Whatsapp has been around for several years but only recently have employers started to hone in on its true potential.
As a simple, intuitive and user-friendly resource that allows you to send messages, photos, videos and voice notes to contacts for free, Whatsapp as a recruitment tool is valuable and not to be overlooked.
Popularity and loyalty
Whatsapp is the most used chat app in the world. As of February 2017, it accounted for 1.2 billion users worldwide. To ignore the potential of Whatsapp as a recruitment tool is to ignore a huge market of potential candidates you can easily tap into.
Whatapp’s users are some of the most loyal in the industry, meaning once you can form meaningful and lasting connections via the app. According to research, 62% of users are still active on the platform a year after downloading WhatsApp.
Don’t forget that most people check their phone hundreds of times a day, many more times than their email.
Speed of response
Consider how much easier your life as a recruiter would be if you could communicate with people quickly, easily and freely every time you needed to.
You could send a Whatsapp message informing candidates of interview dates and locations, even sending a map of your exact location by using Whatsapp’s built-in tool, so they know just where to find you.
The day of the interview, Whatsapp would be extremely useful for keeping in touch regarding delays. For instance, if candidates are running late, they can let you know instantly and keep you regularly updated with the situation. This eliminates the need for occupying the phone lines every five minutes, or sending emails that might not be received until hours later.
Post-interview, jobseeker and employer could continue communication by thanking each other and providing feedback too.
Whatsapp is a quicker and more personal way of communicating. It also means you can know when your clients have seen the information, as Whatsapp shows you when your message has been opened.
As a jobseeker, this saves you worrying about not hearing from a potential employer for weeks post-interview, as you know they have the means to contact you as soon as they have an update.
Whatsapp is the perfect tool for international recruitment. The message and call features involve no extra international costs.
Moreover, you can connect with clients over issues that are time-sensitive or happen outside normal working hours. Deliver the messages when you want and they will be seen immediately within waking hours.
As a recruiter, you could also use Whatsapp to communicate with candidates seamlessly to give application tips and send links to application forms effortlessly.
You might also consider setting up a mobile ad alert. This could involve sending automated notifications to candidates who sign up to a certain message alert, which relates to jobs that are of interest to them.
For example, Select Jobs India already offers a service not dissimilar to this. You can sign up to be added to particular group chats for ‘Sales’, ‘Engineering jobs’ and so on. Then, you can automatically receive messages within these group chats when jobs matching your requirements go live on the site.
Whatsapp is especially well-placed to recruit young people and students. This demographic is hundreds of times more reactive on their phones than on email accounts, allowing you to connect with students live and direct. The main benefit of instant messaging is that it is instantaneous, with messages usually read within 90 seconds of being sent.
For example, IT business Infonova created a Whataspp day, where they paired employees with students, to inform with them about their jobs and improve understanding of their roles. The employee would send a group chat updates (pictures and messages) of their regular day at the office.
This encouraged students to interact with the worker, asking questions about certain aspects of a job and learning from the questions that other students asked.
Whatsapp could also be used to promote student recruitment events in real-time. For example if you are an employer hosting an event on a campus, you could easily send out a broadcast message to students inviting them to a career fair to come and see what your company is all about.
There are several things that recruiters need to be wary of, however, when considering using Whatsapp as a recruitment tool.
Firstly, recruiters need to be careful not to bombard candidates or over-advertise for roles. This could begin to feel like an invasion of privacy, especially considering the extent of time that people spend on their phones. This could easily result in a candidate blocking a recruiter they felt was too pushy or invasive.
The other thing to consider is that some applicants may feel alienated by the use of Whatsapp. Although used by huge numbers of people in everyday life, some applicants may think that the use of a chat app in the recruitment process is less professional in general, and this could leave someone with a negative impression of your business. You must be sensitive to your demographic and your target candidates before you launch the use of it.
Whatsapp for Business
Whatsapp for Business is already becoming a reality. In September 2017 WhatsApp announced they are in the testing phases of a business platform which will enable companies to provide customer service to users at a large scale.
The software is already remarkably easy to use for businesses, as there is a computer-optimised version of the platform which pairs with your smartphone, transferring message information seamlessly between the two.
It seems this will be used for customer service at all levels and for building rapport with customers. Adding in a recruitment-optimised feature could be a natural continuation from this.
What do you think? Is Whatsapp destined to be the next big recruitment tool?
Author: Cara Moore
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