Recruiting 2.0: Don't break these 3 rules when you're texting new talent

More and more recruiters are communicating with talent through text messaging. It’s faster than email, and candidates appreciate being kept in the loop throughout the hiring process. 
Once this method of communication is opened up, it can be easy to overdo it with the texts, which could ruin relationships with promising new hires.
To maintain that delicate balance, some professional recruiters shared their three golden rules when it comes to texting candidates.

1. Ask permission first

An unexpected text message can be seen as intrusive, so it’s important to ask if the candidate is OK with it during your initial conversation.
If the text is your first point of contact, keep it short. Experts say your message should contain only your name, position, company and reason for the text. Your goal should be to open the door to further communication, not give them a sales pitch. If the person doesn’t respond, don’t text again, or it could be considered harassing.

2. Less is more

Texts are best for quick updates or short follow-up questions. It can be a good way to set up last-minute interviews. Lengthy conversations should still be conducted over the phone or through email. The last thing a candidate wants is to be bombarded with endless texts. Some experts suggest only texting a candidate about something if they aren’t responding through other channels.
Here’s one instance where you should never text: Research has shown that most candidates would prefer not to get a job offer or rejection via text — over the phone or email is preferred.

3. Keep it professional

Tone can often be misinterpreted through text messages, so it’s best to forgo jokes or sarcasm.
It’s also important to be mindful of boundaries. Some candidates are uncomfortable when recruiters get too friendly or text outside of business hours. Just because you have the ability to contact someone at any time, doesn’t mean you should. And if they text you over the weekend, tell them you’ll respond Monday morning.

Rachel Mucha
Rachel writes about Human Resource management and has been a member of the HRMorning staff since 2017. She is a graduate of Ithaca College. Email: