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How staffing agencies can leverage SMS for candidate outreach in 2023

August 16, 2023

In today's fast-paced digital world, staffing agencies are constantly seeking innovative ways to streamline their recruitment processes and attract top-notch candidates. With the rise of artificial intelligence and automation, there is one communication tool that has proven to be a game-changer: SMS messaging. Text messaging offers numerous benefits that can significantly impact a staffing agency's hiring strategy. In this article, we will explore how staffing agencies can leverage the power of SMS for enhanced candidate outreach in 2023.

1. The Power of Text Messaging in Candidate Engagement

When it comes to engaging candidates, text messaging takes the lead over traditional email recruiting. Text messages have an impressive open rate of 98%, compared to only 20% for emails. Moreover, the response rate for SMS is a staggering 45%, outperforming the modest 6% response rate for email. This high level of engagement is attributed to the convenience of text messaging. Even amidst a busy schedule or while on the go, most people find the time to read a text message. In fact, statistics show that you are 7.5 times more likely to receive a response from candidates via text than email.

To maximize the effectiveness of both channels, staffing agencies can adopt a strategic approach. For instance, when sending a lengthy email to a candidate, following up with a text ensures that they receive the message and stay engaged. Additionally, juggling multiple interview appointments can be made easier by forwarding the invitation via Google Calendar or Zoom and reinforcing it with an automatic confirmation text. When it comes to sharing additional job details beyond the limits of a text, agencies can share essential information via SMS and follow up with a comprehensive email containing all the necessary information.

2. Meeting Candidates' Communication Preferences

In today's digital era, candidates prefer texting over phone calls. Phone conversations are often perceived as time-consuming and anxiety-inducing, particularly by millennials and Gen Z. These generations consider phone calls to be outdated and invasive. They expect real-time information exchanges, preferably via SMS or instant messaging apps. In fact, 77% of people use native texting apps to communicate. By adopting SMS staffing, staffing agencies can align with candidates' communication preferences, making it easier to build an immediate connection. Texting allows candidates to compose their thoughts and respond on their terms, even if a phone call is later requested. It provides immediate value by transmitting critical information instantly, without the need for prolonged conversations. Moreover, SMS enables transparent communication in real-time about application status, interviews, or the next steps in the hiring process, eliminating the anxiety of waiting for a phone call.

3. Accelerating the Hiring Process with SMS Staffing

In today's competitive job market, speed is crucial. Long response times can lead to losing top talent to other opportunities. Unfortunately, many candidates experience long waiting periods for a response, with 52% waiting three months or more. By incorporating SMS staffing into their hiring strategy, staffing agencies can significantly speed up the hiring process and gain a competitive edge. Here are some strategies that can be implemented:

3.1 Text-to-Apply

Staffing agencies can allow candidates to apply via text by creating a QR code or sharing the contact details of a dedicated SMS number. This approach works particularly well for local businesses but can also be applied to other industries. Text-to-apply information can be included on receipts, invoices, landing pages, or apps, making it convenient for candidates to express their interest.

3.2 Screening Candidates via SMS

SMS can be leveraged to screen large volumes of candidates simultaneously. Staffing agencies can use predefined SMS templates to confirm role requirements, perform background checks, and request necessary documents before moving to the interview stage. Additionally, texting speeds up the process of following up with applicants to provide feedback, share links to hiring documents, and finalize hiring procedures.

3.3 Mobile Subscribers Opt-In

Agencies can allow mobile subscribers to opt-in to receive job alerts. When new users opt-in to the text program or apply for another job, they can be asked if they would like to be notified of new job openings. This ensures that agencies can reach out to interested candidates promptly.

3.4 Automatic Texts for Job Applications

Agencies can automatically send text messages to candidates right after they apply for a job, expressing their interest and engaging them further in the hiring process. This immediate response shows candidates that their application is valued and increases the chances of a positive outcome.

