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The growing use of messaging platforms in recruitment and onboarding

Looking closely at a phone

The use of SMS in marketing is commonplace, and the recruitment sector is beginning to catch on with many HR departments recognising the value of the humble text message. But while SMS messaging is highly effective, other messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are also gaining traction, particularly with the recent increase in remote working.

Using all available contact channels to create a targeted talent acquisition strategy and recruitment process will help guarantee a great hire, by ensuring that you connect with candidates you might otherwise have missed out on, as well as providing an engaging and convenient experience for candidates.

While around 95% of households in the UK has access to a mobile phone, only 80% of those have a smart phone with an internet connection, and that number is reduced to 55% globally. Text messaging is a fast and reliable way of reaching out to large numbers of candidates, internet connection or not. A quick response to an email or other messaging service is dependent on responders being online all the time, but 95% of text messages are read within 5 minutes of being received.

SMS is particularly useful at the early stages of recruitment, in pre-screening candidates to ensure they are interested in the position as well as when securing GDPR consent.

But the use of online messaging apps is growing. WhatsApp is now the most popular instant messaging app in the world, with 1.5 billion active users and an additional 1 million new users signing up every day. And while it might be argued that SMS messages offer fast response times, it is estimated that WhatsApp users check their messages more than 23 times a day, making it a quick and effective way of reaching out.

WhatsApp is particularly useful for those recruiting globally and with the current move towards remote working, which both necessitate remote recruiting. WhatsApp is proving a popular rival for Zoom or Skype in online interviewing because most candidates already have access to the app, making video interviewing over WhatsApp more convenient than some of the more established solutions.

In messaging, WhatsApp is still considered predominantly a personal use app, with most recruiters opting to use LinkedIn for business purposes. But the popularity of LinkedIn for recruitment has led to a reduction in engagement from candidates who are sent an average 20 messages from head-hunters and HR departments daily. The relative newness of WhatsApp will help ensure that your message does not get lost in the melee.

Both SMS and other messaging apps help recruiters build relationships with candidates as part of a holistic approach to recruitment and talent acquisition. Smart HR departments must constantly find new ways to extend reach and engage candidates throughout the recruitment and onboarding process, in order to find and retain the best possible talent.

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