How to Stay Compliant When Sending Recruiting Texts

TextRecruit
2 min readDec 7, 2015

Since TextRecruit was founded, there have been questions regarding “opt-in” and the laws around sending texts to candidates. Understanding the legality of sending a text message to candidates can be confusing with multiple federal laws and recent court rulings. We at TextRecruit want to make sure these policies are clear to you as you decide whether to leverage text and mobile recruiting. Here is a basic overview to read before you hit send:

Federal courts have ruled that commercial text messages and recruiting text messages are separate under the TCPA and CAN-SPAM Act.

Texts sent that are selling a service or good with the intention to profit are considered commercial messages. These commercial messages include telemarketing or advertising content (i.e. big screen televisions are now on sale — are you interested?). For these texts:

  • Written consent from the individual in required
  • A clear method of opting-out from future messages must exist

Texts sent that are offering a job opportunity are considered recruiting messages (i.e. we are hiring a new sales associate at our store — are you interested?). For these texts:

  • By providing a completed application to a job opportunity, a candidate opts into receiving communication from that company
  • No additional written consent from the individual is required
  • A clear method of opting-out from future messages must exist

TextRecruit provides the following to further assist in compliance:

  • Personalized text messaging templates that companies can utilize
  • Auto-unsubscribe technology that candidates can use to opt out from receiving future messages from companies
  • Real-time visibility and control on all texts being sent from the company
  • Real-time spam reporting and compliance feedback

The most recent ruling involved Kerry Reardon vs. Uber Technologies. Reardon claimed that Uber sent him text messages without written consent thereby violating the TCPA.

“Uber contends that its text messages were directed toward job recruitment, a category of text other courts have deemed not to fall into either the “telemarketing” or “advertisment” categories. Several prior cases have held that recruiting calls are not advertising or telemarketing texts for the purposes of the TCPA,” write Judge Tigar.

Judge Tigar’s decision means recruiters can continue using text messages to reach out to new candidates about career opportunities, but must give candidates a way to opt-out from receiving future messages.

Judge Tigar went on to list these past cases in his decision that recruiting calls are not advertising or telemarketing texts for the purposes of the TCPA. See Lutz Appellate Servs., Inc. v. Curry, 859 F. Supp. 180, 181–82 (E.D. Pa. 1994); Friedman v. Torchmark Corp., No. 12-CV02837-IEG (BGS), 2013 WL 1629084, at *4 (S.D. Cal. Apr. 16, 2013); Murphy v. DCI Biologicals Orlando, LLC, No. 6:12-cv-1459-Orl-36KRS, 2013 WL 6865772, at *10 (M.D. Fla. Dec. 31, 2013).

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