Candidate Engagement

The Cheat’s Guide to Candidate Engagement with These Hot Social and Messaging Apps

Gone are the days when you can rely on just one platform for outreach to that must have candidate.

You need to be where your they are, where they’re interacting with friends, and where they are more likely to respond to your outreach.

If you need convincing, remember this. A 2014 study found 18-29-year-olds in the US spend on average 51 minutes daily on Facebook, and 20 minutes on Snapchat.

On LinkedIn? They spend less than ten minutes daily.

Your best approach to finding and engaging these star candidates is to use the platforms they use. And signing on to today’s hottest apps takes minimal effort – but can yield big returns.


1. Facebook Groups

No doubt about it: Facebook is the #1 social network. More than 72% of adults globally are on Facebook.

An interesting fact too: while the social network enjoys widespread popularity among U.S. adults, more than 60% of Facebook users are over age 34.

To help users find like-minded people in a virtual sea, Facebook created its wildly popular groups function. The feature has gained so much traction that even its product manager, Alex Deve, has been “stunned on a daily basis by a wide range of communities out there.”

One billion people use Facebook Groups each month, according to statistics released by CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
One billion people use Facebook Groups each month, according to statistics released by CEO Mark Zuckerberg.


How can you make the most of Facebook Groups? If you recruiting for a specific role, look for industry and specialist groups – anything from association member connections to business networking communities to topical interest discussions. That lets you get to know the personality of the communities, the tone and hot topics in their conversations, and most importantly, the stand-out contributors.

Build rapport by responding to members’ posts and casually share information about your industry or business. Without “spamming,” you can pass along stories about your company’s innovations and key developments, events, and then once you’ve warmed up, share open roles.

Before you dive in, make sure you know the do’s and don’ts of Facebook Groups etiquette:

  • Be friendly, but remember your professional purpose.
  • Reply to comments on your own posts quickly to build rapport with group members.
  • Don’t send friend requests to strangers.
  • Avoid being too promotional or over-zealous in your sharing.
  • Look at the rules of each group to make sure your activity is in line with what they expect.


2. WhatsApp

A photo of a phone with WhatsApp installed.
WhatsApp surpassed one billion global users in early 2016. (Image: WhatsApp)

A mobile messaging app, WhatsApp offers a no-cost alternative to texting.

That’s driven WhatsApp’s massive appeal. The fast-growing app surpassed one billion global users in early 2016. At the same time, WhatsApp also processed more than 42 billion messages, more than double the amount handled by the global SMS system.

While just 7% of North American mobile users have adopted WhatsApp, the app enjoys adoption rates of over 30% in Europe and Asia Pacific, and more than 60% in Latin America and Africa. This makes WhatsApp an obvious choice for companies with an international presence.

The app’s push notifications create a strong sense of urgency and call-to-action. Remember – if you’re hiring younger candidates – go where your audience is, and forget endless phone or email tag.

WhatsApp also gives you:

  1. Ability to verify a candidate’s current contact information
  2. Capability to create a personal profile
  3. The security and privacy of texting
  4. Validation of message opens and delivery

In a recent article, recruiter Jan Bernhart detailed how WhatsApp had revolutionized his sourcing. Often tapped to fill critical roles that have remained open for too long, he found that emailing and calling candidates delivered subpar results. The immediacy of WhatsApp him to start conversations with recruits quickly, speeds up scheduling, and brings recs to closer to fulfilment.  


3. Slack

The Slack logo.Slack is a business messaging app that allows teams to collaborate across platforms and devices. With 1.7 million active daily users at the close of 2015, Slack has been generating significant buzz, and adoption rates the envy of other so-called “email killing” platforms.

If you haven’t used it, Slack is an impressive, intuitive productivity tool. Internal teams can create private channels to focus on projects or topics, and share files. The app also features private messaging, a robust search function, and easy integration with other apps like Dropbox and Google Drive.

Sounds great for efficiency, but how does Slack help with recruiting?

The app also features public channels that can provide an excellent avenue to scout for prospective recruits.

A great resource to find these is ChitChats, a site that lists hundreds of Slack groups on niche topics. All you need to do is request an invite and join the conversation. offers an easy way to find public Slack communities for different interest groups. offers an easy way to find public Slack communities for different interest groups.


Another option to think about: motivate your company to create a public Slack community – and become a key participant. You could invite prospects to join and participate in discussions about anything from business milestones to team-building adventures. Slack could quickly become your new favorite resource to identify and build relationships with candidates.


4. Flipboard

Content curation app Flipboard surpassed 80 million monthly users in November 2015 – more than double the number from the year before.

What’s the appeal of this app? Flipboard lets you create gorgeous personal magazines on any topic. You can curate content from the communities you join or from users you follow. Or, you can simply “flip” any interesting content from any website right into a personal magazine.

