3 best practices for texting candidates

December 3, 2020

Whether you’re a recruiter at a staffing firm or an internal hiring manager, you can more effectively reach candidates and move them along your hiring process by texting them. This allows you to put your message in the pocket of candidates in a more visible way than email, and job seekers can respond quickly without the same pressure as, say, email or returning a phone call. (An important consideration for Millennial and Gen Z workers.) 

As you’re preparing for January and your 2021 hiring plans, you might want to consider implementing texting programs. This easy and effective way to start a conversation can help you navigate a tough race for talent, and in addition to higher responses serving as instant gratification, it can reduce your time to hire.  

How to send texts to your CareerBuilder candidates 

If you’re using our suite, it’s pretty short and sweet: in your message center, you’ll start a new message, and down in the corner, select the box to “Send as SMS” - and you’re done! 

Check if your existing tools allow you to easily text candidates. 

Whichever platform you’re using, here are a few best practices you should keep in mind before you hit send. 

1. Be succinct, friendly and professional 

The best thing about a tactic as personal as texting is you can be a bit more casual, informal and conversational, which can help establish a better relationship with a candidate. However, you should still remain professional while keeping your message clear. Offer a distinct call to action and you’ll see a higher engagement rate. 

Get to the point and be conversational. Spammy content is unwelcome in any format and you’re more likely to receive a response if your message is clear and has a distinct call to action. Make sure you offer a prompt for a response, like asking a question, to keep the conversation going. 

2. Be respectful and thoughtful of work hours 

Because you're probably reaching out during work hours, you should be considerate with your message. Maybe send first thing in the morning as folks might be getting ready for the day, or later in the afternoon when there is often a slump. Both of these could be accomplished with a fun message about enjoying your coffee or taking a break and checking out a job opportunity. 

Texting is less ignore-able than email. Your message will light up that candidate’s screen in the middle of their workday, and with this tactic cutting through the daily work noise, you should be strategic and not go overboard with messages. Just like you wouldn’t bombard candidates with emails and phone calls, you don’t want to overwhelm job seekers with too many messages. By giving their phone number, they are inviting you into their personal space.  

3. The main takeaway: meet candidates where they are, and as Gen Zers begin to enter the workforce (or is landing summer jobs between semesters), they have particular and different preferences.  

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