New tool alert! Sharks, you must check out Meebo, web-based instant messaging. I just uploaded Meebo to Peopleshark, allowing readers to ping me for real time conversations. Meebo is integrated with Yahoo! Messenger (which I use, of course), as well as other existing IM products, so no need to create yet another account.
What's the big deal? Well, in about two minutes, I was able to add a chat feature to my blog. This means that, if a candidate finds herself visiting Peopleshark, she can ask specific questions about the extraordinary HR positions for which I am currently recruiting. If I am logged in, I can answer her questions real-time, on the spot. Sharks, think about this: With an "open" IM application, you can set up office hours, specific time during the day or week when you can provide feedback or updates to candidates. It's like a personalized version of Jobirn.com, a new site, still in beta, that facilitates "real time chat with company insiders and recruiters."
The next frontier in recruiting is figuring out the candidate communication puzzle. The rise of the job boards delivered us way more candidates than we could ever use. But candidate expectations never adjusted downward. So finding a tool that might help shine a light on the "black hole" of the ATS, and improve the candidate experience is exciting. Some forward thinking companies have already added chat features to their customer service options (I recently had occasion to chat with a Nordstrom customer service agent. She was incredibly helpful and it was a very satisfying experience) ; I am not aware of any career websites that offer a chat feature. Adding a real-time chat room to your career site -- that would be sharky to the max!