Published 4. July 2018

What you should know about WhatsApp in the application process

On your way home you remember that you forgot to tell your colleague something. No problem, get your mobile phone out, tap the message and send it – easy peasy. If only everything was as easy as sending messages via WhatsApp. The application process for example. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Not quite true, because with us you can use WhatsApp in the application process.

WhatsApp has a wide spread

According to WhatsBroadcast, about 1.3 million users were using the messenger service WhatsApp in July 2017 and it is one of the most popular in Germany. Share videos, send a voice message or send the current snapshot – it’s hardly faster than with a messenger. In addition, WhatsApp has no character limit and is (mostly) free, if you have free Internet access. So why not use the messenger professionally?

Fast, faster, messenger service: the reasons for WhatsApp in the application process

The WhatsApp messenger is quite promising as an addition to the conventional application process. Because everything that applies to private communication can also apply to the professional: Messengers are simple and fast. As an applicant, you have your smartphone with you, but not necessarily your completed (digital) application documents. A first, brief contact via WhatsApp can break the ice with your employer-to-be and thus makes the further application process easier and more enjoyable.
Also, a quick message via WhatsApp is faster and easier typed than a long cover letter. For some applicants a reason to try this form of application.

WhatsApp as a door opener in the application process

The idea of using WhatsApp as a recruiting channel was tried out for the first time in Germany: In 2015, by a large German automobile company. Since then, the candidate communication via messengers like WhatsApp has found many followers. Also with us. Anyone who finds an exciting project in our job search can also use WhatsApp for a quick application.
Although the terms and conditions of WhatsApp exclude a non-private use – hypothetically. However, the applicants have nothing to fear in this regard, if any, the company would be to blame. To date, there are no companies that have been prosecuted by WhatsApp for violations. Because as said, WhatsApp sees the own regulation quite relaxed and implicitly allows the professional use of his service. Recently, even with a new version of the messenger. But more on that later.

The messenger and the EUDATAP

Under the new Privacy Regulation, WhatsApp users had to agree to new policies. Now you might be wondering if these regulations also affect the use of WhatApp as a dialogue marketing channel.
Only partially but still worth knowing. The sticking point is the contact list. If you want to use the Messenger service, you will typically need to disclose all your saved contacts. According to the EUDATAP, since the end of may this is only allowed if all the persons concerned have consented. Clearly this is a scenario that is difficult to implement in real life.
But, according to the EUDATAP, problems only arise when the data produced through professional contacts are synchronized with each other. Meanwhile, the messenger offers the option to turn off synchronization to be compliant to the EUDATAP.

WhatsApp’s latest version

One could therefore assume that the WhatsApp corporation is aware of how often the app is used in a professional context. This is also indicated by another sign: WhatsApp Business. With this app, which users can download since January 2018, the professional use was approved. The new version has some features that are tailored to the professional needs: Special chat labels for different customers, a quick response function and automated answers. However, so far the app is addressed only to smaller medium-sized service sector companies who want to communicate easily with their customers.
Nonetheless, WhatApp has probably recognized the potential that its app has in candidate management. Let’s wait and see where this development is going and what innovations WhatsApp brings to market in the upcoming months and years.

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