Mobile recruiting isn’t just about making it possible to apply online. In this episode of the SourceCon Podcast, Eric shares new applications recruiters and sourcers should be experimenting with. None of these tools were built with recruiting in mind, but Eric will share his opinions about how and where they fit into the recruiting workflow.
Jeremy: Hi everybody, this is Jeremy Roberts with SourceCon. I’m excited to be here today with Eric Jaquith. Eric Jaquith is a sourcing and recruiting technology expert that I’ve learned a lot from in my career, so I’m really excited that he’s joining us today. Hello Eric, how are you doing?
Eric: I’m doing well. Thank you, Jeremy.
Jeremy: Good deal. Can you give kind of a brief introduction of yourself and what you do in talent acquisitions?
Eric: Yeah. For the last 20 years I’ve been working as a consultant with a few steps as a permanent employee, working with clients who are looking at auditing their internally processes for recruiting candidates around the world. I work for big companies such as Microsoft and CocaCola and Home Depot, but I’ve also worked with a lot of agencies that are kind of refining how their recruiters reach out to candidates once they’ve found those candidates and get them engaged in the process to help them make some good hires.
Jeremy: Excellent. Now, one of the things that Eric has always been really interested in is mobile technology, and I think one of the things we always hear a lot about is mobile recruiting. And then once you click on the article and start to read, they’re really talking about making the application process possible with mobile technologies but I’ve always been a fan of looking at mobile apps and trying to find ways to use things that weren’t necessarily built for recruiting, for recruiting. And so Eric and I were having a conversation last week and he’s discovered a couple of tools that will make that possible. So, Eric can I get you to go ahead and tell us a little bit about those?
Eric: Yeah, as Jeremy said I look at mobile recruiting as, since the people that recruiters are reaching out to, both candidates and possibly hiring managers that we’re submitting candidates to, are using mobile phones to interact with us, we need to look at our end user base, candidates and hiring managers, how they use mobile phones and make sure that as recruiters supporting them we focus on delivering a great experience on those mobile devices. So how we format our email, how we leave voicemail messages, how we choose to use text messaging, all become very consumable by the people that we’re interacting with. That’s what I consider mobile recruiting these days. And recently in Boston there was a startup that just launched a new app in the past two weeks called Flyp. F-L-Y-P. And Flyp believes, and on their website they have a great video that shows that believe strongly that mobile users can segment their life with their mobile phone. That you should have a separate phone number for text messaging, your church group, your personal, your boss and your colleagues at work, versus your family.
So you can have multiple partitions with text messaging, and I know a lot of recruiters that I’ve worked with in the past are very concerned about sharing their individual mobile phone number with candidates that then may not end up getting the job, and then there’s people becoming harassing and just difficult to deal with later on. The unhappy, malcontent who didn’t get the job. So having a service like Flyp, Flyp provides a secondary phone number free of charge but you can have up to five phone numbers with their service. I believe this is somewhere between three and four dollars a month is what they charge and you can select your area code. This came out, thought it was a very interesting way, and for a lot of people it replicates some of the things they’ve been trying to do with Google Voice for many years. Jeremy, you’ve used Google Voice in this way for many years.
Jeremy: Absolutely, and so the way I’ve used Google Voice is just really I use it for text messaging but then I also use it for having a local number when I’m recruiting in a certain geography that I don’t live in. It gets me a better response rate when I’m calling from a local number. So that’s pretty much it. How would this kind of take that to a new level?
Eric: Identical. Flyp is exactly the same way. You can use it for talking, you can actually have a custom voicemail message on it, and then you also can send and receive phone calls from it. You just dial from the application rather than your normal, and you can bring in your contact manager from your phone. It’s available on both Android and iPhone, so it’s for both platforms, but like Google Voice it doesn’t support MMS messaging, it’s just text messaging so just characters, no images and I found that problematic.
A few months back, I think in December, a competitor of theirs came out with a product that actually supports both text messaging, dialing for U.S. callers, and then also MMS messaging, sending files back and forth. Images only, so not resumes unfortunately at this point, but images only and that service is called Burner. B-U-R-N-E-R. And that service has been around for a while and it’s a little more expensive, I think it’s about eight dollars a month and you get a limited number of calls and I think up to 250 text messages, that’s both directions, for that given month.
So it’s a little more pricey but once again you can select your area code and what’s nice about Burner is that at any point, if your campaign is finished, the job is filled and you want to get rid of that area code in an area, you just hit the button and you torch that line and all those people just go to basically an empty dial tone and nobody has to be followed up with. It just basically ends the transaction at that point and there is no phone number.
Jeremy: That’s excellent. Now do either of these have capabilities online? So like if you’re using a desktop computer or laptop, can you text from there or do you have to use your mobile device?
Eric: Google of course does, that has the ability to actually send it out. On Firefox, I believe, or Chrome, Burner has an add-on. I think it’s Chrome Burner has an add-on for, but not FireFox.
