Texting has limitations

Texting has limitations

Texting is fine method of communication. It’s focused, instantaneous and lets the recipient view the message later if needed.

All the same, that doesn’t make it the best choice for contacting possible candidates. Its natural informality can make it difficult to convey to the candidate what you want from him, and it makes it hard to gauge his response.

However, many companies do use text, out of simple convenience if nothing else.

So, if you are going to contact someone via text, keep the following rules in mind.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Stick to these rules, which are themselves spun off of the rules of basic decency and privacy, and you will have a professional method of contacting applicants through the most effective means of long distance communication known to man.

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