Sidekick Helps HR Professionals Prioritize Email Follow-ups by @HRTMExec

In an ever-connected world, human resources and recruiting professionals rely more and more on email to connect with hiring managers and job candidates. Job offer letters, on-boarding links, and interview requests are all handled by electronic mail. What this means for most HR folks is spending hours each day in their inbox, quite often wondering if their emails are being read or if the links within them are being clicked. Keeping track of which emails the recruiter should follow up on and which ones to let sift into the bit bucket can be a major obstacle in effective communication throughout all levels of the human resources profession.

Becoming more effective at dealing with the mountain of electronic paper sent and received each day is vital to maintaining efficiency and effectiveness in communication. Unfortunately, email software is typically not designed to aid in knowing when to follow up on an email and with which information to follow up. Email software is designed with one purpose in mind: sending and reading email, not necessarily ensuring that the sent emails have been read and acted on.

In response to this growing need to keep track of which emails have been opened and which have not, numerous services have been launched to help track emails. This whole enterprise began years ago when Microsoft Outlook gained the ability to request read receipts, but that feature was often ineffective because recipients could choose to never reply to read receipts. With advances in technology, however, new ways of keeping track of those emails have emerged.

Unfortunately, most of these tools are built specifically for sales professionals and are more likely to clutter up the inbox even further rather than helping the human resources professional interact with people effectively. One service, though, has been built from the ground up to be valuable for almost any professional who spends a lot of time in their inbox. Sidekick, a service recently launched by Hubspot, is designed to fit seamlessly into the email experience so a professional barely knows it is there.

Brian Balfour, vice president of growth for Sidekick, points out that “Following up is important, but not enough. If you want to be truly effective knowing who to follow up with, when, and with what message is really important.” With Sidekick, however, the recruiting or HR professional knows instantly who and when someone has opened or clicked a link within an email. With this information, HR personnel can understand which of their emails are the most effective and which of their candidates are actually reading the delivered messages.

Sidekick works with Gmail (including Google Apps), Microsoft Outlook, and Apple Mail. It also includes a sidebar in the Gmail interface that pulls in your contact’s social and company information, allowing you to gain valuable information about them quickly and efficiently. Balfour states, “Coordinating with new hires can be chaotic. Sidekick helps HR professionals understand if new hires have received and seen important documentation like offer letters, benefits documentation, and on-boarding information, greatly reducing the number of ‘just wanted to make sure you got this’ emails.” In a few words, Sidekick can help the HR professional dramatically improve their email efficiency.


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  1. Great article Jeff – I really like Sidekick and can definitely see the advantages for HR of using this tool to prioritise follow-up. (And call when they see the person at the other end has just opened the email).

    However, I think we can go further in this area – Sidekick allows you to see who opens & clicks emails, tools like Hubspot and Infusionsoft allow you to complete automate follow up based on rules and activities.

    This would enable HR to share useful development resources over time, keep good candidates ‘warm’, and keep talent on track with their personal development plans.

    Great post, thanks for sharing.


  2. Jeff Butts

    Thanks, Alexis! I definitely agree that HR professionals can benefit from as much email automation as they can handle. After all, they need to be focusing their efforts on helping employees and candidates, not engaging in a paper chase of email. Thanks again for the comment and the link-back!


    • No worries – would be great to hear of some example of where HR are already using these sorts of tools – I’ve not found anyone yet. Have you?

      • Jeff Butts

        No, I haven’t gotten any names of firms whose HR folks are using Sidekick, but Sidekick’s VP for growth (Brian Balfour) did tell me that several HR firms are Sidekick users.