Communications Posts

Microsoft creating ‘Skype for Business’ communications, kicking Lync brand to the curb

Microsoft’s efforts to tighten up its portfolio of brands continues as the Redmond, Calif., software company prepares to rebrand Lync as “Skype for Business.”

It has been roughly three years since Microsoft acquired Skype — three years of speculation of how Microsoft would proceed given it already owned a similiar tool in Lync.

With Skype boasting 300 million users, Lync will be retooled and amalgamated into the service. Lync will be rebranded Skype for Business during the first half of 2015, says Gurdeep Pall, corporate vice president of Skype and Lync.

Lync’s transformation will extend beyond a new name. The application is already benefiting from a client-side overhaul. It’ll receive a new server and will enjoy an update in Office 365, according to Pall.

After talking up the enterprise-level security Lync offers organizations, Pall says Skype for Business will push the evolution of workplace communications. Along with facilitating secure communications inside enterprise organizations, users of Skype for Business will finally have the ability to video chat with the Skype network at large — Lync users could only exchange text and voice with Skype users.

“[Lync is] like tapping someone on the shoulder to say ‘let’s chat’ no matter where you are in the world,” says Pall. “Colleagues meet together and make decisions in an instant and IT professionals rest easy knowing their end-users are supported by a secure platform for that they manage and control.”

Skype for Business will incorporate several Skype features, further illustrating Microsoft’s desire to make the rebranding more functional than cosmetic.

Skype’s call monitor feature will be baked into Skype for Business, affording working individuals the ability to navigate between windows while keeping track of active conversations. Transferring calls in Skype for Business has been streamlined from three-step process to requiring a single touch.

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Business Communications: The Hiring Process

In the human resources department, one of the most interesting as well as potentially exciting parts of the job is bringing in a new employee to fill an open position. The goal is to find the exact right person to not only do the job, but fit into the existing company environment. Depending on the size of the company, the new hire is not only an employee, but a potential new company family member and the right choice is vital.

When HR gets a request for a new hire, the first part of the process is the job description. If this is to fill a job already in existence, HR might pull out the current job description but a quick read through is in order to make sure the job has not changed over time. If this is a new job, or a position that is being created to fill a need, then a job description will need to be created with help from the department head of that new position.

Once the job description is ready as well as salary and other perks such as insurance, education reimbursement and the like, then the new position must be posted to attract applicants. In the past, this meant an ad in the local newspaper but in today’s internet driven marketplace, this means one or many of the many internet job sites such as or The correct site or sites depends on the position and what has shown in the past to be effect attracting the applicants the company is seeking.

When the flood of resumes begin pouring in, then the HR departments job truly begins. The applicants must be winnowed down first for qualifications, then by the department head for which applicants will be call in for an initial interview.

The interviewing process might be a many step process depending on the position and company policy. Most companies use a two step process, which involves an initial interview to get a feel for the applicant and the veracity of their resume and experience. This is usually followed up by a second interview of the applicants called back after the first interview.

From this pool of applicants the final choice will be made and the position will be filled, giving the department the help it needs and the HR department a feeling of accomplishment for a job well done.

Why HR Hiring Communications Can Be Complicated in Practice

An amazing amount of communication is involved a typical mid-size company hiring process or for a larger organization. This is because the messaging needs to serve multiple purposes. Clearly, the obvious goal is to recruit and hire the best possible talent available for vacant positions. However, companies also have to make sure they meet specific legal criteria for recruitment to be compliant with state and federal laws. As a result, most hiring messaging needs to meet different criteria at the same time.

Effective Marketing

Companies don’t bring in the best talent just because they say, “Hey, we have a job available!” Sure, that will attract some candidates, but not the best ones. To do this, HR communications need to use marketing that is attractive, appeals to the needs and wants of candidates, and is widespread to capture the best potential number of applications. That means the communication has to be targeted. Simply throwing a job ad out on the newspaper rarely works well. Instead, many companies now target online work groups that are favored by key candidates as well as schools with a reputation for producing good talent.

Meeting Regulations

The above said, the HR communication still needs to be able to show that the company offered equal employment opportunities and did not discriminate in hiring, blocking out potential candidates based on protected attributes. This can include gender, religion, race and similar. So the wording and areas advertised need to be clearly fair unbiased. This is proven by showing the communication reached every potential group of candidates in an objective manner, and no protected group can say it was ignored or blocked from applying.


Communication continues long after the first job notices go out. Multiple interactions happen from initial contact with a candidate all the way through to the final interview and decision notice of hiring or rejection. These communications are often performed in a variety of ways but the critical decision points are always performed in writing. This helps the business tell the candidate his status, it provides a file for the record on how the application was handled, and it allows for easy progress reporting at each stage of hiring per individual.

In Summary

HR communications involve a myriad of functions and purposes, often happening simultaneously. So it’s important for an organization’s HR office to plan carefully how such messages are prepared and sent. The process can be easily designed, but most mistakes occur during routine message preparation when communication rules are not followed properly by staff. As a result, an HR office often has to spend a lot of time monitoring and covering its tracks to avoid such errors. Not doing so can quickly trigger employment lawsuits and regulatory violations.