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5 reasons to use WhatsApp for recruiting

Yolanda Coquia
February 14, 2020

Key Points:

  • WhatsApp is the most popular instant messaging application in the world.
  • Millions of organizations use it to connect with consumers, but a much smaller number use it to connect with candidates.
  • Recruiters can quickly and easily leverage WhatsApp as a cost-effective way to tap into a large pool of global talent.

With more than 2 billion users worldwide, WhatsApp is the most popular instant messaging application in the world. It’s a fast, simple, and reliable way to communicate and share information on a secure, trusted platform. Users don’t need to change their numbers or service providers to connect with one another, making it ideal for communicating with people around the globe.

It’s hardly a surprise that 3 million organizations use WhatsApp Business to reach consumers—but are they making the most of the channel to recruit talent?

Let’s look at five reasons why you should make WhatsApp part of your talent acquisition strategy.

1. It’s where the talent is

Email has long been the preferred means for businesses to communicate with candidates. It’s still an effective channel in its own right, but that’s changing in our omnichannel world. Adopting a mobile-first strategy that leverages SMS and messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger allows you to expand your reach and engage top talent before your competitors can.

With one million users registering on WhatsApp daily, this platform offers a large pool of potential candidates. Plus, they’re highly engaged—the average user checks WhatsApp more than 23 times a day. A quick, targeted message via WhatsApp is more likely to get a speedy response than an email or, worse, a phone call at work.

candidate reading texts on phone


2. It offers personalization and efficiency

Now that you have access to millions of candidates, how do you know if they are interested in your company—or the right fit for your open positions? WhatsApp offers both one-to-one and one-to-many communication options. You can create WhatsApp recruitment groups of up to 256 members and organize each group by role type or any other preference.

Looking to fill a nursing role? Simple. Leverage your existing talent pools, create a group, and message candidates about relevant opportunities. WhatsApp uses mobile numbers from your contact list, so you can easily keep candidate profiles up to date and make the most of your communications.

3. It’s easy

Most businesses want to focus on creating brand relationships with their customers. WhatsApp allows you to inject your brand personality into every interaction. If you have a strong brand following, it’s time to capitalize on that loyalty and convert your customers into candidates. This can be done by adding an automated chatbot to your branded social media pages or running text-to-apply campaigns, both of which are inexpensive and effective strategies.

It works like this: job seekers text in a code they find on a sign, a storefront, or your social media pages. They are then guided through a quick and automated application process—and just like that, they’re in your applicant tracking system.

4. It knows no borders

If you have a global business, or if you target overseas candidates, know this: WhatsApp is the number one messaging application in 104 countries and, as of July 2019, is the third most downloaded app in the world. In less than a decade since its launch, WhatsApp has become the most popular app for both personal and business conversations.

That popularity is unrivaled in Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia (with the exception of China). The rise of smartphone penetration in these regions has accelerated the use of messaging apps as a preferred channel for professional communications. If you want to tap into a global talent market, WhatsApp should be in your communications portfolio.

5. It’s cost-effective

One reason WhatsApp is so popular globally is that it’s free to use. With 300 million daily active users worldwide, it’s an effective platform to reach a diverse group of candidates, including an elusive candidate in rural Germany or an in-demand hourly worker. If you already text candidates, you may find communicating through WhatsApp Business to be a more cost-effective option outside of the U.S. and Canada: businesses do not pay for active conversations, i.e., when they receive a candidate response within 24 hours.


If you are ready to use WhatsApp as part of your talent acquisition strategy, we now include WhatsApp Business in iCIMS Text Engagement. Talent professionals can use WhatsApp from our web application, browser extension, mobile application, and from our applicant tracking software. Want to see our mobile recruiting software in action? Request a demo here.

If you’re an existing customer who’d like to use WhatsApp, please contact your Account Manager and visit the iCARE Customer Community for more information.


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