How to Use Text to Apply & Texting Software for Recruiting
Kyle Kuczynski
Kyle Kuczynski
MessageDesk Co-Founder & CMO
Updated: Oct 20, 2022

Guide to Texting Software for Recruiting & Text to Apply + Recruiting Text Message Examples

Having the right people and organizational culture correlate directly with success.

But everyone scrambles to find, hire and retain talent.

It’s a communication challenge to:

  • Build awareness around open positions and job opportunities
  • Get job information in front of the right candidates at the right time
  • Follow up with applicants and get them to apply or take the next step
  • Communicate hiring process timelines and expectations

So recruiters and HR professionals at many businesses and organizations are texting recruits. They’re using texting software for recruiting and crafting text-to-apply campaigns.

In this article, I cover:

  1. What text recruiting and text to apply are
  2. Why text recruiting and text to apply campaigns work
  3. How to get started with texting software for recruiting
  4. How to text job candidates at every stage of the recruitment funnel
  5. Recruiting text message examples and templates (copy and paste)

By the end, you’ll have everything you need to get started with a text recruiting platform.

Read on for more.

Try Texting Software for Recruiting for Free

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What is Text Recruiting?

Text recruiting is SMS text messaging for recruiters, staffing agencies, and HR professionals. Texting software for recruiting makes it easier to reach job applicants and candidates with automated SMS text messages. Recruiters use text recruiting at all stages of the recruitment funnel to:

  • Advertise open job positions
  • Encourage applicants to apply
  • Book, schedule, and confirm interviews
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What is Text to Apply?

Text-To-Apply is a type of automated text message campaign available in text recruiting software. Text-To-Apply works using autoresponder keywords like “APPLY”. When a candidate texts this keyword they get an instant automated text response. This response contains a link to your job post or other job information. Text-to-Apply makes it easy for job candidates to start a job application from their mobile device or smartphone.

Why Text Recruiting and Text to Apply Campaigns Work

Email and voice are the standards for communicating at all stages of the recruitment funnel and hiring process.

But text messages have some clear advantages over email and voice. This is especially true for internal employee communication and recruitment and staffing messaging.

Email recruiting vs text recruitment

Email will always be the standard for longer, more formal recruitment communications.

It’s easy to compose a message and send an email blast. But email isn’t necessarily great for getting quick responses and sending short, direct, messages.

Need direct, quick engagement with job candidates? Text messages have up to a 90% open rate and a near 45% response rate. Compare that to email with around a 20% open rate and a 6% response rate.

Plus, job candidates often research and apply to multiple jobs at once. They’re reading and responding to a lot of emails in a crowded inbox. This means you may have to fight for their attention and hope for a timely response.

Voice calls vs texting for recruitment

And what if the kind of job candidates you need don’t have direct access to email? Imagine how long it would take to call, leave a voice message, and follow up with every job candidate.

Plus, 67% of job applicants would rather text with a recruiter than talk to them on the phone.

Email and voice will always have their place. But texting works better for large-scale, direct messaging. It’s more engaging, personal, and immediate than email, but just as scalable.

And just about everyone has a text-enabled cell phone.

This means that candidates who don’t always have email access can still get your recruiting messages. And with text to apply keywords and automation, you can start more conversations earlier on in the recruiting process.

How to Get Started with Texting Software for Recruiting

How do text recruitment and text-to-apply campaigns work? For starters, texting from a text recruiting software isn’t like texting from your personal phone for work.

Some recruiters and HR managers do this, but there are drawbacks and liabilities.

When you text from your personal phone, there’s no oversight. No one else in your organization can see what’s being said and communicated.

So here’s what you need to know to get started with text recruiting software and text to apply services

1. Choose a text recruiting software or text to apply software

The first step to texting recruits and job candidates is choosing a recruiting or text-to-apply software.

Looking to text job applicants and candidates one-on-one? You’ll need a business text messaging service with a shared team SMS inbox. This feature helps you manage multiple two-way text conversations at the same time.

Doing large-scale recruitment text messaging? You’ll want text recruiting software that supports text-to-apply automation and bulk text messaging with text blasts.

MessageDesk offers features that support all of these recruitment communication needs.

MessageDesk Team Inbox

2. Create a free account

The next step is to create a free account. You can do this with MessageDesk by starting a 14-day free trial.

You’re also free to meet with a messaging expert for a quick chat or to request a demo.

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3.Text-enable your existing business number

Next, you need to get a business text number or text-enable your existing business number.

Many business texting platforms allow you to text from a variety of SMS phone number types. You can even text-enable phone number extensions.

Your number options often include 10-digit local phone numbers and toll-free numbers.

A local area code with a ten-digit number is the best option for text message recruitment. These numbers look familiar, so employees won’t disregard the message as spam.

You can also text-enable your business landline or an existing office phone through number porting. This allows you to keep your current voice provider and also send and receive texts on your main business line.

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4. Organize and import existing job applicants and candidates

Grouping your existing applicants based on common traits helps you to deliver more relevant follow-up recruitment messages.

It’s easy to send mass recruitment text messages out to all of your candidates. But not giving candidates the information that’s relevant to them can be a waste of time.

Text recruiting platforms make it easy to:

  • Keep a current applicant contact list
  • Filter candidates based on their status in the recruitment process
  • Keep a list of candidates or contractors with job applications on file
  • Maintain an up-to-date list of applicants who entered a text to apply campaign
  • Segment your applicants based on who needs to be receiving follow-up info

MessageDesk makes it easy to import a .csv file with a list of candidate phone numbers.

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5. Create text recruiting templates

You’ll find yourself sending the same types of messages over and over again to job applicants and recruits as they pass through your recruitment funnel.

Texting software for recruiting makes it easy to create pre-saved recruitment text message templates.

You can even personalize messages by texting images and photos, including links in texts, and adding personalization tags like “Hey {{ FirstName }}”.

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6. Set up automation and keyword-based text-to-apply campaigns

When a job candidate texts your phone number with a keyword like APPLY, they automatically get a text message back. This is a text message autoresponder with a keyword.

A keyword is a short, memorable word that's specific to your hiring campaign. You can set it to any phrase you choose. For instance, you can select APPLY or JOIN as your keywords.

The response then links candidates to an application, gives them details about a position, or just lists open jobs.

With text-to-apply you can:

  • Make it easy for job applicants to submit an application
  • Easily pre-screen applicants before the interview
  • Simplify the follow-up interview scheduling process

Texting your keyword will also auto-assign that contact to a specific contact group associated with that keyword and autoresponder. This makes it easy to follow up and send more messages.

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7. Schedule mass text message broadcasts to recruits and candidates

Mass texting services for recruitment make it easy to schedule text message broadcasts to send at a later date. Broadcasts can encourage candidates to apply or remind them of application deadlines.

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Try Texting Software for Recruiting for Free

Get started with a 14-day free MessageDesk trial. No payment required. ❤️
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What is a Recruitment Funnel?

A recruitment funnel (or talent acquisition funnel) is a recruiting framework that helps you visualize the recruitment and hiring process. Effective recruitment strategies use funnels to create a continuous pipeline of job applicants and candidates. Recruitment funnels can help you identify blocks that hinder job candidates from moving to successive stages in the recruitment process. Recruitment funnels have six stages:

  1. Awareness (recruitment process)
  2. Consideration (recruitment process)
  3. Interest (recruitment process)
  4. Application (hiring process)
  5. Selection (hiring process)
  6. Hired (hiring process)
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1. Awareness (recruitment process)

At the awareness stage in your recruitment funnel, the job candidate is aware of your job. But they’re not sure if they’d like to apply.

2. Consideration (recruitment process)

In the consideration stage, the job candidate is aware of your job posting. But they’re evaluating your position against competing positions and other job opportunities as well.

3. Interest (recruitment process)

At the interest stage, the job candidate determines if your organization is a good fit for them. But they may have questions or reservations about submitting an application or reaching out directly.

4. Application (hiring process)

By the application stage, the candidate has enough info or is motivated enough to submit an application.

5. Selection (hiring process)

At the selection stage, it’s up to your organization to pool applications. This is where you decide who gets hired or who advances to the next stage of the recruitment process.

6. Hired (hiring process)

At the end of the selection and application process job candidates get hired. They then progress on to onboarding and orientation into your organization.

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How to Move Job Candidates Through Your Recruitment Funnel with Text Messages

Your recruitment operation needs to encourage job seekers to apply and move applicants down the funnel.

Start by mapping out your organization's recruitment funnel into the above six stages. Basic recruiting funnel templates include awareness, consideration, interest, application, selection, and hiring.

Once you do that, you can determine what communication tools and strategies you need at each stage in your funnel.

There are two main types of recruitment strategies: passive and active. Many SMS recruitment strategies fall into the passive category.

Passive text recruiting strategies

Passive recruiting is a recruiting strategy that requires job applicants to initiate a conversation or submit an application. With a passive SMS recruiting strategy you wait for the candidate to start a text conversation.

The challenge is filtering out non-quality applicants from quality candidates.

Examples of passive text recruiting strategies:

  • Advertising your text-to-apply number on an online job board like Indeed or LinkedIn to find the right candidates
  • Text-to-apply and text-to-hire campaigns
  • Inbound text messages where potential applicants inquire about open positions
  • Form submissions and website chats that start text conversations

Active text recruiting strategies

Active recruiting strategies require you to start text conversations with job seekers.

With active text recruiting, you choose who to reach out to.

Examples of active text recruiting strategies:

  • Sending text message broadcasts to a targeted list of applicants
  • Directly asking candidates if they are interested in the position you’re advertising

Create and advertise a text-to-apply campaign

Depending on the type of job you’re hiring for, a text-to-apply job campaign can be particularly effective.

Organizations typically display this keyword on a website or some form of physical advertisement.