Eric: And at this point I haven’t seen that Flyp has come up with that technology yet, but it’s working and they’re just getting started. I suspect that they’ll probably add MMS and the ability to send those pictures and probably more international capabilities as well as the ability to have some add-ons and plugins for some of these other tools. But nothing . . .
Jeremy: Okay, so real quick. Okay so you’ve kind of talked about these two and what features they have. Now list really quick for recruiters why you should be using things like this and where this would fit into their work day and their interaction with candidates.
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Eric: Yeah, I believe strongly that candidates closer to the finish line, those who are interviewing, those who are getting offers, those that are starting first days of work, should have a mode of getting a hold of recruiters that is beyond just email. Text messaging is very transactional, very personal, and should be used for this real time interaction with candidates as they get further down. So I think having the ability to, like you said, have area codes and phone numbers in specific markets where maybe you aren’t and also the ability to communicate without having to lose your privacy by giving your personal phone number, and let your company pay for the additional cost, the small few dollars a month cost, to protect your privacy is a smart idea.
Jeremy: Now, which one of these, I know you had mentioned in a previous conversation that they had timers that you could set. Which one of these? So like you could avoid work text messages during dinner, for example. Which one of these or both?
Eric: Flyp is the only one that I’ve seen that you can have out of office or the ability to go silent, and you can set each of those for each phone number. So my family, I might set text messages or phone calls through 9:00 p.m., but my work number might go silent at 7:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m., or on the weekends not ring at all. So the ability is to segment who you respond to when your phone is silent is actually very, very smart for each group, or each unique number.
Jeremy: Absolutely, and for example a recruiter who work virtually, who wants to have more than one number, this is actually a great solution for someone like that. Maybe a one or two person search firm.
Eric: Yeah, your east coast number could be very different in timeframe than your west coast number. Listen, they aren’t supporting international yet but once they support that I can really see a recruiter using these numbers to support multiple managing groups. From hiring managers to call in at certain times, I can see a separate phone number for hiring managers and a separate number for candidates and set separate time restrictions for both of those.
Jeremy: Absolutely. Now one that is not quite as useful, I don’t think, for the recruiting process that you mentioned to me the other day was one where you have to put your finger on the message to be able to see it, so that they can’t take a screen capture of it. Can you describe that one to me?
Eric: Yes, for those of you that are familiar with an application called SnapChat, the ability to send a message that rapidly disappears, almost like disappearing ink text messaging, this is similar to that. The application is called Confide, and it solves the problem where two parties want to confide in one another, send text messages back and forth, but neither want to be compromised if those messages were to be screen captured, or forwarded on, or saved for future hostile moments. So it makes it very nice amongst collaborators. This could be, for example, vendors that you’re working with, maybe split opportunities for recruiters who are doing splits. Where one moment you’re competitors, the next moment you’re collaborators. Where you can share information and back, and you wouldn’t want that information to maybe be passed onto a candidate or passed onto a hiring manager because someone forwarded that message.
What Confide does is it sends you a message, through the Confide app, and as your finger is on the screen you run it over the message and you can read the message as long as you have contact with your finger, but as soon as your finger is removed from the screen it’s actually almost like white out. Everything is basically masked over so you can’t do a screen capture. As soon as you hit done reading it, it’s like invisible ink and the message is done, it cannot be sent on or forwarded. So there’s no history, there’s nothing that can compromise you in the future. It’s very unique and it solves a particular problem people have of text messages being captured in a chain and possibly used later on to create problems.
Jeremy: That is awesome. Now Eric I really appreciate you joining us today. I think this is something that all of us as recruiting practitioners should do. We should look to technologies that weren’t necessarily created for recruiting and just think about how we can apply those to our work flow and what we do every day, and I think this is a perfect example of new technologies and how we can integrate that into our life as a recruiter or sourcer. So do you have anything else you want to share with us today Eric, before we go?
Eric: I think not only can you use the technology that’s not designed for recruiters, but we have an opportunity to share these technologies with hiring managers, you can use it in your personal life, business owners, as well as candidates who are maybe using a separate number for their job search. So share these applications as willingly and let the job seekers use them, and let the hiring manager use them so that they have a little bit more separation in parts of their life that might make sense as well.
Jeremy: Absolutely, and you know any time you can help somebody it helps to build your credibility in the marketplace. Whether it’s your hiring manager or the candidates you work with. It’s a good rapport building technique and it also shows that you care about them and want to give back a little bit. So very good. Well thank you very much for your time today Eric, and we will get this posted to our podcast as soon as possible and thank you very much.
If any of the listeners out there have any ideas like this that you want to share with the SourceCon community, be sure to send me a message or send me a tweet @ImJeremyR on Twitter or @SourceCon on Twitter, and I will connect with you all there. Thank you very much.