Is It Okay to Text Candidates?

April 16, 2014 at 6:00 AM by Kathleen de Lara

“R U free 2 intrvw at 9 am, Fri?”

With mobile recruiting grazing new pastures, this may be the future of sourcing, perhaps sans the chatspeak.

Recruiting talent in this century demands that recruiters keep up, but all the way through to candidates' cell phones?

Is sending a text message to potential hires a breach of privacy, or an indication of how accessible people are becoming? Ask anyone their definition of personal privacy, and the results may surprise you. 

Being creative in recruiting is practically required of any sourcer hoping to stand out from the noise of competitors. With social recruiting being deemed as the road sourcers should be traveling, many companies are already building new bandwagons.

Hired allows engineers, designers, data scientists, and product managers to create professional profiles that recruiters can respond to, "bidding" for talent with job offers complete with details on salary, compensation, and benefits. UK-based is unshakeably embracing the phrase, “digital is the future,” providing a video tool that allows recruiters to completely automate the interviewing process. In more recent news, mobile recruiting company TextRecruit launched in March, fueling a growing trend in the industry that some may consider questionable.

Text recruiting is one of the latest sourcing techniques to hit the market, taking the idea of mobile recruiting to a new level of rapport. Five years ago, would any conventional recruiter imagine that industry leaders would eventually encourage contacting candidates through their social networks or mobile devices?

As recruiting continues to evolve, which channels of communication are off limits? It looks like all points of contact are up for grabs, no matter how unwelcomed the advance may be. With that said, the question, “Is it okay to text candidates?” doesn’t seem to carry enough weight to halt recruiters from taking the approach. If there’s a will, there’s a way to fill open reqs. Legally, of course.

In the past, contacting candidates through the once-hallowed email address was considered a noteworthy feat. Access to an email address was comparable to scoring the jackpot. Perhaps we’re in an era where the mobile number is the new nugget of recruiter gold candidates tuck away deep in their pockets.  

Text messaging is quickly becoming a primary channel for recruiters confirming interviews and following up with candidates, as reported by a 2013 Bullhorn survey. Getting in touch with a candidate is made easier, especially considering 79% of smartphone owners between 18 and 44 years old are likely to have access to their mobile devices during most of the day.

With mobile messaging, recruiters can:

  • Tap into new talent pools that are more responsive and active with texting, including Millennials, who are expected to make up 50% of the workforce by 2018

  • Tap into new talent pools that are less tech-savvy and don’t have their email synced to their phone

  • Connect with candidates offline and after work hours when they’re away from the computer and are on their mobile devices

  • Communicate with candidates on a medium that’s more direct and casual than email

  • Gain more visibility and garner quicker response rates by mass messaging candidates on a personalized line of communication

With mobile messaging, recruiters can consider:

  • Testing and evaluating the method and response rates between older and younger candidates to find out what works best for the company

  • Keeping the message concise by including only necessary job details and a link to learn more and apply

  • Optimizing the application process just as recruiters would on a careers page by streamlining the number of steps, internal links, and redirects to submit a CV

  • Discontinuing text message contact with a candidate who gives the red light on the approach

As the recruiting market continues to expand its resources for sourcing talent, mobile and text recruiting is already branding itself as the next big thing in the industry. How is your company confronting the trend?

We want to hear about your team’s experiences using text messaging in recruiting, or why you prefer not to. Share your thoughts in the comments or send a message to

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