texting should be far different than texting in your personal life.

Create A Policy For Texting Etiquette

It’s important that your team understands and agrees to follow your texting policies. It takes a conscious effort to follow a formal policy if you are used to shooting off personal acronym-filled texts all day.

5 Best Practices For Recruitment Texting

1. Always Be Professional

Use complete sentences. Pay just as much attention to spelling and grammar as you would in an email. Never, ever use emojis.

Restrict your messages to the recruiting process. Even if the applicant shares something personal, don’t respond in kind.

2. Only Use Texting For Brief Messages

Email is better suited for more than a couple lines. You can use a text message to notify the candidate of an email that includes all the details. One of the best uses of a text message is to confirm an interview appointment.

3. Tell The Applicant Who You Are

In addition to basic professionalism, you need to provide context. Remember that a candidate may have several applications in progress. Include your name, company, and the position you hold. Do this for every single SMS. As mentioned before, this requires a conscious effort because we don’t do this in our personal texting.

4. Pay Attention to Timing

The best time to send a text message is between 9:00 a.m. and noon. The next preferable time is in the afternoon during business hours. Never text outside of business hours except when initiated by the candidate. For example, they might need to cancel an interview appointment the night before it’s scheduled. If they text you at 9:00 p.m. and say ‘Sorry, I have to reschedule the interview tomorrow. Let me know that you got this message,’ it would be appropriate to confirm receipt.

5. When Not To Text

Never offer a job or relate interview results with a text. And never reject an applicant through a text. Discontinue texting if the candidate doesn’t respond to your text messages via text.

If a texting exchange becomes lengthy, suggest moving the conversation to a phone call or email. Long messages are confusing and often get split up on the receiver’s end. Don’t risk a misunderstanding.

Texting Is Not Universally Accepted

In a survey on recruitment texting, Software Advice found that only 35% of respondents consider texting ‘professional.’ By comparison, 34% deemed it ‘unprofessional’ and 31% had no opinion. Another interesting finding is that age of the respondent had no bearing on the results. In other words, job seekers under the age of 35 had similar views on texting as older candidates.

Use An ATS For Recruitment Texting

Some applicant tracking systems (including ApplicantStack) include a texting tool. ATSs with texting help recruiters follow the best practices outlined previously.

An ATS stores a history of all conversations—texts, phone calls, and emails. It also allows any member of your hiring team to text within the application.

An ATS lets you type text messages on any connected device. Many recruiting professionals prefer to type texts with a conventional keyboard. It can make it easier to maintain proper grammar and correct typos.

When hiring managers use their personal cell phone for recruitment texting, there are many potential pitfalls. Some hiring teams have discontinued the practice because it did more harm than good. If you want to incorporate texting in your recruiting, we recommend using an ATS with a texting function.

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Simplify HR management today.

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