Is Emoji Hiring Set to Take Off in 2020?


Say hello to a brand-new hiring lexicon: Emojis! With one out of five Americans using emojis in email/Slack, using emojis for recruitment isn’t a far-fetched idea. In this article, we discuss:

  • The rise of emojis in hiring and workplaces as a whole
  • 5 interesting ideas for recruiters to use emojis
  • Insights from Anil Dharni, CEO and co-founder of Sense

In a competitive labor market, employers are always looking for new ways to stand out and capture job seekers’ attention. An interesting idea to achieve this is the use of emoji for hiring! Emojis can make your recruitment marketing messaging and candidate communication more personal, with a definitive human touch. It can also convey information more clearly, reducing the time to fillOpens a new window .

So, will emojis transform recruitment in 2020? What are some of the ways you can use these tiny graphical elements when designing a hiring strategy? We delve deeper, in conversation with Anil DharniOpens a new window , CEO and co-founder of SenseOpens a new window .

Learn More: How to Appeal to Generation Z in the Workplace – Q&A With Panasonic’s Tina SlatteryOpens a new window

A Shift in Recruiter and Job Seeker Mindsets, Leading to the Rise of Emojis

Traditionally, recruitmentOpens a new window was perceived as a highly formalized process, with a clear structure in terms of cover letters, resumes, interview questionnaires, tests, and assessments. All of this is now changing. Young professionals and job seekers are eager to engage with their favorite companies, communicating clearly, candidly, and honestly with recruiters. And they expect their future employers to do the same.

“Candidates want to interact with a recruiter who establishes a human connection, and boring, corporate emails will no longer cut it with today’s talent. The modern workforce wants to receive communications on a personal level, so we encourage our customers to email and text like humans — which includes emojis,” said Dharni.

Emojis can help employers reimagine recruitment marketingOpens a new window and communication from a young, energetic perspective. Instead of rigid structures, you can use graphical elements to evoke a feeling/emotional response, increasing candidate engagement levels.

Also, research confirms that emojis are no longer confined to personal communication.

A recent survey Opens a new window of 1,000 U.S. citizens revealed that 1 out of 5 Americans use emojis regularly in emails and workplace collaborations. A major reason for this is the ability of emojis to express information more accurately and reducing the risk of miscommunication. Interestingly, 55% of Americans use emojis because they help to convey a “tone” and therefore avoid misunderstandings. 35% believe that emojis get the message across faster than words.

Further, diverse workplacesOpens a new window with employees of multiple nationalities can overcome communication complexities using emojis. Imagine a native English-speaking recruiter looking to hire a software developer based out of Germany. Emojis in recruitment marketing collaterals or job descriptions are likely to represent the company’s expectations more effectively than a text-only format.

Learn More: How Hiding Behind Emojis Can Improve Relationships at WorkOpens a new window

5 Ways to Use Emojis for Hiring

Emojis could significantly boost the efficiency of your hiring process. Dharni told us how it helped a Sense customer to improve candidate retention. “One of our biggest goals for recruiters is to help them increase retention rates. By using emojis and other genuine, human forms of communication, one of our customers multiplied their candidate retention rate by four times,” he said.

If you want to implement an emoji-led hiring strategy, consider the following ideas:

1. Embed the flag emoji for region-specific positions

Emojis in hiring could revolutionize how large, global enterprises talk to their candidates. You could add the flag of the relevant country when writing a job title, making it more attractive and likely to hold a candidate’s attention as they scroll down an online job board.

2. Let candidates give you feedback using emojis

Meaningful feedback from candidates can go a long way in helping you transform the candidate experienceOpens a new window for future hiring cycles. Instead of a traditional feedback score (1 to 5, positive/neutral/negative, net promoter scores, etc.), you can ask them to use an emoji to depict their experience through the recruitment cycle. Candidates can give a simple thumbs up (👍), thumbs down (👎), or okay (👌) after communicating with a recruiter.

3. Maximize the power of emojis for internal collaboration

This one is particularly relevant when hiring for senior roles, which require the involvement of multiple stakeholders across your company. You can prioritize emoji communication on Slack – for instance, feedback collection for a senior-level job description. Emojis will portray a clearer picture of how stakeholders feel about the description than just words.

4. Launch an emoji-based recruitment marketing campaign

There are many ways to go about this, from entire job posts written as emojis to analytical tests that ask candidates to decode an emoji-encrypted message. You can leverage social media to widely share your campaign and invite engagement on non-traditional hiring platforms, such as Instagram and Snapchat.

5. Replace gendered terminology with emojis

Job descriptions often carry gendered words and phrases that can make a specific candidate demographic feel disengaged. The strategic use of emojis in hiring can offer a workaround. You can make your job descriptions more visual, relying less on words, and thereby reducing the risk of gendered terminology.

Learn More: Top 8 Recruitment Marketing Trends for 2020 and BeyondOpens a new window

Recent Moves in Using Emojis for Hiring and the Way Forward

Despite sounding like an outside-the-box idea, large companies are rapidly embracing emojis for hiring and communication. L’Oréal invited its candidates to send in emoji resumes – here’s what they looked like:

Image Source: LinkedInOpens a new window

Fig 1. An applicant’s tweet using emojis only to apply for a position at L’Oréal

Each emoji on that tweet conveys a candidate trait – for example, the ❤️🖥️💡 combination in the first line says that the person loves digital innovation.

Another company that regularly uses emojis is. Zapier has a 100% remote team that relies heavily on Slack. It uses reacjis (or reaction emojis) to initiate workflows, gather feedback, and understand employee sentiment.

To make such initiatives simpler, Recruiting Social has even come out with an emoji pack specifically for recruitmentOpens a new window that can be used on workplace messaging platforms such as Slack and HipChat!

Dharni believes that “Emojis help us communicate with more emotion, meaning, and joy, which in turn helps recruiters create real, human, engaging interactions. Showing emotion helps us get to know one another and can help increase engagement.”

He also mentioned that recruiters should be open to candidates who use emojis as part of their communication lexicon. After all, 58% of candidates look for jobs on their mobile devices (as per Glassdoor’s study Opens a new window of 12 million U.S. job seekers), where using emojis is easy.

“Candidates lead very busy lives, so I would encourage them to communicate in whatever way feels most comfortable for them. If using a quick 👍 is the easiest way to respond to a recruiter, I would see that as an appropriate response,” Dharni said.

Clearly, the use of emojis in recruitment is here to stay. Every generation has a different approach to communication, and emojis are central to how millennials and Gen Zers talk to their world in the 21st century. There’s no pressure to use emojis, but it is possible that you might be able to find a stronger connection with a younger workforce if you do use them in your recruitment efforts.

Have you used emojis for recruitment in the past? And how did it work out for you? Tell us on FacebookOpens a new window , LinkedInOpens a new window , or TwitterOpens a new window . We’d love to hear your views on this topic!