Instant Messaging Guidelines

As part of our assigned recruitment consultant “buddy” model, we are expanding the communication channels available to our customers to include IM. We use Microsoft Teams as our messaging and primary video call platform. We’re sharing our internal practices for IM and invite you to adopt these when working with us for the best outcomes.

  • We are aware of status messages.
    If someone’s status is status is away, busy, or offline, we will send an email message instead.
  • We use IM for brief check-in items.
    IMs are for checking in on brief items (a few sentences at most). If it takes more than a few seconds to write an IM, we will send an email or call instead.
  • We avoid chat-SPAM.
    IMs are sent to one person in most cases. Following up with additional people delays responding, since others may have to familiarize themselves with the issue first.
  • IMs are different from texts. Complete and grammatical is the rule of thumb.
    Abbreviations are for limited use, and we keep in mind that not everyone is familiar with all UO acronyms.
  • If we are available, we will typically respond to IM within an hour. If it takes longer than that, it generally means we are away, busy, in meetings, or offline.
  • We use email for confidential or sensitive information or information which should be maintained in the record.
    IMs are temporary communications. Unless they are stored, they are not intended to be part of the public record.
    Confidential or sensitive situations are handled via email or better yet, through phone calls.
  • Opening/closing statements with IM.
    Salutations are nice. When the conversation is complete, we send a closing statement so the other party knows we’re done conversing.
  • UO policies for communication apply to IM.