Differences between Live Messaging and Live Chat

You probably have heard phrases like “live chat,” “live messaging,” or even “text recruiting.”

Jeff Dolan
By Jeff Dolan 08/10/2018

You probably have heard phrases like “live chat,” “live messaging,” or even “text recruiting.”  All of these phrases have been floating around the recruitment and hr spaces for a few years now, but what exactly are they to each other? You might assume they’re all the same, right? Well, you know what happens when you assume things... You run the high risk of being wrong and, in this case, you are.

The Beginning of Live Chat, Messaging, and Text

You might remember AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) from the late 90s and early 2000s. This was a little before texting was widely available and it paved the way for users to talk online. Now AIM conversations didn’t have to start with the users being online. Users could send a message to other users, no matter their online status. Offline users would receive the message once they became online. AIM was designed to take out the formality of email, incorporate a convenience that calling just doesn’t have, and make a channel of communication where users could simply message back and forth.

20 years since AIM’s beginning and months since it’s shutdown in December 2017, we’re still working to incorporate the functionality and convenience into business. E-commerce made live chat available in recent years to assist customers through the buyer’s process in real-time. Now, technology is advancing in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning and has come out with chatbots.

Live Chat vs. Live Messaging: How Are They Different?

The difference between “chatting” and “messaging” is in the intention of the conversation. A conversation intended to be short and to the point is regarded as live chat, such as when you visit Microsoft’s website because you’re looking into Office 365 for your company. You want to ask a quick question about the different Office 365 packages, so you click the chat live and ask your question. After you get the answer, the conversation is over and you can either move on to buy the product or you decide it’s not the right time. This is Live Chat.

On the flip side, live messaging is when the intention is to have a longer conversation that evolves into building a relationship between the company and user. This is the approach that AIM took. Messaging is intended to maintain that connection for longer periods of time, sometimes spanning over days, depending on the users and their needs. This is how FlashRecruit has modeled its chat feature. To better connect candidates to recruiters, it requires the intention for a longer relationship. Candidates can go on and send a “chat” to a recruiter, but the conversation will flip to build a relationship with the recruiter. This is what leads the candidates to have higher response rates and to be more likely to follow through the application and onboarding process. It’s part of the human connection and personalized candidate experience that they receive through messages with the recruiter.

What is Text Recruiting?

This is very different from live chat and live messaging all together. Simply, text recruiting is recruiter-driven; chat and messaging are candidate-driven. Similar to cold calling or emailing, text recruiting is when a recruiter sends a cold text to a candidate to promote a job posting. Many have found text recruiting to be more effective than emails and calls, but it is still the cold approach that doesn’t help to build a trusting relationship with candidates and isn’t effective as candidate-driven avenues. Live chat and live messaging are still more effective in creating and maintaining connections with candidates. All three can be utilized in your recruitment strategy together, but they deliver very different results.


Jeff Dolan

Jeff Dolan

SVP - Growth : Building and Scaling Marketing, Sales, CS and DEV.

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