Using Texting to Reach Applicants

Why texting with applicants is a great fit for blue-collar companies, and how it can give you a competitive edge in hiring.

Sean Kwon
September 1, 2021

Before we discuss why and how texting with applicants might help you hire better talent faster, let’s start with this mind-blowing fact: the average open rate of a text message is 97% within 15 minutes and 99% overall. To put this statistic in context, the average open rate for emails across all industries is an abysmal 23%, and you can safely assume that it’s even lower for blue-collar industries.

If the difference is so stark, why do employers not text? It could be because something about texting feels unprofessional, especially if it is used by employers to reach out to their applicants. But why does it feel unprofessional? This might have to do with the fact that most people use texting exclusively with friends, family, and other first-degree connections.

Then, this fact begs the question: if people only text with their close ones, does it mean that they don’t use their phones for work-related communication? Not necessarily, at least according to Slack, the biggest business communication chat service. In fact, Slack reported in 2019 that 70% or more of its users’ messages are sent from their mobile devices.

Here is what this all means for you: even though people are already using their phones to communicate with each other professionally, employers aren’t taking advantage of it because of an unjustified sense that it’s “unprofessional.”

In this article, you’ll learn why texting is a great fit for blue-collar companies, why texting could give you an advantage in hiring, and how you could use texting to get more and better applicants.

Texting’s Fit for Blue-Collar Industries

Blue-collar industries are comprised of people working in trades, folks working with their hands, and those doing physical tasks. As you know, what this means is that blue-collar companies traditionally employ a deskless-workforce, and often one that is low-tech. These folks don’t sit behind a computer all day, and therefore can’t be expected to check emails often, either. But what they do carry around everywhere are their cell phones, and what they do check every day are their text messages.

Emailing is convenient and easy for employers because that has been the norm for hiring over the past few decades. But for an employer that wants to stay ahead of the game, it is likely worth your time to think about which communication method is convenient and easy for your applicants.

Advantages of Texting

Now let’s talk about specific areas where texting is better than emailing or calling. Here are three reasons why texting is superior to its alternatives.

  1. Texting helps you reach applicants faster.
  2. Texting is—by far—the most engaging method to communicate with applicants in the funnel.
  3. Texting makes the communication process feel more human through personalized messages.

Faster Reach

Hiring is competitive, especially in the current job market. A factor that makes a job more compelling to applicants, but at the same time is not-so-obvious to many employers, is the speed at which you move a candidate through the hiring process.

As you already know, job applicants in blue-collar industries have a lot of options and no new hire is guaranteed until the candidate accepts the job and confirms that they will show up for the first day of work. Here, as an employer, you have two choices. First, pay higher than the market average so that it becomes a no-brainer for the candidate to work for you. Second, move them through the hiring funnel so quickly that they don’t have a chance to interview with, or even consider, other companies.

So how can texting help move an employee through the hiring funnel faster? To put it in context, no one likes to open emails past 5 pm, and email responses take time for people to write. In contrast, people will check texts as long as they’re awake, and typically it takes less than a minute to send a text. Knowing this, you make the call on which option would be better for your business’ hiring.

Engaging Communication

Something we hear all that time is that you get a great applicant and schedule an interview, but by the time that interview date comes around they don’t show up. This not only happens for interviews, but also happens for those follow-up steps in the hiring process like drug screens, onboardings, and sometimes even the first day of work. Typically, the solution to this disengagement problem is to send reminders, and the most relevant statistic for “reminders” is open rate.

As we’ve already discussed, texting has—by far—the best open rate out of all existing options, including emails, phone calls, and snail mail. So, to decrease your no-call/no-shows, we recommend sending out reminders via text message.


According to Salesforce, 84% of consumers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business. This concept directly applies to recruiting as well. As impressive as that number is, this should not come as a surprise. No one wants to hear, “You are just one of many candidates!” when applying for jobs, but sadly this is how most businesses approach their applicant communications.

What this means for you, as someone who is actively looking for ways to improve your hiring effectiveness, is that this is a huge opportunity to be more compelling than your competitors. Using personalized text messages, you can stand out in a sea of dull, stale recruiting emails.

Learn More About Texting With Applicants

We just learned a ton about why and how texting gives you that undeniable advantage in a cutthroat job market. If I were to use a quote to summarize this entire post, it would be this: true love is when you love the other person the way they want to be loved, not how you want to love them. We think that this quote applies to effective hiring as well – hiring people the way they want to be hired.

Even after knowing that texting is the new standard of hiring, it can be daunting to think about how to implement it within your hiring process. A good first step is to request a demo of our software that helps businesses like yours automate the entire hiring process by texting applicants without using your personal phone or phone number. We’ve already helped hundreds of businesses save time and money by beating their competition to more new hires; yours could be next!

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