4. The Non-Intrusive Nature of Texting

When it comes to recruiting, it is essential to strike a balance between contacting candidates during work hours and avoiding intrusiveness. Candidates do not want their current employers to know that they are exploring other job opportunities. One of the main benefits of using SMS for recruitment is the discreet nature of text messaging. Staffing agencies can schedule texts during regular working hours without worrying about them being missed. Even if a candidate is busy, they can respond at their earliest convenience, ensuring a non-intrusive communication experience.

5. Simplifying Candidate Screening with SMS

Screening candidates is a time-consuming process, especially when dealing with a large volume of applicants. However, SMS staffing simplifies this process by enabling bulk texting. Staffing agencies can use predefined SMS templates to confirm role requirements, request necessary documents, perform background checks, and more. By automating these screening processes, agencies can save valuable time and resources, allowing their teams to focus on interviews and automatically removing candidates who do not meet the hiring criteria.

6. Increasing Application Form Completion Rates

Incomplete job applications can be frustrating for both candidates and staffing agencies. Many factors contribute to incomplete applications, including communication barriers. SMS staffing offers a solution to this problem. By collecting contact information, agencies can automatically follow up with job seekers via text. This follow-up allows candidates to ask questions, clarify any doubts, and revisit their application, ultimately improving completion rates. Staffing agencies can show candidates that they care by promptly answering questions and providing support throughout the application process.

7. Seamless Integration with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Most SMS solutions can be integrated with applicant tracking systems or existing infrastructure. This integration allows agencies to record all interactions with candidates, synchronize information between recruitment teams, and streamline communication. Additionally, documents sent via text can be automatically added to the ATS via API. Agencies can also configure no-code automation via platforms like Zapier to trigger specific actions automatically, such as sending SMS interview confirmations and follow-ups, sharing feedback with candidates, promoting new job openings, and providing application status updates.

8. Cost-Effective and Scalable Communication

One of the significant advantages of SMS staffing is its cost-effectiveness and scalability. Text messaging is relatively inexpensive, with an average cost of approximately 4 cents per message. To enable two-way communication with candidates, agencies can consider purchasing a dedicated SMS number, which typically ranges from $5 to $15 per month. Unlike other communication methods, SMS does not require long-term commitments or additional fees. Staffing agencies can utilize SMS as much or as little as needed, adjusting their usage based on candidate responses and requirements. Additionally, templates and automation make it easy to personalize each communication at scale, ensuring a seamless and efficient recruitment process.

9. Enhancing the Candidate Onboarding Experience

Successful onboarding is crucial in ensuring that new hires feel welcome and motivated. Only 12% of organizations onboard correctly, leaving room for improvement. Staffing agencies can leverage SMS to enhance the candidate onboarding experience and increase retention rates. Here are some ways agencies can utilize text messaging during the onboarding process:

9.1 Regular SMS Updates

Agencies can periodically send texts about company benefits, events, and news to keep new hires engaged and informed. This approach helps foster a sense of belonging and enables new team members to stay connected with the agency.

9.2 Feedback and Communication

Agencies can use SMS to ask new hires about their onboarding experience, providing an opportunity for them to share feedback and address any concerns. This open communication channel allows agencies to address issues promptly, ensuring a smooth transition for new hires.

9.3 Scheduled Meetings and Events

SMS can be used to schedule breakfast meetings, lunches, or other team events, allowing new hires to interact and build relationships with their colleagues. These gatherings facilitate integration into the company culture and create a sense of camaraderie among team members.

9.4 Administrative Task Reminders

Text messages can serve as reminders for new hires to complete administrative tasks related to their onboarding process. This includes submitting necessary documents, filling out forms, or completing online training modules. SMS reminders ensure that new hires stay on track and complete all required tasks.

In conclusion, SMS staffing has emerged as a powerful tool for staffing agencies to enhance their candidate outreach efforts in 2023. By leveraging the benefits of text messaging, agencies can improve engagement, meet candidates' communication preferences, accelerate the hiring process, simplify candidate screening, increase application completion rates, seamlessly integrate with ATS systems, reduce costs, and enhance the candidate onboarding experience. By incorporating SMS into their recruitment strategies, staffing agencies can gain a competitive advantage and attract top talent in a crowded market. The key lies in finding the right balance between different communication channels and tools to create a personalized and efficient candidate experience.

