The Do's and Don'ts of Text Recruiting

Whether you're a text recruiting amateur or an SMS expert, it's always good to consider some best practices to create the best candidate experience possible.

Text Recruiting is a fast and modern form of communication that can be used to both recruiters' and candidates' advantage, but there are general guidelines to follow - and boundaries not to cross.

Qualified candidates are hard to come by so it's important to take all the necessary steps to ensure they feel comfortable, respected, and valued.

Let's take a look at the things you should - and shouldn't do - when using Text Recruiting.

The Dos of Text Recruiting

Ask for permission

Always ask for permission to text your candidates. You don't want to disrespect their boundaries and contact them without asking beforehand. Don't forget to include an opt-out code or CTA they can use in case they choose to drop off at any point in time.

Always introduce yourself

It's extremely important to introduce yourself before promoting any job openings. Let your candidates know your name, which organization you work for, and what jobs are available. Texting is a personal communication channel, so you don't want to scare off job seekers with an unprefaced message with no context.

Be mindful of timing

Whether you're hiring from out-of-state or locally, be mindful of when you're sending out text messages. Ideally, you want to communicate with candidates during the daytime, preferably during general business hours. Studies show that candidates prefer to be reached within the 8 am to 12 pm time frame - but this can vary depending on your applicant pool.

If you're unsure about outreach timings, check in with your candidates and ask them when they'd be most comfortable receiving messages from your team.

Text recruiting software can help with creating and scheduling text campaigns in different time zones. XOR provides recruiting teams with the resources to create their own text templates and reuse them at any time. You can schedule messages accordingly to your hiring needs, allowing your team to send out the necessary campaigns across all time zones.

Keep it professional but friendly

Texting is personal, but that doesn't give recruiters a free pass to behave as a family member or friend would towards a candidate. Always keep your text messages professional, but friendly. Yes, this means you can still use emojis - but not an excessive amount!

You want to maintain a polite tone while being straightforward and direct about your goals. This ensures candidates know what your motives are and can communicate their questions or needs clearly.

Having trouble with crafting the perfect text message? Here are 6 essential text recruiting templates you can refer to when reaching out to candidates.

Be consistent

While text recruiting is a great way to reach candidates quickly and conveniently, it's important to upkeep your tempo. After the initial greeting and prefacing of your available positions, be sure to follow up with your candidates to ensure they've received your message. You can also gauge their interest or ask for referrals if they're not currently interested in applying for jobs.

The Don'ts of Text Recruiting

Don't use your personal cell phone

Not only does using your personal phone blur the lines between work and life, but it may also cause disorganization. If your team's in a high-volume recruiting industry, it can be especially hard to keep track of every candidate who keeps through your hiring funnel.

Designating a work phone to connect with candidates is the most ideal way to maintain organization and keep your work separate from your personal matters.

Don't contact those who don't want to be contacted

Don't contact candidates who have not approved your outreach initiatives. This also includes candidates who have previously opted out or those who haven't responded to your texts after multiple contact attempts. While it's important to meet your hiring goals and recruit the best talent, you don't want to permanently deter passive or uninterested candidates.

Although these prospects may not currently be on a job search, they could always come back in the future - so try to maintain a good footing with them!

Don't speak in paragraphs

Texts are meant to be quick, simple, and easy to read. You might have a lot to say, but save all that for the later stages of the recruiting process!

Your primary text recruiting goal should be to broadcast your key messages to candidates before their attention span ends - which is only a whopping 8 seconds! This means no long or lengthy texts - they're hard to read on such a small screen, difficult to decipher, and definitely not appreciated by candidates.

Don't use slang or abbreviations

Leave the BTW, TTYL, and LOL at the door. Not only are they unprofessional, but they can also be misinterpreted - especially when written in all caps. When communicating through text, you want to be as clear and direct as possible. Using social media acronyms can confuse candidates and even create a negative impression of your company.

Don't ask for sensitive information

If you need a candidate's social security number or other important documents for onboarding purposes, text messaging is not the right platform to use to ask. Save these requests for a phone call or over email. Not only is it unprofessional to ask over text, but these documents can also get lost.


Text recruiting is a great tool to use in your recruiting strategy, but it's highly recommended to be aware and considerate of how you're coming off to candidates. While it's convenient and flexible, you don't want to overstep boundaries as a recruiter and repel job seekers from applying to your jobs.

To learn more, check out the How-to Guide to Text Recruiting.

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