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Crowdsourcing: A Red-Balloon-Finding Contest Shows the Future of Recruiting

by Jan 11, 2010, 5:55 am ET

photo_bar7Mark it in your calendar that on December 5, 2009, the world of sourcing changed forever. Sourcing, for those unfamiliar with the term (hopefully not many reading this article), is the process of identifying potential candidates who have not applied for employment with your organization. There is no more common complaint in recruiting than “I just can’t find enough quality candidates.”

Many recruiting managers and recruiters blame their inability to find great candidates on a relative shortage of talent; however, the results of a recent balloon-finding contest demonstrate that it may be the tools/approaches recruiters are using that are to blame for efforts not turning up the desired candidate slate. Let me warn you in advance that it might take a few minutes for you to see the connection between a balloon-finding contest and the future of recruiting, but let me assure you there is a connection. keep reading…

Recruiter’s Recruiter Launches Twitter Job Site

by Dec 2, 2009, 3:02 pm ET

Carmen HudsonI don’t personally know Carmen Hudson. But I’d like to.

I heard her speak at a conference a few years ago and last month caught her presentation at the Social Recruiting Summit. Both times I came away with two thoughts: How am I ever going to remember everything she shared, and what’s the secret to her energy and enthusiasm?

She’s a stylish dresser, says Dave Mendoza, with a special love of shoes and a dream of entering the World Series of Poker. She’s on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and too many more to list. Her blog, PeopleShark, is aptly named for a recruiter who is a  recruiter’s recruiter.

A quick Google search — Sorry. In deference to her that should read “A quick Yahoo search” — and you find page after page of listings for her conference appearances, her interviews, her recruiting advice, and, now, her new gig as founder and CEO of Tweetajob. keep reading…

Understanding the Available Social Media Recruiting Strategies – Leveraging Your Employees’ Time (Part 2 of 2)

by Nov 23, 2009, 6:00 am ET

Picture 3Last week I introduced this series by stating that a majority of social recruiting initiatives currently in progress in organizations around the world would fail primarily because they relied solely on the limited resources of the recruiting function to establish visibility online, engage an audience, and service that audience throughout a multi-stage conversion cycle.

This week my attention turns to why the recruiting function cannot — and should not — be the primary executor of social media activities, as well as tips for getting the rest of the organization to help out.

A List of Reasons Why Recruiters Can’t or Shouldn’t Do It All

There are a variety reasons why recruiters shouldn’t be expected to handle most of the day-to-day aspects of social media recruiting and communications.

keep reading…

The New, New Thing

by Nov 19, 2009, 5:37 am ET

Picture 4I recently tried to arrange a meeting with someone visiting the Twin Cities and learned from his office that he’d asked that anyone wanting to reach him should “Tweet me.” Tweet me? E-mail or text messaging not good enough? Let me get this straight: I should try and arrange a private meeting to discuss a potential business deal using a medium that is literally open to the world. I have a better idea — Tweet yourself.

I suspect that the aforementioned twit, er, Tweeter was trying to look cool rather than gain anything practical from using Twitter instead of other modes of communication. After all, e-mail is so 20th century, and as for the phone — that was invented in 1876. Who would want to admit they used one? Might as well resort to carrier pigeons.

Let’s Go Surfing

Recruiters have a tendency to jump on the latest technology without fully appreciating its benefits or ramifications. keep reading…

Tweet Yourself To $500

by Nov 17, 2009, 7:13 pm ET

In the wake of ERE’s Social Recruiting Summit Monday comes a contest to expand job seeker use of Twitter, while another quarter counsels caution in how job seekers use social media, but says it’s a must for 21st-century workers.

TweetMyJobs logoTweetMyJobs, one of the first job distribution services to use Twitter, is now using the service and its followers to promote itself.  TweetMyJobs is running a contest that has a plasma TV or $500 as its grand prize and the only requirement for winning is to watch a video and enter. So far, so traditional. Here’s where the social media aspect comes in: The winner will be the person who accumulates the most points during the contest. Points are earned each time a person clicks on a unique link to access the TweetMyJobs site.