Amidst today’s noisy digital world, brands find it challenging to create meaningful connections with their customer base and target audience. Getting the target consumer’s attention and persuading them to buy from you gets even trickier. Hence, content marketing has become more crucial than ever for brands to attract, educate, and retain customers.

Content creation is a top priority for 80% of marketers, and there is no reason it shouldn’t be. Consistent, high-quality, and engaging content impacts your audience’s decisions through education and persuasion.

Depending on your business goals and requirements, the role of Content Marketers you hire will vary. The primary responsibilities revolve around forming consistent brand messaging and deciding upon a unique and identifiable voice, style, and pitch across various distribution channels.

From raising brand awareness to attracting a relevant audience to your website, boosting social media presence and engagement, generating leads, and building brand loyalty – content marketing drives all the growth efforts for your brand. When done effectively, it can help you:

  • Build positive brand awareness
  • Make your audience stick around for longer
  • Get better traction on social media
  • Gain more trust of your audience than ever
  • Generate qualified leads
  • Improve conversion rates
  • Boost business visibility with SEO
  • Position your brand as an authority
  • Cultivate loyal brand fans

While content marketing is a broad role with numerous areas of expertise involved, it’s vital to thoroughly understand your company’s current marketing goals and the related requirements. In this blog, we will dive deep into the step-by-step approach to hiring a Content Marketer.

What is The Role of a Content Marketer?

A Content Marketer must be deeply passionate about telling your brand’s story to the world. The objective is to educate and nurture the target audience to establish brand authority using thought-leadership and drive more people to buy from you.

As a candidate is expected to be a mediator between the brand and the target audience, they are primarily responsible for planning, creating, and sharing valuable content to grow their company’s awareness and engagement to bring more business.

To be more specific, the role of a Content Marketer requires a perfect blend of creativity and attention to detail in an individual. It’s a balancing role, as they need to ensure creating content that resonates and strengthens business relationships, using strategies that position your business as authentic and problem-solving.

Take a look at the core responsibilities of a Content Marketer that most businesses expect them to take over:

  • Research and Competitor Analysis: The first and foremost step to creating a content marketing strategy is effective initial research. It not only helps a Content Marketer understand the nuances of the industry through competitor analysis but also study and understand the target audience thoroughly.
  • Building Content Marketing Plans: Once the competitor research and target audience analysis is done, a Content Marketer needs to work on the different plans for all the business objectives, targeted channels, segments of the audience, and the bigger marketing strategy. A content marketing plan typically consists of:
  • Specific goals along with a pre-decided timeline
  • Various channels to be targeted for content distribution
  • Types of content to be created
  • Budget for the entire staff, outsourced services, and paid promotion (Collabs and Ads)
  • Creating Editorial Calendar: Creating, managing, and maintaining a content calendar is one of the most crucial responsibilities of a Content Marketer. It is a centralized visual document that enables effective collaboration among the marketing team and helps Content Marketers ensure on-time production and delivery.
  • Content Creation: Once the strategy and calendar have been approved by relevant stakeholders, Content Marketers need to do the on-ground work. This task usually depends on the scale of your company and content marketing strategy. Suppose an organization already has a set of writers, then the Content Marketer doesn’t need to create content by themselves.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Producing quality content that educates your target audience and resonates with them, isn’t enough. You need to optimize your content creation to make it search engine-friendly. While most companies need a dedicated SEO specialist for keyword research and planning, Content Marketers need to closely collaborate with them and should be well-versed in the basics of SEO.

While the practices discussed above are primary responsibilities of a Content Marketer, they also need to be proactive with

  • Content editing and ensuring adherence to a certain style guide    
  • Continous publishing and distributing content
  • Measuring and analyzing performance

How to Hire a Content Marketer: Step-By-Step?

Content marketing has become the key to driving growth for businesses. Unlike a few years ago, it’s not possible now to get away with a one-person team for content marketing. You need deeply trained individuals for specialist roles.

Let’s now dive into the step-by-step approach of hiring a Content Marketer. But before you even source your first candidate, you should have a clear expectation of the skillset and experience to look out for top content marketing candidates.

