How to Use WhatsApp for Recruiting

The current coronavirus crisis has heavily distorted the job market, but the interest in e-recruitment has only grown.

With job fairs, office introduction days and face-to-face interviews being off the table for an indefinite period of time, online recruitment is the only way for companies to attract new talent to their companies.

As such, it makes sense for companies to look for new tools, channels and solutions that allow them to cover the different stages of the recruitment funnel: finding, attracting, assessing, interviewing and hiring.

Having opened for professional business use relatively recently, WhatsApp has emerged as a promising new solution in this area.

The benefits of WhatsApp for recruiting

Impressive open rates. Compared to email ( 12% - 30.5% ), the open rates of WhatsApp are astonishing: 98% . Any email that a business sends to an applicant risks getting lost in email clutter. With WhatsApp, messages are more or less guaranteed to be read.

A shield with a chat icon for data security.

Privacy. With phone calls, there is a danger of being overheard, especially since calls can happen unexpectedly and be an intrusion in the day . Your most promising talents likely already have a job, making such intrusions most undesirable. WhatsApp communication is silent.

Low barrier. The job market is a competitive one where high-quality candidates are snapped up within 10 days . Most talented candidates are passive searchers; they’re already employed by great companies and are not active on job boards. If they are, they’re probably bombarded by recruiting messages. That's why it pays to make the initial reach-out as easy as possible for them. WhatsApp presents a low-barrier way for talents to respond to advertised job opportunities. They can start the conversation with a simple message about the job they’re interested in.

Automation. High-volume recruitment involves a multitude of processes. WhatsApp chatbots can be a time-saver by automating low-value tasks (scheduling, sending out interview invites, collecting candidate information, etc.) so that you focus on building high-value relationships with candidates.

For example, Deutsche Post DHL Group has simplified the application process by employing a chatbot to collect candidates’ data via WhatsApp instead of through application forms, which are time-consuming to complete and may even detract candidates.

Employer branding. The mere use of a channel like WhatsApp in the recruitment process has a significant impact on the perceived image of the company. It gives off a more relaxed vibe than the traditional email approach.

Now that we've discussed the benefits of using WhatsApp in recruiting, here are seven ideas for implementing it:

1
QR code scan on job ads

It's possible to integrate a QR code in a job ad or a poster. Candidates can start a WhatsApp conversation by scanning the QR code with their smartphone. Google took a creative approach to this by adding QR codes to branded T-shirts.

2
Click-to-WhatsApp Facebook ads

As of 2020, Facebook boasts 2.6 billion monthly active users , making it a recruiter’s paradise. With targeted ads and Facebook’s algorithm, recruiters can reach billions of candidates worldwide. This cuts through the noise of crowded job boards, which tend to be location-specific and thus exclude suitable candidates.

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Facebook offers a feature that directs traffic to Whatsapp with the click of a button. Simply boost your post and select the ‘Send WhatsApp Message’ button from the available button options to open conversations directly in the WhatApp Business app.

3
Launch recruiting campaigns

Out-of-the-box recruitment campaigns can help attract the interest of candidates who may otherwise be indifferent to your brand or are also being contacted by other companies.

Super hero logo with an H instead of an S.

With WhatsApp recruitment still in its infancy, WhatsApp can be a key differentiator in standing out from the competition.

In 2015, Daimler broke new ground with ‘ WhatsApp Day ,’ a campaign for prospective candidates to get a glimpse of company life. Participants were updated on a newsfeed every so often with information about training programs, employee benefits, working hours, etc. Responses were accompanied by photos, so that potential candidates could get a feel for the workplace and decide whether it was for them.

4
Use WhatsApp chatbots to answer FAQs

Recruitment can be a lengthy process involving phone calls, resumes, cover letters, application forms — and that’s all before a candidate has even been invited to an interview.

A chatbot.

Before committing to the application process, candidates want answers to a whole host of questions: benefits, value, growth opportunities, company culture, flexible working opportunities, diversity, etc.

One of the benefits of chatbots is that they can answer questions 24/7 and provide consistent information by pulling answers from a company knowledge base section on recruitment questions.

Adding videos about the working culture or a particular role/department can lead to a higher number of applicants, according to recruitment statistics . Relevant links can also be included, directing candidates to sites like Glassdoor for further information.

5
Simulate interviews with WhatsApp chatbots

WhatsApp chatbots can also handle early-stage job interviews with applicants. Via WhatsApp, the chatbots can ask qualifying questions, like:

  • "Are you proficient with technology X?"
  • "What do you value most in a work environment?"
  • “What makes you a good fit for the position?”

Such use of chatbots offers two important benefits. First, it allows companies to radically scale your interview efforts. By reading through the answers, human recruiters can select the most promising ones. Second, the traditional interview process is known to be highly susceptible to biases . This chatbot process focuses the attention exclusively on the answers, making the process more fair.

At Alorica , a customer solutions company, chatbots allow them to screen thousands of applicants. Quickly eliminating unqualified candidates means recruiters can give individual attention to candidates who are qualified.

6
Send message templates to update candidates at different application stages

Message templates are a WhatsApp Business feature that allows companies to send out messages to customers, or in this case applicants, at a large scale. It's a perfect feature to keep applicants in the loop about the hiring process.

It allows businesses to automate the process of letting applicants know whether they have been rejected, made it to the next round, or have been invited to an phone interview.

In the climate of virtual recruiting, WhatsApp is a game changer. Creative messaging and automation can give your company a competitive edge and help you attract and engage the most sought-after candidates.