THE TECHNACIOUS RECRUITER NEWSLETTER

November 19, 2009   view past issues

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Social Recruiting 102

Social recruiting is now emerging from its adolescence. It’s moving beyond the wide-eyed exultation of early adoption to the squinty-eyed assessment of mature users. The focus is less and less on what we can do with social media and more and more on how best to put it to work.

That’s especially apparent in the subset of social recruiting we call networking. Social or professional networking online now clearly falls into two general categories of activity. They are probably best described as content and contact networking. Both can help you access high caliber passive prospects for your organization, but each is performed differently.

Content Networking

Content networking occurs in the discussion forums on job board and association Web-sites, in blogs on corporate sites and in Google’s newsgroups. These destinations attract visitors who share a common career field or occupational interest and like to communicate and commiserate with each other about it. The interaction is social-a community of sorts does form-but it’s primarily based on the topic being discussed.

In most but not all cases, the members of these communities are passive prospects. They are not looking for a job. More often than not, however, they are interested in advancing their careers. Indeed, that’s why they are engaged by the content. They want to be smarter in their career field and better able to put their occupational interests to work. Said another way, they are top talent.

The only way to connect with these prospects effectively is by practicing the Golden Rule of Networking. That axiom is simple yet inviolate-you have to give in order to get. In other words, if you want the participants in these discussions to consider your openings, you have to first contribute to their content.

How can you do that? By being the expert you are. You know more about what employers are looking for in their field than they do. You have a much better understanding of how to interact with a group they consider exotic and hard to understand: recruiters. And, you have a more realistic sense of what employers will pay for certain kinds of expertise and different levels of experience.

So, don’t pretend to be someone you are. Be yourself. Then, when a participant’s contributions to the discussion single them out as a gem of a prospect, you can reach out to them privately and they’ll know who you are. You will have established the familiarity and trust necessary to move even the most passive of prospects into a more active frame of mind.

Contact Networking

Contact networking occurs on professional networking sites such as LinkedIn, Ryze, Yorz and Ziggs. These sites enable people to build out their connections in the workplace and thereby enhance their stature in their profession, craft or trade and/or make themselves “findable” by recruiters. While the groups within LinkedIn and similar sites do facilitate content networking, most of those who join these sites do not participate in them. They are simply interested in creating passive links that may prove helpful to them right now or at some point in the future.

The majority of those who sign on to professional networking sites would normally be passive prospects. In today’s economy, however, it’s likely that a significant percentage are, in fact, active job seekers. As in the real world, they are forging connections with others in the hopes of bumping into or being referred to a recruiter with an opening appropriate for them.

Networking in such a population, therefore, is basically an exercise in doing old-fashioned cold calling by email or InMail. Just as executive search consultants have done for years, it involves moving through concentric circles of contacts to uncover candidates for an open position. With the exception of the first circle-your own direct connections-the contacts are not personally known to you. They are, instead, leads that may either identify a genuine prospect or provide yet another lead to someone else who could be.

The key to successful contact networking, therefore, is two-fold. First, as with cold calling, the activity is basically a numbers game. You have to keep pouring a lot of contacts into the top of the funnel in order to reach even a small number of legitimate prospects at the bottom. Second, you have to know how to message with clarity and impact. Long and windy communications are unlikely to be read so active job seekers are more likely to apply when they shouldn’t and passive prospects are unlikely to read them at all. In effect, you have to find just the right balance between speed and engagement.

While we are still developing the best practices for both content and contact networking, these tools already represent some of the more mature applications of social recruiting. They are not, however, a substitute for the array of other sourcing methods we employ to identify top talent. They enable us to tap the power and promise of the social Web, but they incur a cost-the time commitment of the recruiter-that must be carefully managed within the context of your overall recruiting strategy.

Thanks for reading,

Peter

Visit my blog at Weddles.com/WorkStrong

P.S. Please tell your friends and colleagues about WEDDLE’s Newsletter. They’ll appreciate your thoughtfulness, and so will we.


Get WEDDLE’s Recruiting Bestsellers Today!

Hot off the presses, you can now order:

  • WEDDLE’s 2009/10 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. This widely acclaimed guide to the Web’s 100,000+ job boards and career portals has been completely updated so you can make smart buying decisions for your organization’s online recruitment advertising.

    This edition of the Guide, our 9th, introduces an entirely new format: The Top 100, our pick of the most effective job boards and career portals on the Web, and the Best & the Rest, a directory of over 10,000 sites organized by career field, industry and geographic focus. And at just $39.95, it’s a true recession buster, as well!