Contestants are emailed a unique link that can be tweeted, posted to Facebook, and shared on over 20 other social sites. The more friends, followers, and connections you have and can convince to click the link, the more points you earn. keep reading…

Understanding the Available Social Media Recruiting Strategies — Leveraging Your Employees’ Time (Part 1 of 2)

by Nov 16, 2009, 5:16 am ET

Picture 2Social media presents progressive organizations with a plethora of recruiting-centric opportunities. Every day, new ways to directly source talent, support the engagement of people with the organization, market employment opportunities, and influence the employer brand arise.

The sheer volume of potential directions to follow is confusing, daunting, and at times, just plain overwhelming. While some organizations have stuck a stick in the sand and are pushing forward with a defined approach, the majority of efforts currently underway will fail for one key reason: they rely solely upon a small handful of individuals attempting to maintain visibility in a sea of content growing exponentially.

Relying upon a social media coordinator, online brand ambassador, or a team of recruiters dedicating only a portion of their desk time to social media initiatives dooms such efforts to stumble and underperform. Such efforts produce corporate fan pages on Facebook, where the only comments ever visible are sanitized “PR” posts and boring job announcements! (I actually viewed one such page last week where the only wall post visible was a notice from the organization’s legal department advising visitors to the page not to post negative comments!)

Delivering an engaging, interactive, authentic, and personalized experience requires a scale of participation that the limited resources of the recruiting function simply cannot provide. The alternate approach, the one most likely to drive success, is an employee-centric approach that relies on your employees to build and manage relationships and the recruiting resources to coordinate, influence, and support their efforts.

The 12 Most Common Social Media Strategies keep reading…

Tweet to LinkedIn and Vice Versa

by Nov 11, 2009, 3:11 pm ET

PB and chocolateA deal announced Monday  between Twitter and LinkedIn makes it a snap now for users of both services to cross post status messages.

You can choose to have some or all your tweets posted to your LinkedIn groups and vice versa. This is a boon for recruiters who now can more easily reach their entire network with news of jobs and opportunities, while job seekers can use it to enhance their personal brand. keep reading…

Personal Brand Building For Under $100

by Nov 5, 2009, 4:21 pm ET

What do you get when you search your name online?

Aw, come on. Of course you’ve looked yourself up on the Internet. Almost half of all Internet users did in 2007. The latest survey puts the number at 59 percent.

And if you really, really haven’t then you may want to retake recruiting 101.

Just as companies no longer are masters of their own brand, neither are you. There are sites to rate teachers, cops, doctors, even parts of your anatomy. Then there are the pictures and comments well-meaning friends have posted about you.

Google yourself and you may find those bleery-eyed conference party photos of you rank higher than than does the whitepaper you authored. Or, you may discover you rank lower than the death notices of others with like names.

PlaceYourNameTo help remedy that there’s It’s a personal marketing service that promises to help users “manage and control what is seen about them when their names are searched online.” keep reading…

The Many Benefits of Social Network Recruiting: Making a Compelling Business Case

by Nov 2, 2009, 6:13 am ET

2009DimeThumbHow do you convince cynical executives to fund a social network recruiting effort?

It’s hard to argue against the statement that social networking (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) is an extremely hot topic in business. But I have yet to find a single CFO or senior executive willing to fully fund a comprehensive social network recruiting strategy based merely on the fact that it’s a hot concept.

Even when budget is made available, most organizations need to develop measures to help direct spending into the right efforts that will provide them with the highest recruiting impact and ROI. There is no escaping it: making a compelling business case must become a priority for social network recruiting champions.

In this article, I’ll provide an outline of the four basic business case steps covering how to secure funding during these tight economic times.

Business Case Step #1: Identify the Potential Benefits of Social Network Recruiting

Provide targeted executives with a list of potential benefits and then simply have them select the ones that (if proven) would be compelling enough to positively influence their decision. Have them eliminate benefits that, whether true or not, wouldn’t influence their decision.

With that guidance in hand, design a process that focuses on proving only those benefits that were selected as highly compelling.

keep reading…

Google Gives HR Something New To Worry About

by Oct 26, 2009, 5:19 pm ET

Google SideWikiWhen Dr. John Sullivan said last week that employers have lost control of their brand, he likely wasn’t thinking of Sidewiki. Why should he? When the article was published Monday Sidewiki was not even three weeks old; Google launched it on Sept. 23rd.

But Sidewiki’s potential for deconstructing a brand is enormous. Unlike all the networking sites, Twitter posts, and job board forums where the disaffected go to vent their anger, Sidewiki makes it possible to post these comments directly to your site.