Top Must-Have Skills in a Content Marketer

Apart from having relevant industry experience, a good Content Marketer must possess the following skills.

  1. Excellent Writing Skills

A Content Marketer’s prior skillset should be writing excellent attention-grabbing content. From long-form blog posts to website copy, ad copies, social media content, video scripts, emails, newsletters, e-books, whitepapers, and more – a Content Marketer should be able to adapt to the business’s specific requirements and create quality content.

  1. Audience Research

Identifying user behavior is vital for framing the story in the right direction. So a Content Marketer must know how to identify and analyze the needs and pain points to develop a buyer persona. User research can be performed through social listening, relevant communities, in-person calls with customers, analyzing sales call recordings, and more.

  1. Keyword Research

Creating valuable thought-leadership content isn’t enough. Researching the right set of keywords is an essential skill to further educate your target audience on the Whys, Hows and Whats of your business, and have your website rank on Google.

  1. Data-oriented Content

Content that’s not backed by relevant data points does not build enough trust. Experienced content marketing professionals would always prefer data over hollow claims. No doubt that only data doesn’t help a content piece succeed, but it’s essential..

  1. Project Management, Planning, and Publishing –

A Content Marketer is also expected to break down and analyze the pain points to turn keyword research into content ideas. So a professional must be able to identify and solve content gaps.

Further, they must know how to create a content calendar, decide the different types of content, and choose relevant platforms to publish and schedule marketing campaigns.

  1. Content Promotion

Creating a valuable content piece, for example - an ebook, isn’t enough. Your content marketing team needs to promote it proactively for bringing enough attention and engagement.

  1. Performance Analysis

Setting up goals and plans is one thing, but continuously executing, measuring, and analyzing content performance is another. A Content Marketer should always be monitoring key performance parameters to figure out the upcoming plans with the necessary updates required.

Not to forget - stakeholders and marketing heads need the performance reports regularly. So Content Marketers must be able to collect and comprehend all the data to make it worth presenting.

Step 1: Create a Candidate Persona

Let’s sort out the priorities first, and decide the type of content marketing candidates you want to recruit. From exceptional research skills to storytelling, communication skills, relationship building, audience engagement, and more capabilities must be comprehensively considered. Identify and break down the skill requirements for Content Marketers:

  • What are the educational qualification criteria for the role?
  • How many years and what type of work experience do you want in candidates?
  • What are the specific skill sets you’re looking for?
  • Which industry experience would you primarily prefer?
  • Are there any tools your candidates should be hands-on with?
  • What are some personality traits that will fit your company?
  • Where do they look for a new job?
  • What are their career and life goals?

Forming a candidate persona by answering all these questions would ensure you are not shooting in the dark while sourcing candidates. Further, it helps you determine the traits of the ideal candidate, and plan your sourcing and recruitment strategy further.

Step 2: Document the Role Requirements and Decide on Your Recruiting Process

Next step is determining your role requirements suiting primarily to organizational needs and business goals. A content marketing professional is expected to own the entire content strategy, creation, and distribution. But what about your business’s unique requirements?

You might need someone comfortable with frequently creating long-form content pieces like blogs, ebooks, or whitepapers, or creating engaging video content based on your industry trends.

Talk to various relevant stakeholders for seeking the complete detailed company requirements for the role.

Before you enter the recruitment funnel, outline your talent acquisition process. Identify various strategies, channels, and other informational insights you would need – and maintain a collaborative document.

As you update the tactics and tweak your recruitment process for meeting hiring requirements optimally – keep your document up to date.

Step 3: Prepare a Content Marketing Job Description

Once you have finalized the role requirements with respect to your current content marketing goals and team, you can start sourcing candidates. Preparing the job description is the first task you’ll need to do.

Here are the necessary components you must have in your job description:

  • Job Title: The position you’re looking to fill. For example - Content Marketing Specialist or Content Marketing Manager.
  • Roles & Responsibilities: An outline of the candidate’s day-to-day activities. From ideation to implementation and the impact on the organization, everything should be covered.  
  • Skill Requirements: Skills and abilities a candidate must have to perform the job successfully.
  • Perks and Benefits: The compensation details, perks of the job, and any other benefits.
  • About the Company: Why should a candidate consider working with your company?

