Many WIBs and One Stops are looking for ways to provide low-cost online presentations to job seekers and employers. Webinars are one option, but now Google provides you with another--Hangouts and Hangouts on Air.
What's a Hangout?
Through Hangouts, WIBs and One Stops can host free video-conferencing with up to 9 other devices from a PC, laptop or iPad. These Hangouts can be held with individual job seekers, employers, WIB members, or One Stop partners in other locations.
Hangouts can be public, allowing anyone to join, or they can be private--available only to those people you invite.
What's a Hangout on Air?
The Hangouts on Air feature allows you to broadcast live video presentations from your computer to a public audience. Your presentation streams live through your YouTube channel and you can also embed it in your website, a blog or a wiki for online viewers to watch.
You are also able to record your presentation using Hangouts on Air. Recordings can be started and stopped during the presentation and when you are finished, the recording will automatically be uploaded to your YouTube channel. Once uploaded, you can also change the privacy settings if it's a presentation you only want to share with a limited audience.
What's the Difference Between a Hangout and a Hangout on Air?
The major difference between a Hangout and a Hangout on Air is that a Hangout on Air is broadcast publicly through your YouTube channel. That makes it perfect for things like Orientations, workshop presentations, etc. And with the recording feature, you're able to run the presentation once, record it and then embed it in your website, a blog, etc. for later viewing.
A regular Hangout on the other hand can be public, but usually it's used for smaller, private groups. Also, you are not able to record a regular Hangout, nor will it broadcast through your YouTube channel. It's a great tool individual career and job search coaching, allowing job seekers to participate from home or another location. This is particularly good for people who may have transportation or mobility issues.
Hangouts can also be effective as a small group tool. You can connect with several job seekers at once, sharing information with them, but also allowing them to connect to and support each other.
With both Hangouts and Hangouts on Air you get:
- Videoconferencing, with up to 10 connected devices. Note that there can be more than one individual using a device, so, for example, you could connect to an entire classroom of people at another location.
- Screensharing, which allows you to share your computer screen or look at someone else's screen. This can be great for troubleshooting or walking someone through a website.
- Chat--Included in the Hangout is the ability to engage in instant messaging or chat. This is a good way to share links or side information with other people who are participating in the Hangout.
- Document sharing--Hangouts is integrated with Google Drive. This allows you to keep online notes that everyone participating in the Hangout is able to see. You can also upload and share other Word, Excel and PPT documents to your Drive that can then be shared with participants during the Hangout.
What Do I Need to Know?
Hangouts and Hangouts on Air can be very powerful tools for workforce professionals to use.
They allow you to connect to both job seekers and employers in several locations at once, without requiring them to travel to your location. This can be a major benefit in rural areas or where individuals have transportation or mobility challenges.
With Hangouts on Air, you can broadcast and record your presentations, sharing them later through your website, blog, etc.
And the videoconferencing aspect of both Hangouts and Hangouts on Air is far more effective than trying to do individual or conference calls. You can easily share documents, take notes and have the benefit of "face-to-face" contact.
Some things to know about Hangouts and Hangouts on Air:
- To use both Hangouts and Hangouts on Air, you must have a Google account and a Google+ profile. You can learn more about Google+ here.
- To use Hangouts on Air, you must also have a YouTube channel and be logged into that account. The first time you start your Hangout on Air, you will need to connect your Hangout on Air to your YouTube channel.
- Hangouts and Hangouts on Air work with desktop and laptop computers, smartphones and iPads. Most people have at least one of these devices, so the availability of Hangouts is increased. In addition, through mobile devices, you can use Hangouts to do things like give workplace tours or on-site presentations.
- Hangouts work best with Chrome, Firefox and Safari browsers. You will tend to have more problems when you use Internet Explorer as your browser.
Here are some ways to use Hangouts and Hangouts on Air:
- Experiment with using a Hangout to replace a small WIB or One Stop face-to-face meeting. It can be a great way to engage business partners who may be unwilling to take time from their day for travel, but who could connect to the meeting from their desktop.
- Consider using Hangouts to have online job club support meetings.Here's an example of how the North Central WIB uses Hangouts to do weekly job search coaching with participants. Click on the video player to view the meeting.
- Try delivering a job search presentation through Hangouts on Air. For example, you can show people how to navigate LinkedIn or how to complete an online application using the screensharing feature in the Hangout. Or you can upload a presentation on resume writing and then deliver it through Hangouts on Air. Not only will people be able to access the live presentation from a remote location (such as their home or a library), but you will also have a recording of the session that people can replay at their leisure.
- Use Hangouts on Air to run and record practice interviews. Use the Hangout to record both the practice interview and your feedback for and discussion with the job seeker. Later, you can send the link to the practice interview to the job seeker, which allows him/her to see performance and make some improvements.
Where Can I Learn More?
Here are additional links to explore if you want to learn more about using Google Hangouts and Hangouts on Air: