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Text Recruiting

Most people have a smartphone, and most people who own smartphones use text messages to communicate with their friends and family. Text messaging via SMS, apps, and live chat solutions are now a ubiquitous part of our daily lives.

Inevitably, this has made text messaging an attractive prospect for both recruiters and candidates.

  • It is a more personal form of communication than email and a less time-consuming form of communication than a phone call.
  • Texting can lead to more engagement and higher response rates during the hiring process, and it can save recruiters valuable time.

Here, we will examine what text recruiting is, why it is important, and how specialized software can help companies incorporate it into their recruiting processes.

What is text recruiting?


Text recruiting is the use of text messaging as a way of communicating with candidates during the recruiting process. It is generally conducted through:

  • SMS (the text messaging service on phones),
  • Applications
  • Live chat solutions on websites
  • Social media messaging services
  • Conversational AI bots

It may be used in combination with traditional forms of communication, such as emails and phone calls, or it can be used exclusively during the hiring process.

Text recruiting may involve personal messages sent back and forth between recruiters and candidates as well as automated messages about the status of an application or job opening. Because most people carry their phones with them throughout the day, and because it only takes a moment to read a text message, about 90% of job seekers believe it would be helpful to receive text messages during the hiring process.

Why is text recruiting important?


In general, people tend to respond to text messages much faster than they do emails or phone calls. In general, people tend to respond to text messages much faster than they do emails or phone calls. On average, candidates will respond to text messages within 15 minutes, and text messages have a 99% open rate, compared to 28% to 33% for email. This reduces the time it takes to engage with candidates and shortens time-to-tire periods significantly.

Text messaging is also a preferred medium of many candidates—especially younger candidates. About 47% of Millennials are already using their mobile phones in their job search, and nearly all adults have a smartphone. It enables recruiters to engage them in the way they prefer, which enhances the candidate experience. Candidates can also rely on text messages to keep them informed about the progress of their applications, so they don’t feel left in the dark about their progress.

More candidates now expect companies to take a mobile-first approach to recruiting. Today, text recruiting is not a value upgrade, but an essential component of the candidate experience.

Finally, text recruiting can introduce new efficiencies into the recruiting process. By using AI-powered bots and automation, recruiters can free themselves from responding to simple queries and focus more on meaningful engagement.

The text recruiting process


Typically, a recruiter will begin a text conversation with a candidate after they’ve applied or made an initial inquiry about a position. Text recruiting software can also:

  • Enable candidates to submit applications via mobile or engage in chat before applying
  • Set up automated text messages to keep a new candidate informed about their applications once submitted

Many recruiters are already engaging in text recruiting, even within companies that do not already have an established text recruiting strategy or the applicable software. Most companies must establish a set of standards for text messaging. Although it tends to be more informal than other forms of communication, it’s important to create a documented strategy so that the candidate experience is standardized across the organization.

Text recruiting best practices

Text recruiting modernizes, streamlines, and accelerates your communication with candidates and employees.

Here’s a list of best practices to get the most from your text recruiting efforts:

  • Reply promptly. Speed is one of the great strengths of text recruiting. Texting typically gets more responses in less time than phone calls or email. It’s also a direct line to deskless candidates who are on their feet most of the day. It’s best to prioritize these responses while you have their attention and focus.
  • Only text candidates during business hours. It’s one thing if a candidate initiates the conversion after hours, but it’s best to avoid doing this yourself. Ask candidates when is best to reach them and set expectations early if you need to contact them outside their normal working hours.
  • Automate replies. Our AI recognizes and answers nearly a hundred candidate questions in multiple languages. These come pre-scripted and are fully customizable with simple logic. There is no complicated set up or conversation branches to untangle. Teaching your chatbot is just as easy. Something in your process change? Just open its script and make the updates yourself.
  • Incorporate your brand voice. Recruiting chatbots are an extension of your team, so give them a personality. Script replies to highlight your employee value proposition, including culture, values, and unique perks.
  • Encourage text applications. Perfect for high volume roles, text applications are great at converting foot traffic into candidates. Here’s how it works: job seekers text a keyword unique to your organization to a short code. A chatbot then guides them through a quick and straightforward application. Just like that, they’re under consideration.
  • Don’t forget new hires. There’s nothing worse than accepting a job offer and then waiting days or weeks for next steps. Keep new hires engaged and get them started with onboarding early by staying in touch over text. Touching base every once in awhile puts new hires at ease and makes them feel part of things right from the start.

Follow these guidelines and you’ll be well on your way to an effective text recruiting program. Wondering what technology you’ll need to pull this off? Keep reading, because that’s up next.

What is text recruiting software?


Text recruiting software facilitates text messaging across multiple channels from a single dashboard. It also integrates text recruiting into a company’s existing HR technology, enabling recruiters to transfer data across their technology ecosystem and keep communications centralized.

Most text recruiting software also comes with additional features that add new efficiencies to the process. These may include:

  • Automated text campaigns
  • AI chatbots
  • Compliance modules
  • Candidate pre-screening tools
  • Scheduling tools, and more

Where does text recruiting software fit into the recruiting process?


Text recruiting software is an ideal solution for engaging candidates after their initial response to a job posting, as it can increase their engagement and encourage them to pursue the opportunity further. With the right solutions, applications can engage with an AI-enabled chatbot to answer frequently asked questions, submit applications via their mobile devices, and sign up for automated text messages to keep track of the status of their applications.

Once an applicant enters the system, recruiters can contact them via:

  • SMS
  • Text apps
  • Social media messaging services
  • Other channels

With the right software, every task and text communication can be consolidated in an easy-to-use environment which can be referenced later.

Why is text recruiting software important?


Many recruiters are already engaging in text recruiting, but without an applicable strategy or software solution, they must do so using their personal tools and devices. This type of unstructured recruiting process can lead to discrepancies. It is also time-consuming and confusing to switch between multiple text channels and keeping track of communications is almost impossible if they are not aggregated to a single source of truth.

Text recruiting software formalizes the text recruiting environment and adds new efficiencies to leverage its many benefits. The software integrates into other HR systems to create a seamless candidate experience from the moment they first inquire about a position.

What to look for in text recruiting software


Look for text recruiting software that can integrate with your other HR systems. Trust in software products that have working partnerships with some of the best solutions in the industry or look for an all-in-one recruiting solution that includes a text recruiting software module.

As a standard, your text recruiting software should facilitate text messaging across almost any channel and be available no matter which website your job board is operating through. Best-in-class solutions are cloud-based and should include added features like AI-enabled chatbots, automated workflows, and more.

iCIMS’ Text Engagement


iCIMS’ Text Engagement was designed for:

  • Hiring teams of all sizes
  • Helping them engage with candidates on the channels they prefer
  • Communicating via SMS, WhatsApp, live chat, and conversational AI
  • Automating workflows to help streamline your recruiting process

iCIMS’ Text Engagement helps you seamlessly integrate modern mobile communications into your HR systems while staying compliant with the latest regulations. It produces significant outcomes for users, including a 50% boost in response rates on average.


Learn how iCIMS can help you drive ROI

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