With the emergence of mobile technology and the explosion in the number of apps available at a very small cost, connecting with friends, colleagues and business acquaintances has never been easier (and some might say ‘more fun’). The sheer number of apps available has resulted pretty much in any question you have being answered “there’s an app for that”. But what about apps designed for the HR professional to connect and collaborate?
With over 10 million registered users in the UK alone, LinkedIn is possibly the most popular social site for professionals, and for this reason LinkedIn should be an app on every iPhone of someone that takes networking seriously. As the site is so popular, the chances are that anyone you meet in a business capacity will have a profile on the site. Having such a large number of ‘members’ not only helps to find them on the site but also in researching their company, experience and interests (very useful for future conversations and relationship building).
LinkedIn is, on the flip side, a very useful tool for you to advertise yourself and your particular skills. With the ability to summarize your professional presence, detail your historical positions, list recommendations from current and past colleagues and business associates, link to websites which you may write for or be involved in, and detail and projects you may be involved with, you are able to provide a wealth of information to millions of prospective future business partners or clients.
The app is free although obviously you do need to have an account with LinkedIn (or sign up to use it). The more information you provide the better, there is a progress bar for you to assess what percentage of your on line profile you have completed which is a great aid as it also suggests which details you have yet to share.
One of the original on line messaging and communication tools for the desktop. Skype also offers an app enabling you to stay connected to your contacts when out of the office. With the ability to message, call and even video conference with your contacts. You should have no trouble contacting colleagues or clients on the go. Skype has become an integral part of the communication here at CIPHR and our mobile workforce all have Skype installed on their iPhones so as to be instantly contactable.
Once you have downloaded the app and logged in, your contacts are automatically populated from you account. Looking similar to the desktop version (but simplified) means that there is no sharp learning curve when moving from the desktop to mobile versions.
On line collaboration using Webex is also available on the iPhone and iPad. Whether this be for an on line meeting, a demonstration or for support, having the ability to connect to these resources while mobile can be extremely useful. You will require a login to be able to use the iPad app however Webex is commonly used by businesses on a daily basis.
Some of the features of the Webex app are: Join via WebEx meeting email invite, meeting number, WebEx site URL, or My Meetings List. Integrated VoIP audio and web conferencing on Wi-Fi and cellular. Full-screen meeting view. View attendee list. View shared content with annotations. Pinch to zoom and scan and Private or group chat. For a comprehensive list of features click here.
DropBox enables you to store all of your files including document, photos and videos in one on line secure library. Where this service stands out is the ability to sync multiple devices enabling you to work on a single document on your desktop in the morning and then, if you are out of the office in the afternoon, you can complete the document on your laptop or iPad for example.
Sharing files with others is also very easy, you can share a folder containing certain documents or photographs, or even a link to a specific file for a presentation.
Storing your files on line also has the added bonus of providing you with a secure backup, if your PC should crash or even worse, completely die then your files are safe on line.
Never underestimate Twitter as a tool to connect with clients and business contacts, most company’s now have a Twitter feed which is a great source of the latest information about what their business is up to. ReTweeting clients updates is a simple way to start or continue to build a relationship. Twitter is also a great tool to convey a message to a large number of people at once (such as your client base).
Having a Twitter account for internal communication can also be a very useful tool for sharing an update or message with every employee at once, such as a new client or even in emergency situations, should they occur.
For more details of creating and administering a company Twitter account please click here.
CardMunch by LinkedIn (free)
Swapping business cards with new contacts is an everyday occurrence. One problem that this presents is where to keep all of these cards and having to either manually enter the details into your phone or repeatedly rifle through them to find the right contacts details. CardMunch is a scanning tool for your iPhone that allows you to take a snapshot of an contacts business card, add them as a contact and retrieve that individuals LinkedIn details thus allowing you to then connect with them on the site. You are also able to review and connections that you have in common.
There are also the environmental advantages of not having to hand out numerous cards to numerous contacts as they too can scan your card rather than taking it away with them.
Below are some interesting statistics about CardMunch and illustrates just how popular it is.