Texting with your candidates is a great way to improve communication, candidate experience, and the overall performance of your hiring process but it can be damaging to your reputation and company brand if used incorrectly and unprofessionally.
Like other messaging mediums such as email and phone calls, there are federal laws and best practices that recruiters need to be aware of which we cover in this article.
Here are our do's and don'ts of text recruiting:
- Firstly - make sure your candidate is happy to communicate with you via text message before you start texting with them - this can be via opting in through a job application, asking them directly, or through an existing relationship with them.
- Give your candidates a clear method of opting-out from future text messages (our built-in opt-out feature takes care of this for you).
- Keep your messages personal and concise - each message should be no longer than approximately 240 characters. If you need to send a long message then consider using email instead.
- Greet & introduce Yourself - make sure your candidate knows who you are and where you work etc.
- If sending campaigns, make sure to personalise the message using our built-in hot keys for First Name, Last Name, and Company.
- Be polite, professional, and genuine in your message content (but don't forget to show your personality!).
- Use the built-in spellcheck and read the message out loud before sending to catch any grammar issues.
- Include a Call-to-Action (CTA) so that the candidate knows what the next steps are. Ideally you'll keep the CTA to come via text ;)
- Be mindful of the time of the day that you text a candidate. A general rule of thumb is that during normal work hours is ideal (9 -5) but if the candidate isn't able to text during those hours then no earlier than 8am and no later than 8pm.
- Overall: use common professional sense and text with candidates in the same way that you'd expect to be texted by them if your roles were reversed.
- Finally - make sure the message content is always relevant and appropriate.
- EXCESSIVE ALL CAPS, punctuation and special characters such as 'Hi how are YOU???????'
- Don’t text with candidates who do not want to be contacted via text message.
- Don’t send text messages to candidates who have previously opted out (Rectxt safeguards you against this).
- Avoid sending any text messages that could be considered spammy or unprofessional.
- While emojis can add personality and tone to a message, avoid using too many emojis in the same message as it’s unprofessional.
- Minimize your use of slang and acronyms such as LOL, OMG, BTW etc.
- Stay away from using EXCESSIVE ALL CAPS, punctuation and special characters such as ‘Hi how are YOU???????’
- Avoid sending text messages early in the morning, late at night, or during the weekends (unless your candidate given your permission to do so).
- Don’t use texting when the nature of the message requires detail or deeper context. E.g. during salary negotiations and or declining candidates.
- Harassing candidates by sending them multiple unanswered texts is a big no-no.
- Don’t use your personal cell phone for text recruiting.
If you're not sure....
If you're not sure whether a text you are about to send falls within the best practice guidelines then we recommend that you play-it-safe and don't send it - if you're not sure if it's a good idea then it's probably not!