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Text Message Recruiting: Tips for Job Seekers

text message recruiting


Text Message Recruiting: Tips for Job Seekers

In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, where instant communication is the norm, text messaging has revolutionized how employers engage with job seekers during the application and recruitment process. For job seekers, understanding why companies rely on text messaging and mastering best practices for responding to automated text messages during the recruiting process can significantly enhance their chances of job search success.

What Is Text Message Recruiting

Software used by employers to streamline the recruiting and hiring process, “Text recruiting is an important automated messaging tool that recruiters use to engage candidates. Candidates aren’t always checking emails or able to answer phone calls, but answering texts is much easier. Recruiters utilize texting to pre-screen, schedule interviews, and even invite candidates to apply for open roles.”

Why Employers Use Text Messages to Recruit

From its convenience to the ability to ensure timely updates, text messaging aligns with the expectations of today’s mobile-driven generation. Companies use text message recruiting for a variety of reasons:

  • Leverage the benefits of instant communication 
  • Engage with candidates efficiently 
  • Enhance the candidate experience
  • Attract tech-savvy individuals who value seamless and convenient interactions

Recruiting is a challenge for all organizations, especially companies hiring large numbers of employees. With advances in technology, automating the recruiting process is a way to streamline it for both the company doing the hiring and the applicant or job seeker.

“With the automation and digitalization of the hiring process, it’s easier, saves money, and is meeting the needs of a workforce that has come to rely on their devices for instant communication,” says Chris Altizer, Partner at Altizer Performance Partners, LLC, a Florida-based leadership development and wellness organization.


“They love text message-based recruiting because it dramatically reduces the time it takes them to fill open positions and helps them better compete against other employers that are using outdated communication methods and interview processes,” says Desmond Lim, CEO and co-founder of Workstream.

text message recruiting tips

Companies use text message recruiting for several additional reasons:

  1. Instant and direct communication: Text messaging offers a fast and direct means of communication, allowing companies to reach out to candidates quickly and receive timely responses. Compared to email or phone calls, text messages have higher open and response rates, ensuring efficient and effective communication.
  2. Screening and prequalification: Text messaging can be utilized as an initial screening tool to assess candidate interest, availability, and basic qualifications before proceeding with more formal interviews. It helps companies streamline their candidate pool and focus their efforts on the most suitable candidates.
  3. Mobile accessibility: In today’s mobile-centric world, text messaging taps into the widespread use of smartphones. Most individuals have their phones within arm’s reach at all times, making text messages a convenient way to connect with job seekers regardless of their location.
  4. Engaging tech-savvy candidates: Text messaging resonates with tech-savvy candidates who are accustomed to quick and convenient communication channels. By embracing text alerts, companies demonstrate their commitment to staying up-to-date with technological advancements, appealing to candidates who value innovation.
  5. Candidate experience enhancement: Employers strive to provide a positive candidate experience throughout the recruitment process. Text message recruiting offer a personalized and interactive way to engage with candidates, provide updates, schedule interviews, and address inquiries promptly. This improves the overall candidate experience and reflects positively on the company’s brand.
  6. Higher response rates: Text messages often have higher response rates compared to other forms of communication. Candidates are more likely to read and respond to a text message promptly, leading to increased engagement and faster progress in the recruitment process.

“Especially within the hourly workforce, where a large percentage of employees are Gen Z, they live in messaging apps,” said Lim. “It’s their preferred method of communication, and many of them won’t answer a phone call and will neglect their email inbox for days at a time.”

“Text messaging enables a level of speed that is required when competing for hourly talent, where responding quickly is often the number one factor that determines hiring success.”

text recruiting

Mistakes to Avoid When Texting Employers

The biggest mistake people make in using text messaging for communication in the job search is treating texting for a job with a recruiter the same as they would if it was a friend or personal text, says Altizer.

