WhatsApp’s been tipped as ‘the next big thing’ in recruitment for years now, but despite all the hype, it’s yet to really take off within the sector. But with some great new features that are perfectly primed to make recruiters’ jobs easier, it seems that WhatsApp recruitment's day has finally come!
So let’s take a look at some of these new WhatsApp features that make the messenger app an ideal tool for recruiting candidates.
The WhatsApp Business app
WhatsApp for Business is a free app that’s similar to your Facebook for Business page (unsurprisingly, since Facebook owns WhatsApp too).
In the same way that candidates are able to get in touch with us directly on Facebook chat, the WhatsApp for Business app provides an opportunity where any candidate with a smartphone can reach out over messenger – not just Facebook users.
WhatsApp is a platform that so many candidates are already extremely comfortable using, so the introduction of the WfB app is good news for recruiters. What’s more, research has shown that candidates almost always prefer to message a business rather than pick up the phone, so you could see an increase in candidate enquiries following the launch of the app.
It’s likely that the WhatsApp Business app will become ubiquitous pretty quickly, so it’s worth doing your research and downloading the app now to have a look around. Note that the app is currently only available on Android, but there are plans to roll out iOS soon.
Update: WhatsApp have just launched some additional features to the WhatsApp for Business app that are pretty convenient for recruiters, including common question quick-replies, chat list filtering and contact/ chat labels. Find out more here.
‘Send WhatsApp message’ CTA button on Facebook
If you’re paying to boost a post about a role (and remember the added bonus of boosting job ads on Facebook is that it will reach candidates outside of your engaged community as well as within it), Facebook now gives you the option to include a ‘send WhatsApp message’ CTA button at the foot of your post.
To do this, you need to be an admin for the Facebook page that you're boosting the job ad from, you need to have your WhatsApp for Business account set up and you need to have the page and your WfB account aligned with each other. Then, the next time you go to boost your post, select 'Send WhatsApp Message' button from the available button options so candidates can enquire about the role with just the click of a button.
As this option involves very little effort on the candidate's part, and provides a good alternative to picking up the phone, it’s likely we’ll see this WhatsApp feature become a vital new addition to any forward-thinking businesses’ online recruitment strategy.
Video calling/ recorded video introductionsIf you’re struggling to nail down a busy candidate for a one-to-one before putting them forward for an interview, a WhatsApp video call is a great alternative to put on the table. WhatsApp video calling has risen in popularity recently for obvious reasons: it’s more personal than a regular phone call, but easier to facilitate and less time-consuming than meeting up with someone. And anything that saves time is in the working day is a godsend for recruiters!
But another great feature about WhatsApp video is that you can actually record video messages and send them – all within the messenger app. This could really work in your favour when looking to provide extra value when putting candidates forward for a role: Go that extra mile for clients by supplementing each CV you send them with a short two-minute video of each candidate introducing themselves to the camera. You’d be surprised how effective this can be!
Specialised WhatsApp group communities
If you’re a WhatsApp user, you’ll likely be using the groups function for organising group holidays or sending passive aggressive messages to people you live with. In other words, you’re only using it to keep in touch with people you already know.
However, there’s a whole other side to WhatsApp groups that most of us know nothing about: it’s also used publicly by communities within very specific niches (mostly techy) to keep in touch with likeminded people. So as you can guess, public WhatsApp groups have the potential to be a gold mine for specialist recruiters!
There are a vast number of public specialised WhatsApp groups for people with special interests to hang out in – and to join in, all you need is a chat.whatsapp link. You can either be sent the link by an existing member of the group, or you can even search for them on google. Try something along the lines of ‘WhatsApp group for C# programming’ or whichever industry you’re interested in recruiting for, and see what comes up.
Open WhatsApp communities like this are massive in Asia at the moment, but gaining traction in the UK within smaller, tech-savvy communities. These groups should simply be used by recruiters as a fly-on-the-wall opportunity to gain some invaluable insights about the current market in your specialist area of recruitment. Go in with the hard sell as soon as you gain entry and you’ll be booted out and blocked from the group sharpish!
So whilst it’s true that WhatsApp has been a bit of a slow burner for the recruitment industry, it seems we’ve reached a turning point with these great new features. Now that the new Whatsapp Business app has officially launched, recruitment agencies across the sector will be jumping on the band wagon – so get your WhatsApp recruitment strategy in place to ensure you’re ahead of the game.