SMS Text Recruiting

For decades now, we have developed countless channels for communicating, especially in recruiting. As a result, we associate different channels with different levels of appropriateness or relevancy, and text recruiting is one of the latest changes in the industry. 

Email and phone calls have historically been the main channels for professional communication. Text messaging, on the other hand, grew into popularity as a form of quick and informal communication. When you think of SMS text messages, things that come to mind are messages you send your friends, family or significant others. They may event contain an emoji or two … or ten. SMS messaging is seen as personal and intimate.

For some, the idea of a hiring manager texting candidates may seem creepy. The truth is, however, that the rise of mobile usage has made SMS messaging an increasingly accepted mode of communication between job seekers and employers. For hourly workers this even more paramount since the nature of their work means they are not able to check emails regularly or make time for phone calls.

The rise of mobile usage has made SMS messaging an increasingly accepted mode of communication between job seekers and employers.

The rise of mobile usage has made SMS text recruiting an increasingly accepted mode of communication between job seekers and employers.

For employers looking to fill positions quickly, this has equally important implications. If they are not able to reach applicants quickly and effortlessly, more days pass with unfilled positions. It also means that every day that they are unable to engage these qualified applicants, the more likely they are to take other hourly positions at other companies. Candidates are online for the most of their waking hours and may not be able to see application instructions or updates quickly. As a result, your recruitment process becomes lengthier than it should be. Therefore, being the first to reach these candidates is the key driver in meeting your hiring needs - this is where the efficiency and personalization of SMS messaging becomes your best friend in hiring.

Text recruiting for your business

Whether you are a new businesses or established, tech-savvy or tech shy, the benefits of SMS text recruiring far outweighs any awkwardness you should feel about using this as a means for communication with your candidates.

75% of small business owners are eager to embrace new technology, but 30% find it hard to adopt.

75% of small business owners are eager to embrace new technology, but 30% find it hard to adopt.

Tech-savvy business: If you’re one of the growing companies that have embraced text recruiting into your hiring process, well-done! You are leading the way in the future of recruiting and view technology as a way to give you a huge competitive edge especially when it comes to hiring. You clearly care about getting top talent before others do and use this as a great way to set yourself apart from larger companies that may have a larger recruiting and sourcing budget. We have outlined some best practices for using SMS messaging so keep reading for the full list.

Benefits of SMS Text Recruiting

Tech-shy businesses: According to a new survey by AT&T, 75 percent of small business owners are eager to embrace new technology, but 30 percent find it hard to adopt. You may be one of these small businesses. It’s understandable especially with so many text recruiting tools now available. Historically, companies have used Applicant Tracking Systems or ATSs to manage their recruiting efforts. Unfortunately, this usually involves a lot of training and investment. Additionally, if companies want to incorporate other text recruiting tools, they have to worry about whether it integrates with their current ATS or not. Companies in this category are often held back by the very tools that are supposed to be helping them with efficiency. If you fall into this category, using SMS text recruiting for reaching candidates is a great addition for you. You can use this in conjunction with your existing investment. You will also see that it greatly reduces the time and cost associated with recruiting by eliminating all the manual emails, calls and back and forth it takes to reach applicants and schedule time with them.

Small businesses - These are usually mom and pop shops where budgets are tight especially for hiring and recruiting. Most small businesses are under 25 employees, and that means that business owners are having to do all the hiring which is critical to the success of the business. This also means they are wearing multiple hats including that of operations manager and hiring manager. Therefore, the cost of hiring is even more prevalent. According to Entrepreneur, business owners can spend up to 40 percent of their precious day engaged in these necessary but time-sucking tasks. Every hour that an operations manager spends hiring is an hour of lost productivity and profit-earning activities. Operation managers and business owners don’t have time to waste sending emails and scheduling interviews. If you fall under this category, you should consider free tools that can replace some of the manual work for texting candidates.

Large enterprise - These are more established businesses that have proved themselves in the market and are in a higher growth phase due to their growing operational needs. For this reason, when administrative processes begin slowing down the productivity of the firm, incorporating hiring technology becomes essential to business success. This also means that growth and scaling your workforce is top of mind. It also means that the time spent on emails and phone calls is even costlier with the average cost of hiring around $4,425 according to SHRM.

Here’s a look at how these business personalities stack up:

Note: Metric calculations are based on industry reports from sources like SHRM and Fountain’s internal data.

[Read how Lime expanded to hundreds of cities and dozens of countries in less than a year]

Text recruiting versus traditional communication

Before we go into SMS messaging best practices, let’s revisit what a typical interaction looks like between a hiring manager and an applicant from the point at which an application is completed to when the first phone screening is completed. If you are still thinking about introducing SMS into your hiring and recruiting, you’ll definitely want to keep reading and see how texting candidates is the biggest game-changer for your hiring operations.

So if you are a small business, just starting out, our a little apprehensive about using text recruiting tools and SMS messages in your hiring, this is what you may typically experience in the beginning of the recruiting phase:

Using email to contact candidates and set up a first screening call can take 1 - 2 weeks.

