Using WhatsApp for job advertisement and shortlisting of applicants (2)


In part 1 of this article, I analysed the response of data collated in three tables namely gender of respondents, age range of respondents and occupation of respondents. In this final part, I will analyse data collated from three more tables’ namely educational qualification of respondents, responds to job advertisement on WhatsApp and forwarding of job advertisement on WhatsApp. I will also discuss how organisations can shortlist applicants who respond to their WhatsApp advertisements.

Table 4: Educational qualification of respondents

Educational qualification % of respondents
PhD 2.3
Masters 24.6
First Degree 43.0
Undergraduate 13.8
Secondary 8.7
Other 7.6
Total 100

Source: Author’s fieldwork, 2017

Table 4 shows the distribution of educational qualification by respondents. 43% of respondents hold a first degree representing the highest number of respondents. With the current higher education curriculum, it will be a debilitating effect for any degree holder not to be attune with modern communication tools like WhatsApp.

This percentage of respondents are also in the majority because they have completed university and the next most probable thing for them to do is to seek employment. In developing countries where majority of the population live in poverty, acquiring a university education is a means to lift the family’s image and provide their economic means therefore not having employment after university education in a developing country is not only a stress to the graduate but also to the family.

Majority of graduates are therefore hooked to social media as means of finding job opportunities amidst other reasons. 24.6% of respondents hold masters degrees of which majority of them are likely to be in employment therefore are not aggressively looking for employment. Their response to job advertisement on WhatsApp will not be the same as first degree holders.

It is equally important to state that 24.6% of respondents is a good number of employment watchers who are seeking better opportunities to change employment as well as those who are not in employment and are therefore seeking job opportunities. Also note that some of respondents who culminate the 24.6% are lecturers in various universities in Ghana.

All said, it is amazing how masters degree holders in developing countries that require high skilled employees to develop their countries do not have employment for such highly educated citizens. This is a problem that requires critical analysis in juxtaposing academic qualification to industry needs.

It is refreshing to note that 2% of respondents hold PhDs. This points to the quality of the sample size of respondents in this study for which reason their views cannot be taken for granted. The quality of respondents validates to a high degree the authenticity of data collected which can form a good data for drafting employment policies and existing employment policy analysis and amendments.

The fact that even PhD holders are looking for better employment package shows that there is a correlation between educational qualification and job satisfaction. The employment opportunities presented by WhatsApp is amazing and available to many in the right network of friends.

Cumulatively, 16.3% of respondents hold other qualifications of which 8.7% are secondary school leavers. Again this statistic poses a huge employment deficiency particularly in developing countries where majority of respondents live. Arguably, the 16.3% are those who spend much time on WhatsApp and are unfortunately those who have less income.

A future study will access respondents who are not in any form of employment and are therefore looking vis-à-vis respondents who are in a form of employment but are seeking better opportunities. I dare say that it will be interesting to note how many are employed but are not happy in their current position and will therefore want to seek another employment and/or start something of their own i.e. go into entrepreneurship.

Table 5: Will you respond to a job advertisement on WhatsApp?

Will you respond to job advertisement on WhatsApp No. of respondents % of respondents
Yes 105 80.8
No  25 19.2
Total 130 100

Source: Author’s fieldwork, 2017

Table 5 tabulates the responses of respondents in the question “will you respond to a job advertisement on WhatsApp?” This is one of the two questions posted to respondents in this study. 105 respondents affirmed that they will respond to job advertisement on WhatsApp. This gives a soothing assurance of the acceptability rate of the WhatsApp tool as an authentic medium of communication; both formal and informal.

Of the 105 respondents who affirmed to respond to job adverts on WhatsApp, some of the respondents had a caveat to their affirmation. They prompted that they will only respond to job advertisements which source of the advertiser can be verified. They also said that; they will respond to job advertisement if the sender of the advert is credible.

Alternatively, 25 out of the 130 respondents of the same question said they will not respond to a job advert via WhatsApp. Since it is a quantitative question, I did not probe to find out why they will not respond to job adverts on WhatsApp but drawing from some caution of some of the 105 respondents who said they will respond, one is tempted to draw a conclusion inter alia that those who outrightly said they will not respond will be because some people have abused the tool for fraudulent purposes.

Table 6: Will you forward a job advertisement on WhatsApp to others?

