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HR Trend: Snapchat?

Snapchat – that is the name of the App whose user numbers have exploded in the last few years. Already named the trend of 2016 by many HR experts, the questions now asked are: What does the app do? How does it work? And what is it doing on an HR blog?


Snapchat? What is that even?

As the name lets on, Snapchat is a short message service. But it is not another Facebook messenger or WhatsApp clone. Because the messages are not available for an indefinite time, and instead disappear after having been read for a maximum of 10 seconds. Success appears to be – especially among the young target audience – to be unbroken. In the US the service reaches, according to Snapchat itself, around 41% of the 18-34 age group. In Switzerland and Germany, the numbers are likely to be similar. All together over 200 million people already use the messenger every day and consume 10 billion videos. Globally, Snapchat only lies a little behind Facebook!

And what does that have to do with HR?

There is not just the function to send messages directly to certain contacts, but also the option to make content available for 24 hours for all users that follow the channel. This is comparable to a Facebook or Twitter post. A so called “story” develops gradually through short pictures and videos. With this Snapchat offers another platform to present your company on, just like Facebook or Twitter.

snapchatENIn 10 seconds to an interview.

For example, it is possible to share current vacancies through this channel quickly and effectively, as a kind of advanced recruiting platform. Much more radical is the idea to receive applications only through Snapchat: The Norwegian advertising agency DDB Oslo caused a sensation with this in the beginning of 2014. For an invitation to an interview in Oslo the applicants did not apply formally but had to impress with a short video on Snapchat. Through this “Snapchat Pitch” the company then found a suitable candidate.

Employer branding with Snapchat.

Snapchat can easily be integrated into employer branding. For example, small posts from the day-to-days of employees, combined with links and infos to vacancies, provide an easy and good opportunity to give your company a face via Snapchat. This makes the company more accessible and appealing.

The public posts can reach a large number of users in an attractive target group. At least every user that follows the channel. Because of this it is important to cultivate and advertise the Snapchat profile constantly. On career information events and graduate fairs for example flyers with the “Snapcode” (see picture above) can be distributed and thus increase the number followers.

The potential of the app was also recognized by the HR department of the retailer Rewe in Germany, which started a Snapchat account several weeks ago. Those responsible for HR seem to be very satisfied with the new medium of communication. As such Melanie Berthold’s (HR marketing/employer branding at Rewe) opinion is very positive: “At first we saw Snapchat as an experiment, but the response already shows, that there is much more to it.” [From an interview with Sachar Klein on]

It’s Future in HR? Unknown.

Despite the possibilities that Snapchat offers – the target audience remains (for the time being?) very restricted and is concentrated within the very young generation. Even if the channel is cost efficient and can be operated with little effort, it should be analysed from the company’s side if a Snapchat channel is viable and if it reaches the target audience.

We stay excited on how this channel will assert itself in the world of HR and will keep an eye on this topic.

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