Networking on WhatsApp for professional reasons has become a common practice in our work culture. But imagine if a recruiter reaches out to you on WhatsApp and you address him/her with ‘hey’. Does that sound unprofessional to you? I am sure, you must be scratching your head while thinking, ‘ismein kya galat, ye toh normal hai. Even I do it all the time.’ Right? Turns out, ‘hey’ is unprofessional to an extent that it’s “offensive”, a recruiter believes so.


Speaking of which, a screenshot of WhatsApp conversation caught our attention on Reddit which speaks volumes of hypocrisy on the part of the recruiter. Cos, for him, reaching out to an applicant on WhatsApp is professionalism, but the fact that an applicant addressed him as ‘hey’ isn’t.


Here’s how their conversation went like:

Sandeep: Hi Shreyas. Have you submitted the test?

Shreyas: Hey. No, not yet.

Hi Shreyas. My name is Sandeep. Please don’t use the word “hey”. It’s offensive for me. If you can’t remember my name, simply use “Hi”.

-Sandeep, the recruiter

Sandeep also showered the applicant with the unwanted gyaan of how he should address any professional:

Other words that you should never use professionally: “Dude”, “Man”, and only “hello”, “Hi there”, if you’re not targeting a wide audience for in a mail, to senior to you “chap”, “chick”. Thanks


Shreyas, the applicant, schooled Sandeep on professionalism about how the recruiter reached out to him through his personal contact number and he didn’t get offended. Here’s how the applicant responded:

Considering that we’re having a conversation over WhatsApp and not over LinkedIn or over a mail chain. I’m just being casual as you are texting me on my personal number. And coming to being professional I’m not the one being offended.

-Shreyas, the applicant

However, Sandeep justified himself saying, “WhatsApp is not personal space anymore, it has been used for businesses (sic).”

Check out the screenshot here:


Redditors are trolling the recruiter for his hypocrtic attitude:

“Koi sense hai is baat ka?”  


The fact that he had an audacity to send a work message on the guy’s personal number is equally disturbing. Like these people respect no boundaries?  


This is so damn common! Had an HR get offended when I responded with Haanji and explained how I should have used the word Sir. Asked why someone with 14 years of work experience should be calling a 2 year old HR executive as Sir. Show’s your professionalism and attitude to work came the response. Waited for the interview to reach the Head HR and the Head of the Department and asked them about company culture. Displayed the WhatsApp screenshots on the Zoom call after the generic, tired answer. Highlighted how the face of the company to all candidates has such an attitude, what kinda tyrants the seniors must be once I do join. Politely declined to continue the call and disconnected while the two department heads watched. Slept peacefully for weeks after that 🙂 PettyMax!


WhatsApp is and should remain a personal space. There are free, business appropriate communication services like Slack and MS Teams for this very reason. I wouldn’t want my work messages alongside those of my friends and family. Also as a manager I make sure my team turns off Slack notifications after work hours to maintain work life balance.


Proceeds to use an emoji. Very professional.  


High end hypocrisy sprinkled with top shelf narcissism.


First of all if he really want to act professional he shouldn’t contact you on your personal number. and secondly even hey is not professional it should be hello Shreyas / Dear Shreyas.


Making WhatsApp not a personal space anymore is the biggest mistake we all have done. Need to go back to email because why is this Sandeep person throwing tantrums over a ‘Hey’.


And I thought people use ‘Hey’ and ‘Hi there’ all the time professionally.


I am sure Sandeep wouldn’t mind it if Shreyas refers to him as ‘Sir’. Ego boosting for those up the ladder. fuck such douchebags.  


Meanwhile, most of the readers will also relate to the situation when you are asked to address your manager as “Sir” or “Ma’am” in corporate culture. However, many private organisations especially startups do have really cool bosses who prefer their team addressing him/her by names. Let’s leave the hierarchy to designations, what’s say? Cos there are better ways to earn respect.