Text-to-apply campaigns save you time and drive awareness by:

  • Helping you start more conversations before the interview
  • Making it easy for candidates to initiate the recruitment process and submit an application
  • Guiding applicants through the hiring process
  • Simplifying the follow-up process for setting up interviews and collecting more info
  • Helping you pre-screen applicants before they interview without scheduling a phone call

Send texts asking existing employees for a referral

78% of recruiters say that they find their best quality applicants through referrals.

Some organizations have formal referral programs with applicant tracking systems. But you can start recruiting informally with text campaigns.

This could be as simple as a company-wide text message. All you have to do is ask current employees to spread the word or refer others to an open position.

A simple referral recruitment text message could look like this:

Hey {{ FirstName }}, we are hiring! Positions include receptionist, administrative assistant, and accounts manager. Please text/email us the contact information of anyone who may be interested and what position they are interested in.

Text follow-ups after sending links to recruitment forms

Moving down to the interest stage requires you to answer questions and pitch why they should work with you. The best way to do this is simply to start a text conversation that showcases your company and its culture.

Start by adding a form builder to your website to capture your recruitment leads and start more conversations.

Some business text messaging services like MessageDesk offer click-to-text. This feature makes it easy to send an automated text message once a candidate submits a form. Your message could look like these:

Thank you for your interest in the open positions at Paul’s Logistics. Please out this form to get started and fill out the attached document. Indicate what role you're interested in: https://bit.ly/Applications
We hear you’re interested in the open position with us in our Sales Department. We would love to answer any questions that you may have by texting this number. Just make sure you fill out this form so we know who you are! {{ ContactForm }}

Schedule text messages to confirm and remind about interviews

Scheduling, confirming, and reminding about interviews and appointments takes time. The last thing you want is for a qualified applicant to miss an interview.

Meeting scheduling software can help. But text messages can really help you reduce no-show appointments.

With text recruiting software you can schedule reminder texts. You can set these to send the morning of the interview to confirm that you’re expecting the candidate.

Your text message could look like this:

Hi {{ FirstName }}, just sending you a reminder for your interview today. You’re scheduled with Jamie at 3 pm in our main conference room. Looking forward to meeting you.

Send texts to generate referrals and collect recruitment funnel feedback

At this stage, you might need to follow up and ask for additional information or schedule additional meetings.

You might also consider asking for referrals and gaining insights into your HR recruitment process.

Texting candidates is a quick and easy way to ask for more information, schedule meetings, and ask for feedback with a survey.

Texting or surveys makes it easy for recruits to respond, which means a better response rate.

Here’s an example:

Hey {{ FirstName }}, we need your feedback! Tell us about your experience in the hiring process with {{ OrganizationName }}. Please reply with the corresponding number. 1. I didn’t like the process. 2. I like the process, but it could have been better. 3. I enjoyed the entire experience of applying with {{ OrganizationName }}.

Recruiting Text Message Examples

The best recruiting messages are short, direct, and include a clear call to action. Below are a few sample text messages for hired applicants and reaching candidates.

Check out my list of 60+ text message templates for more.

We’re hiring recruiting message example

Hi {{ FirstName }}, this is {{ Recruiter }} at {{ OrganizationName }}. Check out these exciting job opportunities: [ Link ] Text STOP to opt-out.

Text-to-apply message template

Interested in a career change? Text APPLY to {{ OrganizationNumber }} to learn more about open job positions at {{ OrganizationName }}. Text STOP to opt-out.

Job fair follow-up

Hi, {{ FirstName }}. This is {{ Recruiter }} from {{ OrganizationName }}. We received your resume at the recent job fair and would like to schedule an interview. Please let us know by texting {{ OrganizationName }} with your availability.

Text message for job opportunity and open positions

Hello {{ FirstName }}, this is {{ Recruiter }}. Just wanted to let you know that we’ve had some new positions open up that you might be interested in. Check out the job board here: [ Link ] or text back OPENINGS for a list of current open positions.

Interview reminder message

Hi {{ FirstName }}, just texting to remind you of your interview coming up on [ Date ]. Text back RESCHEDULE to change your interview time at any time.

Interview confirmation message

Thanks for applying, {{ FirstName }}. We’ve got your interview on the books for [ Date ]. Text back CONFIRM to confirm your interview.

You’re hired text message template

Hi there {{ FirstName }}. Congratulations! Based on your interview, we’d like to offer you a position with us. Be on the lookout for an official email with your employment offer enclosed.

Candidate referral text message blast

Hey there {{ FirstName }}! We’re seeking quality people with integrity just like yourself. If you know of any friends, family, or relations who are like you and interested in joining our team then let {{ Recruiter }} know.

Try Texting Software for Recruiting for Free

Get started with a 14-day free MessageDesk trial. No payment required. ❤️

Final thoughts and next steps

Ready to send recruiting text messages to candidates? MessageDesk is here to help with some of the best text recruiting software.

Start sending texts with a free MessageDesk account today. Check out our paid plans - pricing starts at just $14 per month. You’re also free to meet with a messaging expert for a demo.