Altizer has more than 35 years of senior human resources executive leadership experience with Aetna, Pfizer, Warner-Lambert, and Allstate Insurance. As a faculty member of Florida International University’s MSHRM program, his courses include staffing, which covers the topic of text message recruiting.


“Text messaging is the lowest context form of communication since smoke signaling — and has as many opportunities for mistakes,” he said. “My advice has always been to keep text messaging to transactional questions of who, what, when, and where — but sparingly on how and never on why. We’re all so used to emojis and acronyms that we think everyone knows what we mean all the time. That’s just not the case and creates risks of misunderstanding or worse.”


Speaking of emojis, acronyms, and memes, avoid sending. Even if trying to incorporate humor, or one’s personality into the response.


“Sigh emoji here,”  “The most common mistakes are using emojis and acronyms and assuming everyone understands what they mean. Just say no. Keep it professional, keep it short, and keep it focused” says Altizer.


Lim agrees.He notes that it’s best to use complete sentences, proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. An appropriate emoji here or there is okay, but use it sparingly. Avoid GIFs or acronyms to be on the safe side.

“Be professional,” he said. “Just because it’s text messaging doesn’t mean you should treat it like you’re messaging your friend. Every message sent back and forth is essentially an asynchronous job interview. Respond promptly, if you can. If you’re professional and prompt, you’ll increase your chances of moving quickly through the hiring pipeline.”

text message recruiting insights

If you are a job seeker using text messaging during the job search process for the first time, have a trusted family member or friend double-check the messages you are sending, Lim said. Even if you think your spelling and grammar are correct, it can be easy to overlook small mistakes.

“That being said, if you do notice a mistake after you send a message, don’t worry about it,” said Lim. “Hiring managers know that we are all human and don’t expect perfection.”

Keys to Job Search Success Using Text Message Recruiting

The benefit of text messaging is that it allows instant communication. The downside is people on the receiving end who need to follow up — in this case, the job seeker — feel pressure to respond immediately. This can cause anxiety to job seekers who can’t immediately respond because they are working, at an appointment, running errands, or busy with everyday life.


Employers know and understand this.

“As long as job seekers show that they are motivated and trying their best to communicate, their potential employer will understand if there’s a delay in communication here or there,” says Lim. “It all comes down to being respectful and professional. It’s fine to even let the potential employer know that you are busy for the next day or two but will message you when you are available. Ultimately, as long as the candidate isn’t outright ghosting their potential employer, there’s nothing to worry about.”

Can You Text Employer Questions During the Recruiting Process

Job seekers often wonder if they can text employers questions during the recruiting process. The answer is yes.

According to Jobvite: “Texting is a valuable way to communicate with recruiters during the recruiting process. If a recruiter provides their number and offers to answer questions — feel free to text them. Engaging and enabling candidates throughout the process is the number one job for recruiters. Utilize them for questions about anything from culture and employer branding to benefits and role responsibilities. If they don’t know the answer, they’ll find it for you.”

Who Is on the Receiving End of a Job-Focused Text Response

Job seekers often wonder: “Who am I responding to when sending a text to a company during the recruiting process?”

So, who receives the text message once sent to the employer? It’s a combination of an automated system and a human, Lim said.

“The automation handles much of the logistics around confirming employee eligibility and scheduling, but a human can step in to answer specific questions and send custom reminders.”   

Employers use text message recruiting because it provides instant communication, generates higher response rates, and provides convenient mobile accessibility. It allows for streamlined screening, enhances the candidate experience, and appeals to tech-savvy individuals.

Use these tips and strategies the next time you are in a job search that uses text messaging as part of the application and recruiting process.

Matt Krumrie
Matt Krumrie
Matt Krumrie is a resume expert and freelance writer whose work has been published in over 200 newspapers, websites, and magazines. He has 15+ years of experience writing resumes for clients of all backgrounds, from college grad, to entry-level to mid-career, executive and more. Matt lives in Minnesota.

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