Standard Recruiting Process‍


  • Submits application through a job board (Could also be a walk-in and physical application)

Hiring Manager:

  • ‍‍Needs to log into a system or receive an email to review. (May take days depending on volume of applicants)
  • Send an email to applicant to set up a phone screening ‍


  • Applicant needs to check email and respond (This step may involve some back and forth for scheduling)

Hiring Manager:‍

  • Calls applicant for initial phone screening

This entire process, while typical, can take 1 - 2 weeks if everything goes smoothly. According to Indeed, applicants receive a range of experiences depending on the urgency of the position needing to be filled:

  • 44% hear from employers within a couple weeks of applying;
  • 37% hear back within one week; and
  • only 4% hear back within one day.

Now let’s compare this to companies like Lime and Wag who use text recruiting to hire their workforce and use online recruiting as their single channel for hiring:

It only takes a few days to schedule a screening call with SMS messaging.

Text Recruiting Process


  • Submits application through a job board

Hiring Manager:

  • Logs into one system to see all candidates that applied. (The candidate information is auto-populated and in real time)
  • Has the choice to either send candidate an SMS message to schedule a screening call or can have their hiring software automatically message them using templates with pre-populated personalized messages for candidates.

Applicant: ‍

  • Receives SMS message with link to scheduled phone call


  • ‍‍Receive automatic reminders when phone call is approaching

With this method, the entire process from Application to initial phone screening takes an average of 1-2 days due to the elimination of all the manual tasks and engagement through SMS. The other major benefit is the huge cost in time spent recruiting. We estimate anywhere from $800 - $3,500 in the reduction in cost per hire.

Text recruiting strategies and best practices

So whether you fall into tech-savvy or tech-shy, we have outlines some fundamental best practices you can implement today.

1. Use personalization when texting candidates

When you’re using push notifications or texting hundreds of applicants, it’s tempting to use general messages but we recommend against it. This is your chance to make your company stand out from the crowd. Remember, this applicants are applying to more that 10 - 15 jobs per week so making the best first impression is crucial to your own success.

SMS message sent to qualifies candidates by Wag!

[Read the 3 things to implement today to start hiring smarter]

2. Keep text recruiting messages short

Based on our own internal findings, we find that keeping your SMS recruiting messages under 160 characters is the sweet spot. Any longer and you run into a higher chance of getting ignored or skipped over. Opt for short sentences that get right to the point.

3. Use time sensitive language as a text recruiting strategy

It’s important to give your candidates gentle reminders. They’re busy too and may need some prompting to get to the next phase in the hiring process. Using verbiage that gives a sense of urgency is a great way to push things along is a way that engages candidates, especially the ones that are truly interested in working for you. One of our customers, for example, saw a 10% increase in response when using the words “final chance”.

4. Keep things simple with your text recruiting strategies, and ask for a response

A great example of a text recruiting strategies sending a simple message to candidates who have been unresponsive like “still interested?”. It’s an easy way for them to let you know if they’ve changes their mind or moved on and it helps you weed out these candidates from your own list.

An SMS with a friendly reminder for the candidate.

5. Show off incentives in your recruiting texts to candidates

If you find that you are competing with lots of other companies for the same talent, you may want to consider offering incentives for them to work for you. One example is how Uber and Lyft offer special sign-up bonuses as a way to incentivize hires to drive right away, because new hires having cold feet is a big problem for on-demand companies and the longer they wait, the less likely these new drivers will start.

Recruiting Text Templates

Below you’ll find samples of recruiting text templates that we’ve seen used effectively by businesses of all sizes. Make sure that you copy these recruiting text templates, and customize them based on your job and unique messaging to get the best results.

Introductory Recruiting Text Templates

  1. Hi, [first name]. It’s [your name] from [your company]. I came across your resume and was wondering if you wanted to chat about a job?
  2. Hi [first name]. It’s [your name] from [your company]. I’m currently looking for people with similar backgrounds to yours. Interested in learning more?
  3. Hey [first name]. I came across your profile as I was searching for [insert job profile] who I thought would be a good fit. Any chance you’d like to learn more?

Sample SMS for recruitment of cold candidates

  1. Hey [first name]. We have a [insert job title] that’s right up your alley. Let me know if you’re interested.
  2. Hi [first name]! I haven’t heard from you in a bit. Thought it might be good to checkin and talk about your current plans.
  3. Hi [first name]. I have a pretty killer job that you’d be perfect for. Let me know.

Interview invitation text message example

  1. Hi [first name]. Here’s how you can get to our office [map url] for your interview tomorrow. Looking forward to meeting with you.
  2. Hi [first name]. We’re looking forward to meeting you tomorrow at [time]. Keep in mind that traffic can vary during that time so give yourself an extra 10-15 minutes. Feel free to contact me if you need any directions.

Job offer via text message example

  1. Hi [first name]. I just sent your offer paperwork via email. Take a look and let me know if you have any questions. [Your name and company]

How text recruiting strategies can transform your business

It’s pretty clear that SMS text recruiting is the future of hiring and recruiting. In fact, a study has shown that SMS has eight times the response rate of email! While finding new talent may seem like a numbers game or pure luck, SMS messaging offers a major competitive edge for employers both large and small.

SMS has eight times the response rate of email!

SMS messaging, however, doesn’t mean you have to spend all day texting candidates. You can take your recruiting and hiring efforts up a notch by simply automating your SMS responses. This is what will truly elevate your hiring.