THE TECHNACIOUS RECRUITER NEWSLETTER

October 4, 2007   view past issues

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Feature: How Social Can Online Recruiting Be?

Given all of the media brouhaha about social networking lately, it would be easy to feel out of step or worse if you weren’t actively trolling the profiles on MySpace and Friendster for your next candidate. And yet, a recent survey by Yahoo! suggests that social networking has its benefits, to be sure, but one of them is not recruitment.

The Yahoo! poll was conducted in May of this year and garnered responses from 3,714 U.S. workers aged 18 to 64 who were either employed or had been in the last five years. Here’s what it found:

  • 75% of MySpace users rely on the site solely to maintain contact with their social network;
  • 82% of Facebook users depend on that site solely to stay in touch with friends;
  • Better than one-out of two respondents (53%) say “I like to keep my personal and professional lives completely separate; and
  • Just 19%-fewer than one out of five respondents-say that social networking sites are good resources for professional networking.
  • What do these data tell us? I think they offer the following lessons:

  • Networking is very important in our daily lives;
  • and

  • Using social networking sites for professional networking-which includes recruitment networking-is NOTworking.
  • The reality is that most people see a stark difference between the interactions they have to find a date and the interactions they have to find a job. (Witness their surprise when recruiters use social networking sites to conduct character checks on them.) That said, it is also accurate to describe the Internet as the greatest facilitator of recruitment networking since the introduction of the telephone. Networking online to engage candidates, however, occurs in different places and is done in a different way than networking for social purposes. Here’s what I mean.

    Professional Networking is Done in Different Places

    Top talent is like matter. It seeks to return to its original state. In other words, the best and brightest like to interact and communicate with their peers regularly. Traditionally, that’s been done at professional conferences and meetings. Today, it’s also done online.

    Where does this professional networking occur on the Internet? In discussion forums and chat rooms, on bulletin boards and listservs that bring together people who share a career field, affinity or both. They create a virtual meeting place for sales representatives and Hispanic-American accountants, for IT contractors and women in technology and for just about every other cohort of the workforce. Using the asynchronous communications of the Web, these professionals can stay in touch with their peers and do so whenever and wherever it’s convenient for them. They can network online from the office, in a hotel room while on a business trip and at home in their fuzzy slippers.

    What destinations online offer such forums and bulletin boards? You’ll find them at:

  • commercial career portals, such as www.AuntMinnie.com;
  • alumni group sites, such as that for the graduates of Columbia College of Columbia University at www.college.columbia.edu/alumni;
  • association sites, such as www.IEEE.org; and
  • newsgroups, such as javadevelopers at Google.com.
  • Professional Networking is Done Differently

    As the word itself notes, networking involves work. In other words, to be effective, it has to be an integral part of our business day. I recommend that online networking be done twice a week for 30 minutes at a time. That’s important because the purpose of professional networking on the Web is the same as it is in the real world. We interact with people to develop relationships with them. Now, for all of us who have ever been in a relationship, we know that these interactions take time to develop and involve hard work to succeed.

    Why go to the trouble? Because as recruiters, we must:

  • acquire the necessary information we need to assess a person’s skills and their potential to fit in our employer’s culture. Most of the best talent is already employed, so when networking with such prospects, we are unlikely to have a resume with which to work. Our networking, then, is first and foremost a carefully orchestrated strategy for collecting information. We use our direct communications and the person’s messages to others to evaluate their skill level, experience and personality.
  • build familiarity and trust with prospects so that they will consider the employment opportunities we have to offer. The best talent is approached by recruiters all of the time and thus have plenty of options. Our networking, then, is also a strategy for convincing them to pay attention to us when they wouldn’t pay attention to any other recruiter or employer. That can’t be accomplished with contact management-constructing a huge address book of people who wouldn’t know us if they sat next to us on a bus but are somehow “connected” to us through someone else. It happens because we take the time to get to know them and align our employer’s opportunities with their career vision and goals.
  • Recruiting on the Internet has always been more than recruitment advertising and data mining for digital resumes. In cyberspace as much as in the real world, it is also a process of stringing an ever tighter net of appropriate ties between recruiters and their prospects. While there is a social component to that networking-it is, after all, an interaction between people-it is most effective when done in a professional way and for professional purposes.

    Thanks for reading,

    Peter

    P.S. Remember what you learned in kindergarten: It’s nice to share. Don’t keep WEDDLE’s to yourself. If you like our newsletter, please tell your friends and colleagues about it. They’ll appreciate your thinking of them. And, we will too!

    P.S.S. Don’t forget to send us your new e-mail address if you move. Lots of people are changing jobs these days, and we want to be sure you still have the information in WEDDLE’s to help you perform at your peak. All you have to do to keep your WEDDLE’s newsletter coming is send your change of address to pwj@weddles.com.


    This Issue’s Sponsor: The Diversity Talent Network

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of the Diversity Talent Network.

    An event you don’t want to miss… the ‘2007 HBCU Alumni Online Career Fair’ sponsored by the Diversity Talent Network!

    Howard University, Spelman College , Morehouse College and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities throughout the United States will showcase the best diversity candidates with degrees in Business, Communications, Engineering, Healthcare, Liberal Arts, Political Science and many more. Participating will be recent graduates and experienced professionals engaged in their careers and seeking new opportunities.

    The entire event is online and virtual. You will be able to post your best job openings, screen online applications from motivated candidates, schedule and conduct telephone interviews from your desk at home or your office anytime during the weeks of November 5-9, 2007 & November 12-16, 2007. Don’t wait; take the first step … register today!

