With Google Plus being around now for a few months, Hangouts have proven to be one of the amazing features of Google Plus. Although in a way very similar to video chats using Skype or Facebook Skype Video Chat, this is great way to easily connect with people and engage with your audience, making Group Video Chat easier. Something that, combined with searching Google+ profiles using Boolean Search and related techniques or one of the tools for finding people on Google Plus, like PlusSearch, Find People on Plus or Google Plus Counter, can lead to brilliant results.
Basically Hangouts have the same functionality as Google Talk, but Hangouts have the possibility of group video chat with up to 10 people to join simultaneously, allowing other people to join as soon as someone leaves the conversation. This gives a great opportunity to set up conversations with specialists around a certain topic, in the same way webinars are organized for recruiting. Just find yourself a great speaker or one of your top specialists talking about new product launches … perfect for crowd sourcing, and for spotting talent.
Invite Talent to your Hangouts
It’s easy to invite Google+ members to the Hangout, by adding their names to the conversations list when starting the Hangout (it took me some time to notice the green button right next to the Stream). Something that’s very interesting if you already have spotted the talent you’re looking for. Especially when you know that once they are in the Hangout, you have the possibility to have a one-to-one chat with them without the others seeing it. But you can also invite everyone in one of your Circles or decide to announce the Hangout publicly in Google Plus.
A great way of inviting others to join the conversation is to simply copy the URL of your Hangout and past it into Twitter, a relevant LinkedIn Group, Facebook, text message or even email. Clicking the link will automatically bring people to the active Hangout. Another way to share your Hangout or announce your Hangout coming up is to register it on GPHangouts and even live stream the Hangout, like The Longest Hangout on Hangoutonplus or Hangout Party. Although you will reach a larger audience by live streaming, the disadvantage is that people can join the Hangout without actually participating in it. With this you miss the functionality of having one-to-one chats while they’re in the Hangout.
Technically it’s possible to create Hangouts with more than 10 participants, through daisy-chaining Hangouts, something that has been done for the Daria Musk Google+ Hangout. I haven’t tried this out myself though.
Another great feature is embedding YouTube video’s in your Hangout and starting a Hangout from a YouTube video using the share function.
At #TuLondon we use Hangouts to do something very spectacular for the #Tru Events. We will kick off #TruLondon with @BillBoorman in a live Google Plus Hangout introducing #TruHangouts, weekly group video chats on Recruiting, Sourcing and all the other great topics we like to discuss at #Tru Events. We will also show some of the functions that have been discussed in this article. For #TruHangout details just follow the #TruLondon hashtag on Twitter in the next couple of days. I also recommend you visiting the Jobsite TruLondon Blog and Bill’s Recruiting Unblog for all updates.
Although we won’t daisy-chain Hangouts, we will do live stream broadcasting of the #TruHangout to enable more than 10 participants to join us. Again, more details to be announced through the #TruLondon twitter stream. I will post an update in this blogpost as well, with all relevant details.
More Google Plus Recruiting
Feel free to add any Google Plus recruiting and sourcing tips in the comments to this article!
Update: At #TruLondon on September 1st the Google Plus Hangouts Track is scheduled at 10AM UK time. The best way to join this track online is to visit my Google Plus profile. The Hangout will be published automatically as soon as it starts, just push the button in the post to join the Hangout.
The URL for the Hangout will also be posted in my Twitter stream: @oscarmager using the #TruLondon hashtag. After clicking the link you will be able to join the Hangout.
We will try to live stream the Hangout as well on the Recruiting Essentials Channel on Livestream for those who will not be able to join the Hangouts, as it is limited to 10 users at the same time. Any comments, questions and ideas can be posted on Twitter using the #TruHangouts hashtag.