Too much convenience can be a bad thing. For proof, look no further than the proliferation of communication methods in the digital age.
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At first glance, this has been a great development for us all. It wasn't that long ago when phone tag reigned supreme (admittedly, we haven't totally vanquished that nuisance just yet). Now, if you place a call and someone doesn't pick up, you can always text them. Or email them. Or hop on Facebook. Or tweet at them.
The same holds true for interactions with companies. If you can't get customer service on the line, you can always tweet at the corporate account. As a bonus, the added publicity of the act often pressures companies to take swift corrective actions to address your woes.
The recruiting process is no different. Where once candidates could only send in resumes and cross their fingers, social media, email, and SMS have given them the ability to stay in constant contact with potential employers.
The problem is, employers don't always get back to them. Not because employers don't want to stay in touch with candidates – but because the barrage of communication can be hard for any one recruiter to keep up with.
"It seems a new communication app or platform is popping up every day! The downside to this is recruiters and employers need to constantly stay on top of them and adapt so that they are able to get in touch with the candidates using these new communication technologies," says Howie Schwartz, CEO and cofounder of sourcing and engagement platform Crowded. "These days, it seems there needs to be a whole entire team dedicated to research and collecting data on where your candidates are most engaged so that your recruiters know where to focus their efforts on."
The other monkey wrench is that not all candidates are open to being contacted via the same platforms. Some will gladly welcome a text from a recruiter, while others will immediately blacklist any recruiter or employer attempting to contact them via that channel.
"With the emergence of any new chat technology comes just one more way for a candidate to ignore you," Scwhartz says. "Employers need to have some sort of line that is drawn to ensure they are not crossing over personal boundaries to communicate with candidates."
Cutting Through the Noise With a Cross-Channel Platform
In an effort to help recruiters and candidates more easily connect with one another, Crowded has built support for cross-channel communication into its latest release version. The platform currently supports SMS, Facebook Messenger, and email, with plans to add Slack, Skype, WhatsApp, WeChat, and more in the future.
For those who are unfamiliar with Crowded, the platform allows candidates to create accounts and advertise their skills and abilities. Based on this information, candidates are matched with potential jobs. Employers, too, also receive curated lists of candidates whose backgrounds align with their hiring needs.
The platform allows candidates and potential employers to chat with one another via multiple channels, thereby collecting all recruiter/candidate communication in one central location.
"One click from your mobile device or messaging platform will start the conversation across any channel with any of these candidates," Schwartz explains.
Cross-channel communication via a centralized platform allows employers and recruiters to connect with a variety of candidates in real time.
"This means a faster, more efficient hiring process for everyone involved," Schwartz says. "By wrangling candidates into one channel, you are restricting your opportunities to reach these potential new hires, and you are essentially narrowing your candidate pool."
Schwartz also notes that cross-channel communication can make it easier for recruiters to respect their candidates' communication preferences.
"For example a candidate may love WhatsApp to communicate with their friends, but they may wish to use Skype or Facebook Messenger for business and to engage in interview chats," Schwartz says.
When all these channels are available in the same place, recruiters won't have to jump from platform to platform just to reach out to different candidates.
Given that it looks like new chat platforms will continue to pop up in the coming years, I'm starting to think that Crowded's move may be the beginning of a trend. I sure hope it is. Being a recruiter is hectic enough. It'd be nice if we could bring a little more convenience to their lives.