Court Rules That Recruiting Texts Are Not Telemarketing


Nobody likes getting SPAM about department store sales or big screen TV's, but people do like receiving job offers. That's one reason job seekers and recruiters can both be happy about a recent court ruling that defends text recruiting. Here is the latest on what recruiters should know about sending recruiting text messages.

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is the guiding legal framework for businesses that contact people on their phones through calls or text messages. The most recent TCPA decision involves Kale Realty, a real estate brokerage firm that sent a text message to a former associate about a job opportunity.

The message reads: "Kale Realty named 2013 Top 100 Places to Work by Tribune — We pay 100% on sales — reply or visit to learn more! Rply 69 to unsubscribe." The plaintiff argued that he never gave written consent to receive the text message and therefore Kale Realty is in the wrong.

But the court ruled that a recruiting text message is not the same as telemarketing or advertising. That is to say that the goal of the text messages were not to sell a good or service, but to offer an opportunity for employment (which this message clearly was). See 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200(f)(1) (defining “advertisement” as “any material advertising the commercial availability or quality of any property, goods, or services”) and § 64.1200(f)(12) (defining “telemarketing” as “the initiation of a telephone call or message for the purpose of encouraging the purchase or rental of, or investment in, property, goods, or services”).

Additionally, the court answered the question of whether consent was required to before reaching out to someone about a job. Kale Realty had gotten the plaintiff's phone number from the signature line in the emails they had exchanged.  The ruling states that because the phone number was openly listed in those emails, the plaintiff gave express consent for the realty firm to contact him about job opportunities.

So Kale Realty was completely within their legal bounds sending recruiting texts. And as long as the realty firm doesn't start pushing sales on big screen TV's they can keep texting away. You can read the full story on this legal case from Morrison & Foerster LLP at

You can also read more TextRecruit posts on text recruiting compliance here.

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