Emerging Web 2.0 Technology in Recruiting

So many companies, so little time! I probably didn’t make it to half the booths in the expo hall at the Web 2.0 Expo last week in San Francisco. But several of the companies I did get to speak with had new tools that will certainly be of interest to those of us in research, sourcing, and recruiting.

I had many opportunities to speak with start-up entrepreneurs who were attending with hopes of gaining venture capital support. This conference was a great venue for many to talk with established technologists and business owners about their ideas, and an event called Launch Pad was held. Six new companies had the opportunity pitch their business for five minutes on stage, in front of the Web 2.0 Expo audience and a panel of VC judges. The six finalists, who were chosen through submission and panel review before the conference, were Acquia, Chirp Interactive, JobScore, Oortle, TradeVibes, and Triggit. Each company received feedback on its presentation right then and there from both the VC judges and the audience, and the VCs were given the option to offer these applicants non-binding term sheets for financing.

Following Launch Pad, I was able to spend about an hour chatting one-on-one with Dan Arkind. He has a rich, hands-on recruiting background and is one of the co-founders of JobScore (profile). Those of you who attended the start-up session at ERE in San Diego will remember JobScore — a new product targeted at in-house recruiting teams that “breaks down the walls” between different companies and empowers them to working directly with each other.

Employers use JobScore to build their own pipeline through one-click job posting, referral emails, etc. — which is all well and good — but what’s new and different is that they can also privately share resumes amongst themselves. Dan called it “cooperative recruitment” — basically allowing different employers to share their un-hired resumes directly with each other. For each new resume you add to the pool, you can take one out. If you don’t want to share, or if you want to take out more resumes than you put in, you have to pay.

The way in which this is different from the Jigsaw model is that resumes, not just names/titles/contact info, are being shared, and candidates must grant permission in order for their resume to be shared; as well, once permission is granted, they can turn it off at any time.

I enjoyed talking with Dan, mostly because he let me talk for the first 45 minutes about stuff that I am passionate about (just kidding…kinda) I enjoyed hearing Dan’s thoughts on our industry and how he believes new web 2.0 platforms will impact on the way we work. One interesting topic was that the social/interpersonal skills and relationship development ability that it takes to be successful in recruiting will never be replaced by social media, automation, or any kind of technology tool. I certainly wish Dan the best as he embarks on this endeavor, and I would encourage in-house corporate recruiting teams to check out JobScore (this tool is designed for you!!).

I had the chance to speak also with another entrepreneur named Jacob Visnick, CEO and co-founder of Zambino. The reason I connected with Jake was because I saw him in the Blogtropol.us lounge wearing a University of Florida sweatshirt, and I just HAD to run over and meet a fellow Gator (I am a U of FL alumni)!

Jake and his business partner, Adam Richman, launched Zambino as the first video advertising network geared toward connecting advertisers directly with content producers. Content producers create a profile on Zambino highlighting what brands interest them, and what type of products and services they want to promote within their videos. Advertising options range from preroll to product placement, and is up to the content producers. Advertising companies then match up their products and services to the profiles, and provide content to make it a seamless video on YouTube.

From a recruitment standpoint, companies (advertisers) can post jobs/advertising that they are looking to have done in up coming YouTube videos. This will be a great way for them to viral market their jobs via video to targeted audiences.

A very interesting sidenote: Adam Richman is a 17-year-old high school student. Yes, that’s right – he can’t even vote yet, and this is not his first start-up company either. Several VC’s were quite interested in Jake and Adam because of this, and it looks like this is going to be a profitable endeavor for them.

While I was unable to meet everyone in the expo hall, there were a couple other interesting companies that caught my eye with products and services that will be helpful in our recruiting space:

• Yahoo! SearchMonkey: read the post I did on this last week. Once this search tool gets the kinks worked out and comes out of beta, I believe it has the possibility of being HUGE for us researchers.

This is different from flash previews that some sites, like ask.com, offer in that the ‘preview’ is actually right on the results page, as opposed to popping up when moused over, and can be easily scraped.

Read TechCrunch’s review of this tool: Mark Hendrickson says that “SearchMonkey should be a significant step toward the more personalized, and potentially social, search that’s been anticipated by many.”

• Yoono: a browser sidebar that will aggregate your social network upates and allow you to update all statuses at once. In addition, while you surf, Yoono displays a list of other web pages that are “people-rated” – others have classified them in their favorites. You can also find other users who have a particular web page in their favorites.

The recruiting element of this is more for the researchers and sourcers, in that you can look up users who have added selected websites to their favorites and communicate with them. So for example, if someone has bookmarked several popular sites in your industry, you could contact them about job opportunities you are working on in that particular industry.

• VisualCV: read the post I did last week on this company. It was recently named the multi-media standard by the AESC for their ability to offer greater depth, breadth, and substance than traditional resumes through networking capabilities, online career portfolio management, and social media components. These online blog-type resumes offer a richer glimpse into candidates’ skills and of course are highly searchable.

• eXpresso: a practical application to a commonly-used business tool. For those of you who have multiple locations, you can use eXpresso to share Excel documents and allow for storing, editing, and instantly sharing without having to email bulky documents or wonder which version you’re supposed to be using. This is also great for companies that don’t have shared common drives and/or have many remote employees.

• Twitter: It did not have a booth, but everyone was using it throughout the conference. If you’re not using Twitter currently, you may want to consider doing so. This tool is a great method for viral marketing information, including job openings or candidates seeking work. Take a look at the following video for information from the microblogging session at the conference:

If you question how Twitter can be successfully used in recruiting, just refer to Jason Whitman, Jim Stroud, or you can email me and ask how I’ve personally used it for sourcing and found success.

Check out the rest of the exhibitors here; there were so many I couldn’t possibly get to all of them!

There’s a lot of stuff available out there for us. Should you be using everything? Absolutely NOT. Think of embracing these new web 2.0 tools in terms of grocery shopping: when you hit the supermarket, you wouldn’t dream of purchasing everything there! You go in, get what you need, and get out. But — the items you didn’t purchase are still going to be there, available for purchase, if and when you should ever need them. The same goes for all these technologies — take a look at what makes sense for you and your company to embrace, and then run with it, knowing that the other tools will be available if and when you decide it’s time to try them out.

Amybeth Quinn began her career in sourcing working within the agency world as an Internet Researcher. Since 2002, she has worked in both agency and corporate sourcing and recruiting roles as both individual contributor and manager, and also served previously as the editor of The Fordyce Letter, FordyceLetter.com and SourceCon.com, with ERE Media. These days she's working on some super cool market intelligence and data analytics projects. You can connect with her on Twitter at @researchgoddess.

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