How you can use SMS throughout the candidate hiring process


Ensuring potential candidates have a good onboarding and interview experience is key in recruitment and HR.

One of the easiest, and most familiar ways, to keep candidates engaged and on top of their next step is through text messaging (also referred to as SMS).

How will SMS help you communicate with potential hires

Text messaging is helping businesses of all kinds get in touch with customers and clients faster. In fact, SMS studies have shown that recipients open 90% of messages within just 90 seconds. Additionally, text messaging also has 8x the response rate of email alone.

SMS reminders have reduced no-shows for service businesses by up to 50%. This can be particularly pertinent to hiring managers who require candidates to show up for their interviews at the right place and time, ensuring a smooth process.

As text messaging is familiar and convenient to most, it can help to build more personal rapport and relationships with candidates than impersonal mediums, like email. Through SMS, candidates receive messages almost instantaneously and can reply directly to the relevant contact with the expectation that their queries will be answered.

Many other industries, such as real estate, use text messaging to also keep prospects warm throughout a sales process. Recruiters can adopt similar techniques to maintain engagement and interest in roles. For example, if interviews are taking longer than expected, let all candidates know with a scalable SMS send.

Text messaging may also serve you well when maintaining up-to-date candidate data for future placements or checking in with candidates after they have been placed. One simple message asking how they’re finding onboarding can show that you care.

5 easy ways you can improve recruitment with text messaging

Let’s look at how at five common use cases for using SMS through Zoho Recruit:


Try reaching out to qualified or potential candidates about a job vacancy. If a candidate responds in interest, make sure to send them a direct link to the job description and any other collateral they might need to consider the role.

If a candidate has submitted a query about the role and you’re working to tight deadlines, consider further screening via text messaging. For example, if the role requires certain visas or citizenship to work, text messaging can help you quickly confirm this with the candidate.


Candidates often worry if an application hasbeen received. Ease their concerns by setting up automated texts that confirm receipt. You can also add additional customer communications that set expectations around when they will be contacted, should they be further shortlisted, and how their information will be handled.


To make sure candidates show up for their interviews, set up confirmation and reminder alerts beforehand.

If you’ve given them a call or sent them an email letting them know they’ve been shortlisted, send them a text message confirming the time and date of their interview. Set up a text reminder to go a day before and ensure they can reply back confirming their attendance. Include a URL for more information about what they will need to bring, or to a map if they need directions.


Now the interview is over, is it time to make an offer? For those who didn’t, do you need to inform them of the outcome plus feedback?

Make it easy for yourself with SMS by letting candidates know you will be calling them at a specific time and day to discuss their success. Give them the opportunity with two-way messaging to schedule or negotiate a different time if that doesn’t work for them.


Your chosen candidate has now accepted your offer, what next?

It’s time to congratulate them and confirm job acceptance. As this usually needs to be done quickly, text messaging is best. If the candidate needs to start soon, you can follow up their initial text with details on the next steps. For example, you can send them a shortened link to your company’s intranet, with login details so they can fill out required documents before starting.

10 best practices for writing effective SMS recruitment communications

Get your messaging right straightaway with these top tips:


  1. Keep it professional: Though text messaging is generally intimate and casual, employ business writing etiquette where you can set the right tone and expectations with candidates.
  2. Stay positive: Candidates will likely feel stressed throughout the process. Keep their spirits up with uplifting and motivating language.
  3. Be courteous: Always be polite and kind to candidates, especially if they are not progressing to the next stage.
  4. Keep it short: Text messages are restricted to 160 characters so make every word count. It’s best to restrict your SMS to one message and one CTA only.
  5. Streamline your messaging: Don’t waste time writing from scratch, use proven text message templates to engage clients immediately.
  6. Stay compliant: Ensure you are aware and follow local electronic communication laws for your geographic area of business as well as your candidate’s. If you do not, you may be legally liable.


  7. Use the format for all cases: When it comes to more complicated messaging such as submitting job applications or sensitive conversations, such as a rejection, text messaging is not the right format.
  8. Use slang: Candidates expect professionalism from your business so best not to use colloquialisms, local vernacular, emoticons, and more as it is not appropriate.
  9. Spam candidates: While we advocate for sending text messaging in specific cases, do not bombard your candidates with other text communications that aren’t relevant.
  10. Text outside of sociable hours: Ensure your scheduled or immediate SMS sends are not outside of normal hours such as late at night or before 6 AM. Not only will candidates likely miss your message, but you’re also annoying or frustrating them during personal hours.

    How to get started

We’ve partnered with Australia’s #1 SMS provider – MessageMedia – to give you access to powerful mobile messaging capabilities all within Zoho Recruit.

Get started now by signing up and creating an account with MessageMedia.

After you’ve signed up and activated your account with MessageMedia, you’ll be able to send a single message, set up a bulk SMS broadcast, create and use SMS templates, send automated notifications, and personalize messages with dynamic fields all from the Zoho Recruit software.


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