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How to Set Up Text to Apply for Your Job Openings

Want to attract more applicants, fill your postings quickly, and get it done with minimal effort? Do it all with Text to Apply.

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SMS recruiting is everywhere. It’s on signs outside restaurants and stores, on business social media pages, and even on job listings.

That’s mostly because, well, everyone texts. And in 2021, new candidate text opt-ins increased by more than 4 million. 

If you want to stand out among the thousands of identical job postings on Indeed or LinkedIn, sending your posting straight to your candidates’ text inboxes is the best way. 

Not only that, you can conduct almost the entire recruitment process through text, from first contact to hiring paperwork. 

Intrigued? Well, let me introduce you to the hiring phenomenon known as Text to Apply. Let’s get into it.


What Is Text to Apply?

Text to Apply is an SMS process that allows job applicants to text a keyword to a phone number and receive an automatic response with a direct link to an application, a document outlining the role, or a link to more information as they decide whether to apply. 

Text to Apply is also known as Text to Hire, or Text to Apply Software. Here’s an example of it in action.

A Text to Apply example on a Chick-fil-a billboard

If someone texts “chicken” to Chick-fil-a’s number, they might receive a response like this.

Thanks so much for your interest in our open positions at Chick-fil-A. To get started please fill out this form and select what role(s) you’re interested in:

Why Use Text to Apply Services?

Over 18 billion text messages are sent every day, so it’s hardly surprising that 81% of Americans report using texting daily.

That’s why Text to Apply is so convenient for jobseekers — they’re already texting all the time. With no special app to download, the application process stays simple for both sender and recipient, and qualified hires are just a message away.

The prevalence of texting isn’t the only reason you should be using SMS for recruiting. It’s also:

  • Fast and Personal: When someone texts in your keyword, you can respond immediately (instantly if you use an auto-confirmation message) and continue to communicate one-on-one with them. 
  • Modern: SMS is an excellent way to show job candidates that your company is technologically up-to-date, responsive, and efficient.
  • Low-pressure: Filling out a lengthy job application can seem like more trouble than it’s worth. Texting, on the other hand, is a quick and “business casual” way to send in job applications.

Texting is extra useful for hiring processes where:

  • People aren’t always at their desks, such as in retail or hospitality. 
  • Hiring managers are doing high-volume, competitive, or rapid recruitment.
  • Recruiters have existing access to print and advertising budgets, signs, billboards, and subway ads to post keywords or QR codes.

How Does Text to Apply Work?

Text to Hire is straightforward to set up and works in the same way as Text to Join. Here’s the breakdown. 

1. Create a Keyword and Add It To Your Job Postings

A keyword is a short, memorable word or phrase that jobseekers can text to your phone number to agree to receive future texts from your team.

For example, a coffee chain might ask jobseekers to text the keyword “BARISTA” to their number. 

Here’s a quick video that explains how easy it is to create a keyword. 

2. Set an Automatic Response for Jobseekers

After a candidate texts the keyword “BARISTA,” they’ll receive an automated response. There are different ways that you can approach your auto-confirmation message.

  • Send a link to an online application.
  • Share a link to schedule a phone interview.
  • Screen candidates by text automatically using our data collection feature or by using template texts from the inbox.
  • Send a PDF via text with more information on the role.

The option(s) you choose will depend on the role you’re hiring for, your hiring process, and how quickly you need to hire. 

Thanks so much for your interest in the barista position at Coffee Hut. To get started please reply with whether you’re interested in full-time or part-time and your number of years of experience as a barista. Thanks in advance.

3. Advertise Your Text to Apply Keyword

The more places you advertise your keyword, the more applications you’ll receive. 

The rule here is to show off your keyword anywhere interested candidates might see it. You can promote your keyword on social media, in physical locations, on your website, and anywhere candidates interact with your brand.

Text to Apply FAQs

I hope you’ve got a good idea of how to get your SMS recruiting program up and running. For a little bonus, here are some additional questions recruiters often ask. 

If the answer you’re looking for isn’t here, the SimpleTexting team would be more than happy to help. Just use the chat icon at the bottom of your screen.

How much does Text to Apply software cost?
The cost of a Text to Apply campaign depends on the number of candidates you need to communicate with. The good news is that the more candidates you talk to, the cheaper each SMS is. Our lowest plan is $29 and comes with 500 SMS, a local number, dedicated support 7 days a week, and unlimited keywords.
There are several ways you can integrate SimpleTexting with your ATS. Our SMS API or Zapier integration are the two most common methods.
Recruiters also use SimpleTexting to schedule interviews, follow up with candidates, manage referrals, and re-engage a database of candidates who applied before or showed interest and then dropped off.
Express written consent is a requirement when texting jobseekers.  In this case, that means that when advertising Text to Apply keywords, you need to ensure that you include your campaign purpose, message frequency, info about message and data rates, plus a link to your terms and conditions and privacy policy (and don’t forget to let contacts know how to opt out of your messages).

Get Started Today With Text to Hire

A smooth, efficient hiring process can make all the difference in drawing candidates to your business. Hopefully, you’ve got a good headstart now on setting up text recruiting — you’ll have your job postings filled in no time.

Drew Wilkinson
Drew Wilkinson

Drew Wilkinson is the Head of Marketing at SimpleTexting. Drew has more than a decade of experience managing successful integrated marketing programs to build brands, raise awareness, and generate demand.

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