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4 Simple But Important Things About Your Online Reputation

by Nov 21, 2012, 5:35 am ET

In the modern age of recruiting, reputation is everything. Before (pre-modern Internet age), recruiters would make their money on referrals or word of mouth with maybe a newspaper ad thrown in the mix for good measure. But it seems that in the age of the Google, job boards, and social networks, your name might not carry the same weight it used to, right?

Yes, and no.

Job boards are still a big source of the job search for most professionals, and oftentimes job postings are anonymous with regard to companies. For most job seekers, it’s an opportunity to fire through job applications in one sitting hoping that something sticks and they get a reply from a hiring company.

Gone are the days where it seemed that all you had to do to attract candidates was turning the phones on in the morning. Now recruiting has shifted to where competition is so crowded that you not only have to go to the job seeker, but convince them your opportunity is unique  — not an easy task. So how do you separate yourself from your competition?

Online reputation.

Here are four simple but important things to be aware of regarding your reputation online:

Do You Have Pages on Review Sites?

Sites like Yelp and Google+ offer an opportunity for people to share their experiences with your service. This can either be a positive thing, or a problem depending on the experiences people decide to share. Don’t think you’re in the clear if you haven’t set up these pages either, since these are user-generated sites and all it takes is one person to create your page and start airing their grievances, which if left unattended to, can lead irreparable consequences. Even if you’re an in-house recruiter, monitoring your company’s online reviews is crucial. Keep in mind this may be the first impression these potential hires have. On the other hand, if enough people share positive experiences, these types of sites can be referral-generating machines!

Are You Active on Social Media?

By now, I would assume everyone in recruiting is at least aware of the potential that social media can bring to their business. However I’ve noticed a majority of staffing people simply use their Facebook or Twitter pages as a venue to blast their RSS feed of open jobs. Posting jobs is a big part of social recruiting, but you cannot discount the true value of engaging people socially. Being accessible through social media provides another point of contact for people to reach you on; why wouldn’t you want to expand your options?

How Aggressively Do You Monitor Your Brand?

The Internet is a big place, and that means there’s a ton of wide open space for people to be sharing their experiences. Do you have Google Alerts set up so you know the second your business is mentioned? Do you use Twitter to monitor if people are bashing/complimenting your services? Do you have alerts set up on Yelp or LinkedIn to see when people write reviews about you and your company? All things many people don’t know you can do, but probably should look into.

It’s Not Just About People Saying Nice Things; It’s About Your Whole Universe

Getting recommendations or positive reviews is no doubt a good thing. But don’t stop there. You need to think about your brand as a whole. Who are you? If people searched for you online, what would they find? Make sure you are putting your experience out there as a tool for legitimization. Write a blog, Tweet your insight on the market on Twitter, and contact local reporters to discuss story ideas you could comment articulately on. Do you want to be looked at as the “the recruiter who may or may not be able to find the hot candidate” or do you want to be “the career expert, who is a necessary partner in their talent acquisition goal”? Achieving that type of perception is as easy as getting your digital ducks in a row.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.

  • Keith Halperin

    If you’re firm isn’t insisting on hiring “the Fabulous 5%” or skills that are in great demand, you don’t NEED a a reputation- solid candidates will line up in droves to get work…

    Keith

  • http://www.ere.net/author/justin-miller/ Justin Miller

    OK…

    I don’t know about you Keith, but companies don’t pay us to find the people who line up in droves for jobs in demand. Even in IT where those skills are in great demand, no one is lining up, the people that ARE lining up, aren’t the ones our clients are looking for most of the time. That’s kinda the whole point of the staffing industry, find the people they can’t…

  • Keith Halperin

    Thanks Justin.

    I’m not talking about the truly excellent companies who pay handily for excellence or sensible, run-of-the mill companies who know their limitations and hire accordingly, I’m talking about the arrogant fools who believe their own hype- the ones that have nothing really exceptional to offer employees and yet demand excellence on the cheap- those that want the best, yet can barely afford the rest. You want 90th percentile:people, well then pay (or have benies, or stock, or genuine opportunity to advance, or QoWL, or something) in the top 85th percentile; otherwise settle for who you CAN pay (or have benies, or stock, or genuine opportunity to advance, or QoWL or something) for.

    Furthermore, ‘the staffing industry” is mainly NOT contingency or retained search, which is a very small (2.8% of large company employers in 2011, http://www.ere.net/2012/02/20/source-of-hire-survey-big-jump-in-outside-hiring-in-2011/) though economically significant) portion of all hires, so we shouldn’t assume that what may be the case for a small portion of our industry reflects the truth for the industry overall.

    Furthermore, ‘the staffing industry” is mainly NOT contingency or retained search, which is a very small (2.8% of large company employers in 2011, http://www.ere.net/2012/02/20/source-of-hire-survey-big-jump-in-outside-hiring-in-2011/) though economically significant) portion of all hires, so we shouldn’t assume that what may be the case for a small portion of our industry reflects the truth for the industry overall.

    Happy Black Friday, ‘Cruitaz,

    Keith

  • Keith Halperin

    Thanks Justin,
    I’m not talking about the truly excellent companies who pay handily for excellence or sensible, run-of-the mill companies who know their limitations and hire accordingly, I’m talking about the arrogant fools who believe their own hype- the ones that have nothing really exceptional to offer employees and yet demand excellence on the cheap- those that want the best, yet can barely afford the rest. You want 90th percentile:people, well then pay (or have benies, or stock, or genuine opportunity to advance, or QoWL, or something) in the top 85th percentile; otherwise settle for who you CAN pay (or have benies, or stock, or genuine opportunity to advance, or QoWL or something) for.

    Furthermore, ‘the staffing industry” is mainly NOT contingency or retained search, which is a very small (2.8% of large company employers in 2011, http://www.ere.net/2012/02/20/source-of-hire-survey-big-jump-in-outside-hiring-in-2011/) though economically significant) portion of all hires, so we shouldn’t assume that what may be the case for a small portion of our industry reflects the truth for the industry overall.

    Happy Black Friday, ‘Cruitaz,

    Keith