Text Message Recruiting: 10 Tips For Dramatically Better Response Rates

Text message is a powerful recruiting tactic that is producing positive results for over 90% of

Jobvite - 10 Tips For Dramatically Better Response Ratesorganizations that try it. That’s no surprise because texting offers significant performance benefits over email with 98% open rates and over half of all responses coming in 15 minutes or less. Perhaps you are on the fence about trying text message recruiting yourself or have begun to include it in your recruiting process.  In any case, here are ten best practices that will increase your response rates, fill your downstream recruiting pipeline, and make communicating with candidates easier than ever before.

10 Text Message Recruiting Best Practices:

  1. Enable Two-Way Communication: Use a texting platform that allows two-way texting communication. Use two-way communication effectively by starting small and limiting campaign sizes to 50 contacts to start. Keeping campaign sizes small makes sure you can handle the high volumes of replies you’re sure to get.
  2. Protect Candidate Experience: Make it easy for candidates to unsubscribe. Some platforms automatically attach an opt-out message the first time you send a text message to a candidate. Other platforms can intelligently read candidate responses and unsubscribe contacts if words like “stop” “cancel” or “unsubscribe” are found.
  3. The Right Time To Send Campaigns: An employer texting study featured on ERE discovered that the best time to send text messages is at the start of the working day and before lunch.
    • 26% of candidates preferred to receive a text between 8 and 10am.
    • 29% of candidates preferred to receive a text between 12 and 2 pm.
    • Candidates tended to view texts sent after working hours unfavorably so make sure not to schedule any campaigns after 5:00 PM and don’t text your candidates at night.
  4. Short And Punchy Copy: To increase candidate response rates keep your text messages under 160 characters. Messages that were concise and to the point were better received by candidates.
  5. To Retain Passive Applicants Keep Questions Simple: If you are asking your candidate a question over text message keep it simple. Candidates should be able to answer any question you send them over text message with a simple yes or no.
  6. Make Your Candidate Feel Good: Play to the applicant’s ego to encourage response. For your initial outreach try using the following phrase: “…based on your qualifications and experience, I think this would be a great opportunity for you.”
  7. Personalize Your Messaging: Modern text recruiting software enables several personalization features. Make sure to use mail merge in your text messaging campaigns to personalize your communications. Small tweaks to your copy like adding your candidate’s name or a former company they’ve worked at will help increase engagement.
  8. End With A CTA: Add a call to action (CTA) at the end of your text message. To schedule interviews or meetings try dropping a Calendly link into your outreach. “If you’re interested click here to book your interview call.”
  9. Inform Your Decisions With Data: Use text message recruiting software that offers analytics capabilities. You’ll want to track metrics like open rates, response rates, unsubscribes, and clicks. You’ll want to A/B test different message copy, send times, and call to actions to find the combination that works best for your recruiting market.
  10. Customize Your Candidate Communication Channel: Find out if candidates would like to be texted instead of called or emailed. Send a survey to the contact list in your ATS to determine what their preferences are.

Ready to learn more about how text message recruiting can cut down your organization’s time to hire? Visit our booth at Recruiter Nation Live from June 5-7 in San Francisco.