Will you forward a job advertisement on WhatsApp to others No. of respondents % of respondents
Yes 112 86.2
No 18 13.8
Total 130 100

Source: Author’s fieldwork, 2017

Table 6 tabulates the percentage of respondents to the question “will you forward a job advertisement on WhatsApp to others?” 86.2% of respondents affirmed that they will forward job advertisement on WhatsApp to others. These percentage reflects the confidence of WhatsApp users and the importance they attach to job advertisements on WhatsApp.

However, some of the respondents who affirmed to forward job advertisement on WhatsApp to others were quick to say that they will only forward those adverts when they can verify the source of the advert, the credibility of those who send the adverts among others.

It is interesting to note that none of the 86.2% of respondents who affirmed to forward job advertisement on WhatsApp to others did not complain of cost implication. This points to the fact that though there is cost involved in forwarding those adverts, respondents were willingly doing it at their own cost.

13.8% of respondents to the same question above said that they will not forward job advertisement on WhatsApp to others. Again, since it was a quantitative question, there was no follow question to ascertain reasons why they will not forward job advertisements on WhatsApp to others.

I am inclined to believe that just like the respondents who said they will not respond to job adverts on WhatsApp due to the credibility of those adverts, same way some respondents will also not forward job adverts on WhatsApp. According to the data collected, comparatively, those who will not forward job adverts are less than those who will not respond to job adverts on WhatsApp respectively. Some of the reasons adduced was that though some respondents will not respond to the jobs advertised for various reasons, they will forward it to others.

How to shortlist applicants who respond to your WhatsApp job advertisements

At this stage, the employer now has a number of applicants to shortlist the most suitable and qualified persons for the job. In arriving at the shortlisting, there are a quick observations that the employers should do considering that they are dealing with the applicants via WhatsApp. This process is only to shortlist applicants via the WhatsApp platform in the event that the employer receives more responds than expected.

Obviously the entire employment communication will not be completed on WhatsApp since the employer will have to meet the shortlisted applicants in a face-to-face interview and other formalities so as to complete the selection process. Though social media is used largely for informal communication, employment communication are formal communication therefore all the rudiments of formal communication applies to job advertised on WhatsApp.

In shortlisting applicants for jobs advertised on WhatsApp, the employer must look out for the following:

  1. Formal communication

Because of the mode of communication of most social media users, many respondents to job advertisement on WhatsApp tend to use informal style of communication. They write as if they are about their everyday social media conversation forgetting that it should be a formal style of communication; according it all the necessary ingredients of formal communication.

Respondents to job advertisement via WhatsApp who do not use formal style of communication must be instantly rejected. It shows their laziness and inattentiveness to detail. These same people will not use the informal communication style they use on WhatsApp if they show up in person for an oral-face-to-face interview so why should they do otherwise under the guise of social media.

WhatsApp response to a job advertisement should be same as applicants would have responded if they were doing so by paper and ink. WhatsApp is an effective and cost effective way of modern communication which combines both formal and informal styles of communication.

  1. Display picture (DP)

The popular saying that “a picture tells a thousand words” is as relevant today as the first day it was said. Employers who advertise job vacancies via WhatsApp must look out to applicants display picture on their WhatsApp. The display pictures of WhatsApp users to a large extent tells their beliefs, aspirations, persuasions and what have you.

Depending on the nature of job, applicants display picture should give the employer an insight into the person even before they request an oral-face-to-face interview. WhatsApp display pictures which does not reflect an image of how the organisation want to be perceived should be grounds for the rejection of the application.

  1. Telephone conversation

When applicants have passed the first and second threshold (formal communication and display picture) on the WhatsApp job application process, the next step in further shortlisting of applicants is a telephone conversation with applicants. The caller tune, recipient’s response on the telephone are some of the quick pointers to the aptitude of the applicant. All these must be formal knowing that employment communication is a formal communication irrespective of the medium used.

Face-to-face job interviews are so cosmetic that if employers do not get to know the applicants before they meet them, applicants will put up some impression to please the interview panel thereby hiding their true self. By the time the employer gets to know the true character of the employee it would have cost them time and money.

Employers must reject job applicants whose telephone manners lacks the needed expectation for the position they are applying for.


The results of the study shows that organisations can use WhatsApp effectively for job advertisement by cutting down on their organisational budget for traditional media job advertisement. The cost involved in using WhatsApp as a tool for job advertisement is minimal. There may be the argument of whether or not organisations will attract the right number of applications via WhatsApp instead of the traditional media.

The evidence based data collected shows that a carefully worded and verifiable job advertisement on WhatsApp can make the necessary impact at a lower cost thereby spending less on traditional media for a balance spread of the advert. The changing faces of employment communication is even more evolving with the speedy use of social media, particularly WhatsApp.

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