Content Marketer Job Description Template


The job of a Content Marketer is to perform competitor research, create user persona, and write plagiarism-free content for blog articles, social media, and the company website. They need to stay updated on the latest SEO techniques.


  • Develop, write and deliver persuasive copy for the website, email marketing campaigns, sales collateral, videos, and blogs
  • Build and manage an editorial calendar; coordinate with other content crafters to ensure standards
  • Measure impact and perform analysis to improve KPIs
  • Include and optimize all content for SEO
  • Contribute to the localization of processes and content to ensure consistency across regions
  • Review and implement process changes to drive operational excellence


  • Proven content marketing, copywriting, or SEO experience
  • Working knowledge of content management systems like WordPress
  • A well-maintained portfolio of published articles, blogs, copy, etc
  • Proven experience of working under pressure to deliver high quality output in a short span of time
  • Proficiency in all Microsoft Office applications, Google Suite
  • Fluency in English or any other required language

Soft Skills

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent writing and editing skills
  • The ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • The ability to handle multiple projects concurrently
  • Strong attention to detail and the ability to multi-task projects and deliverables

Step 4: Source Candidates

Once you have the tailored job description in hand, it’s now time to do the groundwork and source candidates. Create an attractive job post to promote your job across job boards and social channels.

  • Begin with what to expect from the role at your company?
  • Why should candidates apply for the position?
  • Highlight the growth opportunities
  • State the company vision and mission
  • Briefly describe the recruitment process

Prepare an impactful job post and also execute paid job ad campaigns if required. The next step would be promoting your jobs on various job boards and hiring platforms. You can leverage the following platforms for hiring Content Marketers:

  • LinkedIn
  • Indeed
  • Instahyre
  • ZipRecruiter
  • Monster
  • GlassDoor
  • CareerBuilder

Not to forget - almost 3/4th of the workforce includes passive candidates, so you cannot miss out on passive talent sourcing as well. Reach out to qualified candidates on communities, LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Facebook to offer them suitable opportunities.

Step 5: Evaluate Candidates and Interview Shortlisted Ones

Once you have filtered candidates based on their experience and skills listed on their profile, it’s time to evaluate them deeply. Ask them to create a content strategy for your website, along with a value-adding content piece like a small blog. The topic of the article must fall within the scope of the strategy.

Interview the candidates whose profiles got shortlisted. Keep in mind the parameters covering skills, relevant experience, and personality traits of candidates.

Step 5: Make the Hire

Reach out to selected Content Marketers and communicate about the compensation.

Further, extend your offer letter to all the candidates who have been selected. In the case of passive sourcing, extend to only those who were aligned with you on the compensation and are willing to move forward.

Ensure having a deadline for the joining date and mention the necessary documents required by your recruiting team.

  • Get the required documents and set up the offer agreements with candidates
  • Organize an orientation session for the onboarded candidates
  • Introduce them to the entire team and the marketing teams they will be working with
  • Guide the new candidates about your company management tools and communication channels
  • Provide candidates with forms for benefits and perks like Health Insurance.

Supercharge Your Hiring for Content Marketer with Nurturebox

Inbound candidate sourcing doesn’t work effectively anymore. Do you also find challenges in closing quality candidates through job posts even after spending on ads?

Don’t worry, passive candidate sourcing can be an optimal solution for hiring top content marketing candidates.

Nurturebox is a one-stop talent sourcing and engagement platform which is powered by automation. Here’s how you can source product managers from LinkedIn using Nurturebox:

  • Install the Nurturebox Chrome plugin and sign up.
  • On your LinkedIn profile, start sourcing Content Marketers with boolean searches stating the required experience from targeted locations and including other criteria
  • Add the qualified candidates to your sourcing campaign pipeline with just a click
  • Automate the candidate engagement through email, Whatsapp and LinkedIn direct messages for reaching out and nurturing candidates at scale.

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