Just imagine the mischief a disgruntled job seeker or employee can wreak by posting their story directly to your site. Side by side with your video of happy employees talking about the fun and interesting work they do is a post — or multiple posts — from current and former workers denouncing your message as bogus.

If Sidewiki were to catch on and gain even a percentage of the users that Twitter has, the impact is easy enough to see.

Says Mark Hornung, senior vice president, strategy, at Bernard Hodes, “What that means for corporate employment sites is that they need to be monitored much more aggressively.” keep reading…

Leverage Your Own Social Network

by Oct 22, 2009, 5:22 pm ET

Social networks are so hyped right now among recruiters that it is hard to separate their real value and purpose from often overblown marketing promises. By creating a social network specifically for your organization, you can differentiate yourself from the crowd, build your brand, and find most of the candidates you need without any other sourcing techniques. keep reading…

Twitter This: Email Is Still The Killer App

by Oct 13, 2009, 2:55 pm ET

How are you communicating with prospects? If you’re still using email, The Wall Street Journal says you are so last year.

The 1,800 word article begins, “Email has had a good run as king of communications. But its reign is over.” It goes on to argue that alternatives like Twitter, social media, texting, and other communications forms are eating into email’s dominance.

The most telling point in the article comes from Jeff Teper, a Microsoft VP, who says that email was overused in the past. “Now, people can use the right tool for the right task,” he says.

To put it another way, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Email usage by social media usersRecruiters, however, should be wary of too quickly abandoning email. No less an authority than Nielsen, the user analytics company, says social media usage appears to actually increase email usage. Hitwise, another analytics and business intelligence firm, says Twitter’s usage may have hit a wall. Though it can’t count the number of Tweets being sent, indicators such as accesses to Twitter profile pages and on-site searches suggest the site “Twitter appears to have hit a resistance point as of April 2009.”

keep reading…

CEOs Are More Secure; Jigsaw Joins Web 2.0

by Oct 9, 2009, 1:04 pm ET

Making the news this week are announcements from Jigsaw about an overhaul of its forums to bring them into the world of Web 2.0, a coup for outplacement upstart RiseSmart, and some good news for CEOs.


Jigsaw communityThe business intelligence and sourcing site has upgraded its community forum, giving it a cleaner look and implementing such to-be-expected features as tagging and contributor ratings. Tags are especially welcome, given that forum posts aren’t easily searched.

No one is going to mistake the new community platform as avant garde; think of it as functional, especially so if it adopts the name “The Corner,” which is beating out “Puzzleville” in the name voting.

The company also has an iPhone app that’s going into beta. Jigsaw is looking for iPhone users willing to provide feedback to the team in exchange for being the first to use the new app to “search, download and export contacts directly.”

CEO LONGEVITY keep reading…

Social Recruiting and Universal Truths

by Oct 7, 2009, 11:50 am ET

srs-logoI’m so excited to chair the upcoming #socialrecruiting summit. If you are like me, you are telling your friends and colleagues about the upcoming event in NYC. If you are like me, you have to stop and explain exactly what social recruiting means in the talent management world.

Michael Specht wrote a great post, several months ago, with a simple and concise definition of social recruiting.

  • Using social media tools as part of recruiting.
  • Building a community of potential candidates.
  • Engaging with candidates as people not numbers.

Can anyone do better than that? Do we have a universal definition for the act of social recruiting?

When you talk about social recruiting as a construct, I want to know how you define it. Do you leave off the word social and just use the broader term of recruiting? Is ’social recruiting’ something so unique that it still requires a separate definition, or is it ubiquitous enough in our industry that it’s embedded in your daily operations and recruiting strategy?

I’d love to know what you think. The comments are open…

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on

Call or Email or Use Social Media?

by Sep 30, 2009, 2:02 pm ET

Picture 2Many aspects of a recruiter’s job remain the same as in the past, before the arrival of social media. We all review resumes, assess the matches, interview on the phone, and meet prospects in person. Social media has added and keeps adding new options on how to get there. To remain competitive and productive we must figure out and start using social media in recruiting. I’d like to highlight some aspect of how it can work for us.

