Like apparently everyone else in the Twittersphere/Blogosphere/every other sphere, we were very excited to hear about Google+.
After all, despite Google’s previous ventures in social media having not quite lived up to the hype, three times is the charm – and if anyone can create a real contender to the likes of the “big 3″ – Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – it’s got to be Google.
Business Insider has published the presentation given by Paul Adams, previously of Google’s UX team, which inspired Google’s design for their “Plus” network – and it’s a very interesting read. It gives some insight into the future of social networking, which allows users to categorize their friends, followers, etc into groups which actually reflect how they’d view them in real life.
What’s revolutionary about this idea is that instead of having multiple social networks for multiple “sides” of your personality – for instance, LinkedIn for business, Facebook for friends and family, and Twitter for strangers who share your interests – you can combine all of these into one profile.
Then, when you update your status, share photos, or interact with other people, you can choose which of your “Circles” sees your activity.
So, you might have a circle for Colleagues, one for Friends, one for Family… It’s fully customisable, so it’s your call how you arrange your network.
Mike Elgan, columnist at Computerworld, has perhaps explained it best. He writes:
“Instead of saying, “I’m going to write a blog post now,” or “I’m going to send an e-mail” or “I think I’ll tweet something” you simply say what you have to say, then decide who you’re going to say it to.
If you address it to “Public,” it’s a blog post.
If you address it to “Your Circles” it’s a tweet.
If you address it to your “My Customers” Circle it’s a business newsletter.
If you address it to a single person, it can be a letter to your mother.
I’d say this is pretty revolutionary.”
It’s a combination of all the social communication we’ve grown used to – from one interface.
The “Hangouts” feature is also pretty impressive – it’s possible to have multi-person video-chats through the Google + interface, which we think has a lot of potential to be extremely useful. Plus, the Chat feature means you can have real-time conversations with anyone in your circles – which is never a bad thing.
Well – one of the main plus points for recruiters looking to use Google+ is that Google has banned private profiles and pseudonyms. The latter has caused a bit of a stir with bloggers who use their online personas as their main identity in social networking – and so far, Google has been shutting down company profiles while they design a specific business-centric Google+ experience.
Their decision to ban private profiles has caused less of an issue, because its use of Circles means that you can control on an ad hoc basis what you’d like to remain public. For recruiters, though, this is ideal – as it removes the barriers to candidate sourcing that you’ll find on LinkedIn and Facebook.
When you decide to follow someone on Google+, like Twitter, it doesn’t have to be reciprocated for you to send them a message – meaning that the costs to recruiters using LinkedIn to send InMail are avoided. You can’t guarantee a response – and obviously, if you’re one of the good guys, you’re not going to spam anybody – but there’s a lot of potential for recruiters to use Google+ to connect with the best candidates for their roles.
The search option, at the moment, is a simple text search – although as always, you can use Boolean search strings to narrow your results – and we expect that as Google+ grows, they’ll make this much more advanced.
For the meantime, however, savvy recruiters will have their profiles regularly updated with high-quality content and keywords that attract the right candidates for their roles.
This works both ways. If you’re a candidate looking for a new opportunity, your public profile will reflect this in much the same way as on LinkedIn – your “Bragging Rights” is your place to state what really makes you stand out from the crowd. Don’t be too generic – “Great at everything” won’t really cover it, whereas “Dialler Manager – God of all things SQL” is more likely to get you spotted.
The Hangouts feature also has a lot of potential for recruiters – whether you’re co-ordinating multiple schedules with busy HR managers, or screening candidates, it’s an excellent way to improve on your recruitment experience, for both your candidates and clients.
Now, having only been around for a month, Google+ hasn’t unveiled anywhere near all of its features – and early adopters are still putting things along the lines of “I have no idea what’s going on” rather than a detailed profile, like that they’d put on LinkedIn. It’s also still “Invite Only,” meaning it’s not yet an open network. This is a bit of a barrier to recruiting at the moment – but we fully expect it to grow, and with 20 million users in its first month, it’s likely to be a big contender to become the best network for recruiters.
Whatever happens – we’ll be there from the start, and we’ll keep you informed as we discover more about G+. For the meantime, however, you can find us on Twitter and Facebook – and if you’ve got any thoughts on your Google+ experience so far, let us know!
Cactus Search is the leading provider of Call and Contact Centre Management candidates to some of the most prestigious companies in the UK and Internationally.