    For more information and to register visit the Diversity Talent Network or to speak with a representative, call direct (866) 405-8045


    Section Two: Site News You Can Use

    Boxwood Technologies and the American Hospital Association (AHA) announced that they will be partnering to provide online recruitment services to AHA member hospitals and other healthcare organizations. When it launches in November of this year, the service will include both a recruitment advertising job bank and a searchable resume database for employers looking for both clinical and non-clinical talent. It will be accessible through the AHA Web-site.

    GMaps has been described as “a site for sore thighs.” More and more business travelers are bringing along their running shoes when they’re on trips and starting or ending their day with a jog around the local streets or parks. It’s hard to know how far you’ve gone in a strange neighborhood, however, so GMaps provides a solution. Using Google maps, it enables you to draw a route through an area and then provides the exact distance you’ll run and even the elevations you’ll encounter. It’s a great way to see the sights and see that you keep up with your normal running regimen while on the road.

    Health recently published a strategy for dealing with one of the great stressors of the modern workplace: the late afternoon, totally unexpected, completely out-of-the-blue but critically important briefing for the boss. What should you do? The magazine suggests the following (with my translation):

  • Feed your spirit by feeding your body. It’s important to keep your blood sugar level up, but instead of sucking down a candy bar, try hummus on a whole wheat pita or a handful of almonds and an apple.
  • Rehearse like you’re on Broadway. Don’t quietly review your notes, but instead deliver your presentation out loud twice; that will help you focus your thoughts and warm up your vocal cords.
  • Present the briefing like a performance. If at all possible, stand to make your presentation, but instead of putting one foot in front of the other, place your feet shoulder width apart, balance on the center of your feet (not on your heels), and always … always … look your boss in the eye.
  • MIT Sloan Management Review published an article that suggests the conventional approach to teambuilding may be wrong. Typically, teams focus first on building interpersonal relationships and then turn to the tasks at hand. The idea, of course, is that the better people know each other, the better they will be able to work together as a unit. Authors Lynda Gratton, Andreas Voigt and Tamara Erickson, however, argue that exactly the opposite is true. By focusing on identifying personality traits and backgrounds first, team members are more likely to interact solely with those most like them rather than with the group as a whole. This splintering effect makes it difficult to achieve a cohesive effort that draws on the talent of everyone. They suggest, instead, that the team begin by working together on one or more of its tasks and that only after they have been successfully accomplished should the group then turn to developing individual relationships.

    WEDDLE’s launched its 2007 Fall/Winter Training Series. It provides a full curriculum of training programs that are delivered by toll-free teleconference. You get the PowerPoint slides for each program in advance, and on the day of the training, you simply call a toll-free number and have the presentation delivered right to you. All of the programs are presented by WEDDLE’s Publisher, Peter Weddle, and draw on WEDDLE’s 10+ years of research into the Best Practices for sourcing and recruiting online. The Fall/Winter 2007 series is sponsored by Bernard Hodes Group and includes:

  • Completed: Optimizing the Candidate Experience: The Secret to Selling Top Talent
  • October 23, 2007: Staffing Metrics That Count in the Corner Office
  • November 6, 2007: Googling, Blogging & Other Sourcing Techniques for Passive Prospects
  • November 27, 2007: Blink Recruiting-Getting to “Yes” Fast With Passive Prospects
  • December 4, 2007: Building a Corporate Career Site for Top Talent
  • December 18, 2007: A-to-Z in Best Practices for Online Recruitment Advertising
  • These are great learning opportunities and priced hundreds, even thousands of dollars less than other training programs. Registrations are limited, so reserve your seats now. To get pricing information and sign up, please call WEDDLE’s at 317.916.9424.


    Section Three: Site Profiles

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guides and Directories

    There are 40,000 job boards now in operation in North America and an equal number operating elsewhere around the world. The key to recruiting top talent online, therefore, is knowing where to find and how to select the best sites for each of your requirements. WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide identifies 350 of the top sites worldwide and provides the information you need to determine which job boards will deliver the optimum yield for you. For example:

    Absolutely Health Care

    http://www.healthjobsusa.com

    Post full time jobs: Yes

    Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes-All

    Distribution of jobs: National-USA

    Fee to post a job: $195/posting

    Posting period: 90 days

    Can posting be linked to your site: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    Number of resumes: 154,000+

    Source of resumes: Direct from individual

    Top occupations among visitors: Nurse, Physician, Allied Health

    Other services for employers: Automated resume agent, Banner advertising, Status report on advertising

    Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: Yes


    Please Support Our Sponsor: The Diversity Talent N

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of the Diversity Talent Network.

    An event you don’t want to miss… the ‘2007 HBCU Alumni Online Career Fair’ sponsored by the Diversity Talent Network!

    Howard University, Spelman College , Morehouse College and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities throughout the United States will showcase the best diversity candidates with degrees in Business, Communications, Engineering, Healthcare, Liberal Arts, Political Science and many more. Participating will be recent graduates and experienced professionals engaged in their careers and seeking new opportunities.

    The entire event is online and virtual. You will be able to post your best job openings, screen online applications from motivated candidates, schedule and conduct telephone interviews from your desk at home or your office anytime during the weeks of November 5-9, 2007 & November 12-16, 2007. Don’t wait; take the first step … register today!

    For more information and to register visit the Diversity Talent Network or to speak with a representative, call direct (866) 405-8045