Let’s talk about the very interesting phenomena of communicating with potential candidates in ways that have not been there before. For years, we have been discussing whether to call first or email first. Some gurus suggest that you first send a detailed email, then leave a phone message, and then send a short email mentioning that you had called. Fine, but here are your other options today: keep reading…

Jobster Reborn Away From The Cutting Edge

by Sep 25, 2009, 12:47 pm ET

recruiting comRemember Jobster? Of course you do. How could any recruiter forget the soap opera story of this company founded by a former White House staffer who, as CEO, burned through $46 million before he departed at the end of 2007?

Besides spending like it was 1999, Jobster changed, enhanced, modified, enlarged, annexed — choose your favorite adjective — business models often enough that the enterprise resembled Mrs. Winchester’s house. All of this playing out quite publicly via leaks, corporate PR, and the CEO’s own (defunct) blog.

In fairness to the now departed Jason Goldberg, he was a visionary. When Jobster launched in 2004 it tapped into the then-unnamed and not even  recognized phenom we now all know as social recruiting. To briefly, and only inadequately, explain it, Jobster was a corporate recruiter’s tool to tap the connections of the company’s employees; a digital employee referral program.

Over the next three-plus years Goldberg made well-timed investments, buying a job search engine called WorkZoo, a job tagging service called Jobby, and the blog Jobster would eventually relaunch as a career networking site, loosely tying in the referral program of its youth and bits and pieces of the acquisitions. Much of the best parts, however, languished, suggesting the visionary lacked a vision. keep reading…

Jobvite Offers New Standalone Sourcing Tool

by Sep 23, 2009, 8:00 am ET

JobviteJobvite is introducing what I hesitate to call a new sourcing tool, only because the term doesn’t really do it justice.

Google is a sourcing tool, but while it may get the job done, how long will it take to sift through the results? Jobvite Source is more of a blend of the best attributes of ZoomInfo and Broadlook with access to the social networks as well as the entire Web.

Jobvite search comparisonLast week, during a demo, Chief Product Officer Jamie Glenn did a search for an online marketing manager and came up with the resumes of, maybe, a couple hundred possibles from all the Web’s free sources. A similar search on Google turns up results in the hundreds of thousands.

The difference is Jobvite Source can compare the results to the job req, sifting out the job listings and other stuff, leaving you with resumes that match the requirements. It does the same as a well-structured query to your ATS or a resume database.

keep reading…

TalentSeekr: A Smart Way (That Gets Even Smarter) To Find Talent

by Sep 15, 2009, 4:57 am ET

EnticeLabsEntice Labs, the Provo, Utah, company that set out to create a better recruitment marketing system, is suddenly getting industry buzz.

Earlier this year, John Sumser described the company as a “game changer.” In June, Susan Burns, president of Talent Synchronicity, said the company’s TalentSeekr product is “a sleek and effective approach to targeted employment brand positioning.”

Now, TechCrunch has said of the company, “it still beats hiring a headhunter.” OK, so that’s not as scintillating an endorsement as either Sumser’s or Burns’, but then TechCrunch is a site for geeks, not recruiters. But you gotta figure that a product that wows both techies and recruiters is worth taking a look at. keep reading…

If a Recruiter Tweets in the Forest …

by Sep 8, 2009, 5:30 am ET

frontpage-bird… and nobody follows him, then was it written? Any discussion around Twitter raises a lot of questions from the sublime to ridiculous. And so it should be: Twitter is an interesting product, and there aren’t a lot of those in recruiting. My last article on social networking criticized Twitter, so I’ll start this one by accentuating the positive and discussing the merits of Twitter. keep reading…

Apps Make Life Easier For Recruiters And Seekers

by Sep 3, 2009, 12:24 pm ET

Two apps to tell you about today. One will get your job openings from your company website to your Facebook page in a snap and the other will get your jobs before on-the-go candidates.

LinkupThe Facebook app comes from LinkUp, one of the second-tier job search engines. It’s owned by JobDig, which operates a traditional pay-to-post job board and an inexpensive on-demand ATS called JobDig Tracker.

If your company career site is one of the 22,000 indexed by LinkUp, then installing “Current Jobs at Our Company” will automatically update your company’s job listings on Facebook every day. The first five jobs are free. Any more than that and you’ll have to pay $39 a month.

In either case, LinkUp must be indexing your career site. Check LinkUp to see if that’s happening and if you don’t find them there, then you have to contact the company.

As much of a time saver as this app can be, if you don’t work your Facebook presence then it really won’t make a difference. Simply posting jobs to a friendless Facebook site is a waste. keep reading…