A Guide to Text-Based Recruiting: How to Use SMS Messaging to Speed Up Hiring

Female candidate receiving an SMS text on her cell phone inviting her to complete an on-demand video interview.

The rundown

  • Currently, over 6 billion people in the world own a smartphone. This number is projected to reach over 7.5 billion people by 2026.
  • By 2025, 72% of all internet users will solely use smartphones to access the internet.
  • Over 60% of job applications are completed on a mobile device, and 67% of potential candidates respond within minutes to SMS messages.
  • 74% of candidates attribute delays in company response for the reason they turned down an offer from that company.
  • Candidates who received text messages as part of their recruitment rated their experience 50% more favorably than those who did not.
  • 86% of Gen Z and Millennials appreciate SMS text messages being part of the interview process.

Table of contents

Time-saving HR tech solutions

Over the last few decades, the HR industry has seen a huge uptick in disruptive technology in the hiring and recruitment space. Starting in the 90s, the internet became more widely accessible and, as a result, Applicant Tracking Systems were developed to help keep track of a larger influx of candidate resumes, applications, and recruitment statuses.

As technology has advanced we’ve also seen the rise of new tools like online screening and assessment tools, resume scanners to help filter through the pile of resumes on your desk, video interviews (something near and dear to our hearts here at interviewstream), and now social and text-based recruiting.

So, the question we’re here to ask is: Is text-based recruiting the future of recruitment? (Hint hint: the answer is yes) And, if so, how can it help your hiring process?

Want to learn more about text-based recruiting?

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What is text-based recruiting?

You may have noticed over the past few years that you’re getting more and more text messages from companies. Whether that’s pure marketing updates about products, customer surveys, shipping updates, or billing confirmation – companies have figured out that text messages can be more effective at reaching consumers than traditional methods like mailers, email, or phone calls.

And now, companies are using that same technology to text candidates to set up and schedule interviews.

“Companies are already using this to communicate job openings, application information like links or updates, and more recently, text-based assessment, screening interviews, and later-round interview invitations.”

Text-based recruiting uses SMS (short message service) text messages to communicate with candidates. Instead of using broad communication channels like email to reach potential hires, recruiters can reach candidates right in their messaging app. Companies are already using this to communicate job openings, application information like links or updates, and more recently, text-based assessment, screening interviews, and later-round interview invitations.

Why recruit using SMS text messaging in addition to email and phone?

1. Communicate with scale and speed

We live in a world dominated by smartphones – think of the last time you turned your phone off… never, right? Eric Schmeidt, the then-CEO of Google, was the first to realize the importance of designing websites and applications for mobile devices as the first medium of use. He coined the term “mobile-first”, which refers to the growing trend of people accessing the internet through smaller format devices like smartphones or tablets.

Here’s a quick look at the numbers:

  • Currently, over 6 billion people in the world own a smartphone. This number is projected to reach over 7.5 billion people by 2026.
  • And by 2025, 72% of all internet users will solely use smartphones to access the internet.

Text-based recruiting takes the mobile-first trend and applies it to recruiting and hiring. Put plainly, reaching your candidate faster gives you a better chance of landing the best candidate for the job. To do this, you need to use technology to your advantage and speed up your hiring process with text messaging.

Here are some stats on SMS messaging:

  • Over 60% of job applications are being completed on a mobile device.
  • SMS text messages have an almost 80% higher read rate than email.
  • 74% of candidates attribute delays in company responses for the reason they turned down an offer from that company.
  • And 67% of potential candidates respond within minutes to SMS text messages.

Text-based recruiting offers you the benefit of reaching candidates on their most-used smartphone app. And, if you’re already using our video interviewing platform, when you incorporate interviewstream SMS for interview on demand, you can send an interview invitation to a bulk of candidates all from a single tool.

2. Improve your candidate experience

Another factor to consider is the candidate experience. A study from Talent Board showed that keeping in touch with candidates throughout the hiring process improves their overall experience, and candidates who received text messages as part of their recruitment process rated their experience 50% more favorably than those who did not.

On top of that, 86% of Gen Z and Millennials appreciate SMS text messages being part of the interview process.

Candidates trust companies that reach out early and often in the hiring process. Couple that with a customizable candidate experience and you’ve got a workflow that reaches candidates quickly, in the way they communicate, with a modern interview process tailored to fit your brand.