A highly visual medium, Flipboard empowers you to create a brand showcase, while providing content to keep candidates engaged.

Want ideas? Here are a few recommended by passionate Flipboard evangelists:

  1. Take candidates behind-the-scenes – craft a glossy digital magazine that showcases your culture.
  2. Turn your magazine to a visual job bulletin board – post details about open positions.
  3. Demonstrate thought leadership – create a topical magazine to share your team’s innovations and industry ideas.

New York-based Planted is a shining example of how to use Flipboard in recruiting. The  startup successfully coupled its Flipboard magazines with social media to offer unique insight to its millennial target audience.

Planted created the Startup Job Hunting magazine which has attracted over 4,000 followers. The magazine features company blog posts, along with company-related content from online publications.


5. Facebook Messenger

Facebook's VP of Messaging Products David Marcus discusses growth at the F8 Conference in 2016.
Facebook’s VP of Messaging Products David Marcus discusses growth at the F8 Conference in 2016.

We’ve talked a lot about Facebook, but you can’t argue with community size, and the social giant’s own messaging platform (aside from Groups, and Live Video below) should also be a factor in your engagement efforts.

For now, similar strategies as some other messaging apps work well for Messenger, and be aware that if you send a message to someone you aren’t friends with on the platform, it will appear not in their Inbox, but in a separate Message Requests inbox.

What you should be keeping an eye out for here is Facebook’s roadmap for Messenger, and the role chatbots could play in your recruiting efforts. At this year’s company developer conference F8, Facebook signalled machine-learned conversations as another way for consumers to interact with brands, and while the functionality is still yet to be fully proven, you should start thinking how you could enable this feature:

  • Answer simple questions about company culture and perks
  • Provide a way for applicants to check for updates on open roles
  • Another forum for automated outreach to passive candidates


6. Snapchat

snapchat-demographics-monthly-usersA mobile-only social app, Snapchat allows users to share visual content – called “snaps” or “snapchats” – centered around photos and video. Users can share content in a newsfeed format, with each “snap” deleted after 24 hours. Or, they can share content directly with others via individual messages, like text messages.

Launched in 2011, Snapchat has quickly gained momentum, especially with a younger audience. The app’s popularity with 18-24-year-olds makes it an exceptional tool to reach millennials.

How do you succeed on Snapchat? Use visual content to appeal to candidates in fresh ways:

  1. Providing an inside look by bringing contacts into your organization or to the floor of an industry event.
  2. Hosting an “employee takeover”  by letting team members put a human face on the work environment.
  3. Debuting new open positions by posting something creative related to a job title or rec to generate buzz.

In 2015, financial powerhouse Goldman Sachs turned industry heads by using Snapchat to engage millennials. The firm uses Snapchat’s “Campus Story” function to curate user-generated content from colleges, and interspersed 10-second recruiting ads between these snaps.


7. Facebook Live Video

In December 2015, Facebook launched live streaming video for brands with verified pages. The following month Facebook began rolling out live video to all users worldwide.

This technology offers huge potential for firms to connect with candidates on the world’s biggest social network.

How can you use Facebook Live Video in recruiting? For inspiration, watch this behind-the-scenes look at life at Facebook from founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Just like Zuckerberg clearly shows Facebook’s culture of openness and transparency, you can create a short video to highlight your organization’s unique qualities.

Here are more ideas to capitalize on this novel technology:

  1. Host a Q&A Session – Schedule time with a manager to answer questions about the company and projects.
  2. Share Major Announcements – Keep your community informed of the latest happenings.


8. Periscope

Twitter’s entrant in the live video race, Periscope, has been making waves in the business community since its launch last year.  To date, many well-known brands, such as HootSuite, T-Mobile, State Street, WalMart, Wendy’s, and Frito-Lay, have hosted live Periscope events.

With more than 10 million users, Periscope has a strong presence among users in the 16-24 age group.  Another interesting fact: 71% of Periscope URLs were posted by men, with 30% posted by women.

You can launch a Periscope broadcast right from your Twitter timeline. Use these creative ideas for a live broadcast:

  1. Showcase company events – Broadcast team meetings or social get-togethers, such as potlucks and outings.
  2. Offer “day in the life” views – Let tech-savvy employees take over your channel and show what life is like inside your office.
  3. Provide insight on open jobs – Hold candid discussions with hiring managers about what they look for in candidates.


Turbocharge your engagement

If finding tech-savvy high performers is your recruiting mission, you need to be where they are.

These days, slow isn’t an option. Your candidates want quick answers, effortless interactions, and to see that your organization is ahead of the power curve.

The right apps can broaden your ability to impress in-demand candidates and heighten your brand’s appeal. Chose a few to try out today and get ready to accelerate your recruiting success.

Here’s a free download of 25 subject lines you can use today
to double your candidate response rates.


Have you got strategies in place for any of these apps? We’d love to hear your approaches below 🙂