Why You Should Source and Recruit with WhatsApp by @JanBernhart

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Jun 18, 2015
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

Have you ever searched for your (sun)glasses until you found out you were wearing them on top of your head all along? That’s how I felt when I started using WhatsApp for sourcing.

Email is the main communication channel for almost anyone that works in an office. And while you have a full-time job processing all you work mail, your private email address fills up too.

This is exactly the reason why, when I really need a colleague or friend to get my message quickly,  I don’t mail. And surprise surprise, I don’t call either. I text. Or better yet: I use WhatsApp. People don’t lose sleep over unread or unanswered mail. But there’s something about the push-notifications for text messages that trigger instant replies.  

So why have so much sourcers, including myself, been ignoring WhatsApp for years? Deemed unprofessional? Only for teenagers? My results beg to differ. WhatsApp is simple, effective, and brilliant.

In my current assignment, I usually get asked to help out with requisition that have been open for too long and now really really need candidates, quickly. My go to strategy for urgent requisition is the companies’ ATS (Thanks Glenn Cathey for opening my eyes on Sourcecon Atanta in 2014).

After having found strong profiles of individuals that in the past showed interest in working for the company, I used to mail them. And the waiting game began.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m horrible at the waiting when there’s time pressure to fill requisitions. And calling wasn’t very effective as well, many persons don’t answer their phone when an unknown (and in my case foreign) number calls them. I’m not even going to elaborate on voicemail.

In a desperate attempt, along came WhatsApp. And the results were great.

Whatsapp is brilliant in these scenarios for several reasons:

  1. You can verify if the phone number still belongs to your prospect by checking the name and profile picture they have set on WhatsApp.
  2. You can see if your message was delivered and if it was read
  3. The person receiving the message can see your profile picture and judge if you’re legit before they decide to answer
  4. They don’t have to worry about colleagues overhearing a phone chat or seeing your mail on their computer screen
  5. Sending a text message is easy and safe (remember when you were dating and calling seemed to scary?)
  6. With Whatsapp’s web clients it’s very easy to copy-paste conversations in your ATS

And yes, I’ve also used Whatsapp for approaching very experienced candidates. Heck, I’ve just hired a VP using Whatsapp. Don’t let conservative minds keep you from using the technology of today.

This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.
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