The relaxed and intimate nature of the platform lends itself to creative messaging and engaging ways businesses can use to connect with candidates while showing their personality.


Over 1.5 billion people use WhatsApp on a monthly basis. What started as a handy app to circumvent hefty text messaging charges has now become a major global communication channel. WhatsApp’s success is largely due to its ease of use on both iPhone and Android and its light-touch interface: no need to create a “profile,” automatic import of contacts from your phone, and of course: it’s free. It was cleverly designed to become an extension of what your phone already offers and that’s how it became the standard messaging app in most of the world.

Traditionally WhatsApp has been used to communicate with family and friends, but gradually it is becoming the place where business conversations happen. Asynchronous communications are so much more efficient than live phone calls and much less intrusive! Small businesses started using it to book appointments, answer questions, send locations, etc. But until recently, there was no way to do this at scale. That’s when WhatsApp decided to step in and make it official and manageable for larger companies with its WhatsApp for Business API. The platform was able to get businesses verified and allow companies to automate their messaging. You can check out our best practices on how to introduce WhatsApp to your recruitment strategy here.

WhatsApp for Business has had widespread adoption, especially from the marketing teams. The casual vibe of the messaging app makes it an excellent medium to express creativity and cash in on the most fun aspects of communicating with customers (or in our case, with candidates). This platform is a great place to let go of formalities, take advantage of rich media, and show off your company personality via fun GIFs and bitmojis to attract and retain talent.

Want more information on candidate WhatsApp usage? Download this free white paper with insights on how to connect your WhatsApp strategy to multichannel recruitment campaigns and surprising, yet helpful stats!

📌 Learning from the Greats

Take Netflix, the streaming powerhouse, known for its witty online presence on Twitter. In 2017 they started a WhatsApp campaign in India that capitalized on what they knew about their users: they like to binge watch lots of episodes at once and they exchange recommendations with their friends. The company also knew that once a user finishes a long series, they’ll be looking for the next thing to binge.

With this information, they set up an automated workflow asking users in their app to sign up to receive WhatsApp notifications and started messaging them with recommendations at the precise moment they finished a show. Instead of texting their friends, they could rely on Netflix to tell them the next best thing. Now, here’s where it gets interesting, the recommendations are powered by the same algorithm that displays what shows you’ll like inside the app itself. But, there’s just something about texting them on WhatsApp that increases conversions. Three years later, they’re still using the same WhatsApp strategy to improve the adoption of their recommendation engine.

Absolut Vodka in Argentina was one of the earliest brands to take the WhatsApp plunge in 2013, it’s worth noting because it’s the perfect example of creative messaging aligned with the brand. To promote their limited edition bottles, they designed Sven, a digital bouncer that would determine which two participants would receive free passes to their A-list party. Contestants had to interact with Sven on WhatsApp, sending him pictures and videos to convince him they were worthy of the invite.

📌 Adapting it to Talent Acquisition

Vodka is one thing…. Recruitment is another! How can you make a killer marketing campaign designed for talent acquisition? WhatsApp is still a great differentiator as most employer brands have been slow to make the jump into the platform. Create that candidate experience today, and you will still be perceived as one of the early adopters. Giving candidates the option to interact with you via their favorite messaging app already scores some major points.

Beyond the initial interaction, WhatsApp is a great way for candidates to receive status updates on their job application, ask questions on the next steps, or about the company. We recommend adapting your brand’s personality to this medium by adopting a more relaxed tone than you would on email.

Here's how:

⓵ GIFS and stickers: Have a little fun! Show complicity with your candidates by using pop culture references with GIFS and stickers, the more relevant the better. Be careful in overdoing it and only use them when truly appropriate. Think about the kind of talent you’re trying to attract when deciding what types of jokes to send out. Are they millennials? Are they tech-oriented? College grads?

⓶ Emojis: Studies show that messages with emojis have higher response rates than those without 😉. We encourage you to study which of them have the highest impact within your target audience, as well as the most commonly used ones in the industry. We’re fans of this little bot 🤖

⓷ Develop a tone that fits your company, but also the platform: WhatsApp is a casual environment, so try not to be too formal. You can maintain a professional and courteous tone, but still use simple words, abbreviations, and humor.

⓸ Kee your messages short: Develop a copy that is to the point and gets the information across in a few lines. Long pieces of text are jarring on WhatsApp and will most likely be skimmed.

⓹ Keep as most of the process as possible inside WhatsApp: It’s no secret that any extra steps are likely to deter candidates from finishing their application. When using WhatsApp as a way to shortlist candidates, (more information here) make sure it can all be completed inside the messaging app.

⓺ More on humor: Use it sparingly and poignantly. One good joke is better than four mediocre ones. For example, check out how Vixie reminds candidates that they haven’t completed their application:

⓻ Rich media: Take full advantage of videos, voice notes, and pictures. Candidates love having free reign to speak about their experience and strengths, so give them the chance to answer a few questions with a video or a voice note. To connect even more personally, you can also send them rich media, for example, a video job description recorded by one of your recruiters. When writing your script make it informative, personable, and under a minute.

WhatsApp is a game-changer in the recruitment industry, with the highest completion rates of all messaging platforms. With a conversational agent, creative messaging, and a well-rounded use of the app’s more fun features you can delight thousands of candidates, 24/7, in a truly differentiated manner. This may not solve all your TA problems, but it is as close to a magic wand as you will find in 2020!

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