3. Break through the tech hurdles

One of the most commonly encountered issues with recruitment technology is technical issues. Some devices are capable of using the new tech, and some aren’t.

For example, with video interviewing, you may reach out to a candidate that doesn’t have access to a camera on their device or may not be in a place with an internet connection strong enough to support video. You want to be able to adapt your tech for this candidate, which is just what integrating SMS messaging does.

Text-based interview invitations can be completed on a mobile browser, native mobile app, or can be passed from device to device using a sharable invitation link – giving your candidates a variety of options to complete their digital interview.

No more searching for the right combination of device and connection, app, or browser. Just invite the candidate using SMS and email and let them complete the interview on the device that best fits their needs.

How to incorporate SMS messaging into your recruitment process

To sum things up, SMS text recruiting can help you reach candidates faster, ensuring candidates see your interview invitations and respond at the right time and in the right place. It can also help improve your candidate experience by allowing you to reach candidates on their most-used device and keep in constant contact with potential new hires.

But let’s break down how you can implement text-based recruitment in your hiring process.

1. First, Get Their Permission to Text

Not every candidate wants a text from a recruiter, so be willing to adjust to each candidate’s needs. Allow candidates to opt-in to texts from you in their application. While we’re speaking about permissions – don’t text candidates out-of-hours. Many states in the USA have laws around what times businesses can and cannot send text messages.

2. Craft A Message That Immediately Lets Your Candidate Know Who You Are

When you set up your outgoing message, make sure to mention who you are, the name of your company, and the role you’re hiring for. If you’re sending them an invitation for a one-way video interview, consider offering them some tips on how to complete the interview.

3. Be Concise And Professional

Don’t waste the candidate’s time with a ton of extra information or use abbreviations or emoticons. Keep text messages short and to the point, so candidates can absorb the key information about their interview or job opportunity, and be professional.

4. Personalize Your Messages

Create custom fields to personalize your text-based recruiting. Think of the information you need to convey to your applicant and how you can personalize it to improve their candidate experience. You’re probably already using tags in your messaging to refer to your candidate by their first and last name, but you can further customize to reference their skills, experience, or current/past position.

5. Notify Multiple Applicants At The Same Time

Texting every single applicant that has applied to your job posting individually would take ages (especially if you work at a prominent company or are advertising a hard-to-land position). Incorporating SMS messaging into your interviewing platform allows you to text multiple candidates at once. When you’re setting up the list of candidates who have made it to a certain interview round, simply click “notify by text and email” when you send the invites.

6. Respond To Your Candidates

This one is a simple one, but sometimes in the application process, a text or email gets left unread. By replying quickly to your candidates, you keep the hiring process moving forward. In addition, it’s a great way to connect with your candidate and establish trust. Obviously you aren’t available at all hours of the day, so setting up an automatic reply with a support number or email can help candidates with technical issues.

7. Send Out Reminders To Keep Your Candidates In The Loop

Candidates are finding jobs more quickly now than before, so make sure you’re top-of-mind by reminding them of their pending video or in person interview by sending them a text through the platform. You can choose to automate these texts as you would emails.

8. Use Text Messages To Indicate If A Candidate Has Not Been Hired

No one likes to hear that they haven’t been successful in applying for a job, but days of radio silence on the part of the hiring team is even worse. Let candidates know they have been rejected in a timely manner – even though you’re communicating bad news, the transparency and respect you show your candidates will leave a good impression.

Get started with text-based recruiting today

Incorporating SMS messaging into your hiring strategy is fairly straight-forward and simple – an easy way to create more efficiencies in your recruitment process. Want to learn more about how digital and text-based recruiting with interviewstream can help meet your hiring needs? Check out a product demo!

Want to learn more about text-based recruiting?

Chat with a client success expert today and learn how to leverage remote interviewing solutions to simplify and personalize your hiring practices.

Request a demo

About interviewstream

interviewstream is an industry leading recruiting software company that helps you reach your top candidates more effectively. Our customers have completed over 3 million interviews using interview builder, interview on demand, interview scheduler, interview connect, and interview prep and we’d love to help you as well. Talk to an expert today to learn how to get started.

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About interviewstream

As companies transition to remote work, we exists to help recruiters and hiring teams ask the right questions every time, screen candidates faster, make scheduling easier and reach candidates everywhere. Using our remote interviewing platform, your team will have a complete view of the candidate in one location while also leveraging one of the leading platforms for online interviewing.

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