By 2019, a total of 2.19 billion people worldwide are projected to use mobile phone messaging apps. Some of the most popular apps like WhatsApp and Facebook attract around 1 billion monthly active users.
From a business perspective, the steady rise of messaging has led to new opportunities to engage with consumers. Offering customer service via messaging apps has already taken off, and big brands like Starbucks are also using them as part of their employer branding strategy.
Recruitment is another area where companies can capitalise on the rise of mobile messaging. Where a combination of job boards, online application systems, and email is currently still the norm, messaging is the future. Here are six reasons why.
1. Higher open rate: get your message read every time
On average, people check their phone 40 times a day. 78% of all consumers in developed markets check their smartphone within an hour of waking up, while in emerging markets that number goes up to 93%. For many, text and instant messaging are the first things they look at, with over a third of people saying it’s the very first thing they access on their phone every day.
Meanwhile, e-mail has taken a backseat. Only 11% of people in emerging markets and 19% of people in developed markets indicate checking their email is the first thing they do on their phone. And those who do check their email regularly are still not guaranteed to read, open, or even see your message — depending on the way they’ve set up their inbox or their spam filter.
In addition to checking their instant messaging apps more frequently than email, people also expect the messages they receive via mobile messaging apps to be short. This increases the chances they’ll read what you’ve sent them, as they assess the time it will take them to do so to be minimal.
2. Faster response time
By nature, messaging apps are designed to encourage real-time communication. Want to hold an uninterrupted monologue? Email is your thing. But if you’re looking start a conversation, messaging allows you to do just that.
Experience has already taught mobile users to prioritise messaging over email. If you need to get a message across to someone, depending on the level of urgency you would 1) call them, 2) message them, 3) email them. Since users expect urgent requests and updates to reach them via calls or messaging, by sending them an email you suggest the content can wait.
Using messaging apps to communicate with talent not only helps you capture their attention in a more immediate fashion, it also shifts things to a more personal level. Adding a more personal feel to the conversation increases the chances of getting (faster) responses; where an email from some recruiter is easy to ignore, not responding or leaving in the middle of a chat conversation quickly feels rude.
This, of course, works both ways. Not only can you expect faster responses to job postings, requests for additional information, documentation, or answers to follow up questions; you (and your chatbot) will also be more approachable for candidates, improving the recruitment experience for both parties.
3) Never bounce again
As long as you manage to keep their attention and not annoy them, once you connect with someone on Facebook, you’re basically set for life. Think about how many phone numbers you’ve had in your life so far. Lost track? Now think about how many times you’ve changed Facebook profiles. There’s your answer.
It may seem unlikely that candidates would change their email address in the middle of an application process, thus rendering you unable to contact them. But effective recruitment isn’t just about having someone complete an application right now. It’s about playing the long game — in which having that one reliable contact method is an invaluable asset.
4) Start a conversation, not an application “process”
Speaking of playing the long game — some of the best talent out there are already employed. An email from a recruiter containing a monologue on why they should leave their current job is unlikely to achieve much. A friendly short chat message asking how things are going on the other hand, could plant the seed that leads to securing a future hire. Even if they’re not interested right now, the occasional quick chat conversation will keep you on their radar.
For those who might be interested in making a move, their current employment most likely means they don’t have the time or the motivation to start what could be a tedious, long-winded application process. By using messenger, the first contact is more casual and allows for a much quicker assessment of the situation on both parts.
5) Collect rich media data
Hiring a new employee can have an enormous effect on the team, and, depending on their performance, the company’s overall success. Collecting rich media data allows you to use your skills and expertise to better assess what type of person they are and how they might fit in.
Additionally, it offers a much better platform for passionate candidates to show their love for what they do, or their enthusiasm for your company. Watching someone speak animatedly via a short video they uploaded is much more convincing than reading a written paragraph about their passion.
6) Stand out from other employers
Including mobile messaging apps in your recruitment strategy isn’t just about keeping up with the latest trends — it’s about knowing how people like to communicate and adapting to it. By offering to start a conversation in the way talent feel most comfortable with, you’re already ahead of the competition.
What’s more, being an early adopter will show candidates that you’re open to change. For talent bursting with innovative ideas, there is no better way to set yourself apart from other employers.
Want more? Also read Your recruitment process as a sales pitch.