  • WEDDLE’s 2009/10 Guide to Association Web Sites. The best talent are often members of their local, state, regional or national professional associations. This one-of-a-kind Guide enables you to determine which of those associations have the recruiting resources you need to connect with their members.

    The Association Guide lists over 3,000 associations by the career field, industry or location in which they specialize and indicates whether they have a job database, a resume database and/or a discussion area for professional networking. It is the only book of its kind in print and at just $49.95, it’s practically a steal.

  • How can you get these amazing resources? Click here to reach our online bookstore or call 203.964.1888 to order your copies of these truly unique recruiting guides.

    And don’t wait. Even if you’re not hiring at the moment, these books can be helpful to you. Their site profiles will enable you to pinpoint the best places online for recruiting, once the economy starts growing again. And if that takes longer to happen than you would like, these books also include useful information for a job search. So, don’t delay; get your WEDDLE’s Guides today!


    Our Featured Books

    The Da Vinci Code of Careers

    It’s no mystery to Amazon.

    The online giant is offering a 34% discount on Peter Weddle’s new book Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System.

    Why? Because this book is the Da Vinci Code of careers.

    You’ll learn the secrets to finding a great job in a lousy economy. And, you’ll break the code on how to build a prosperous career in turbulent times.

    So, don’t wait for some lost symbol to show you the way. Click here to visit Amazon.com and get Work Strong today!

    Or, you can place your order at WEDDLE’s by calling 203.964.1888 or clicking here. Don’t delay. Get Work Strong right away!

    Even Super Search Strings Won’t Work With the Wrong Keywords

    How can you tell search engines and computers what kind of candidate you’re looking for? Use Finding Needles in a Haystack. Just released by WEDDLE’s, this 3-volume set is the first comprehensive listing of keywords for successfully searching resume databases online and off. You can select individual volumes or get the entire set.

    Volume I

    Engineering

    Executive & Management

    Finance & Economics

    Healthcare

    Human Resources

    Sales & Marketing

    Technology

    Volume II

    Banking

    Broadcasting & Media

    Construction

    Dentistry

    Food & Beverage

    Hospitality

    Insurance

    Investment Finance

    Law

    Pharmacy

    Psychology & Counseling

    Real Estate

    Retail

    Science

    Social Work & Services

    Volume III

    Accounting & Bookkeeping

    Administration

    Advertising & Communications

    Architecture

    Art & Design

    Customer Service

    Equipment Installation & Maintenance

    Hazardous Materials

    Manufacturing

    Public Relations

    Purchasing

    Security

    Translation

    Logistics

    Writing, Journalism & Editing

    The set provides over 25,000 keywords and keyword phrases, across 5400 job and position titles in 28 industries and professions. You can order each book for $49.95 or the 3-volume set for just $139.95. As, sourcing guru Shally Steckerl put it, these books are “a rare and uniquely useful reference guide for recruiters!”

    To order your copy, please call WEDDLE’s at 203.964.

    New Certification for HR Professionals

    One of the key roles HR professionals play in any organization is staff development. To execute that responsibility effectively, they must know how best to counsel employees on career issues and concerns.

    How do you acquire the expertise to do so? WEDDLE’s is proud to introduce the first-ever certification program in Career Fitness. Based on Peter Weddle’s new book, Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System, this program provides all of the training and follow-up support you need to become a Career Fitness Pro (CFP) and counsel employees on both the key principles of career success in the 21st Century and the practical steps that will put those principles to work for them on-the-job.

    The Career Fitness Pro certification also offers two other very important benefits for you:

  • It will set you apart among your peers in the HR field
  • and

  • It will enhance the contribution you make to your employer.
  • In short, this certification will give you career security even in today’s turbulent workplace.

    To learn more, email Peter Weddle at peter@weddles.com or call at 203.964.1888.


    Our Featured Job Board

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2009/10 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet.

    There are 50,000 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 2009/10 Guide profiles The Top 100 employment sites on the Web today and provides The Best & the Rest, a listing of over 10,000 such sites worldwide. It’s all of the information you need to determine which job boards will deliver the optimum yield for you. For example:

    Chicagojobs.com

    http://www.chicagojobs.com

    Post full time jobs: Yes

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

    Distribution of jobs: Regional-Chicago, IL metro area

    Fee to post a job: $300/posting

    Posting period: 30 days

    Can posting be linked to your site: Yes

    Resume database: Yes

    Number of resumes: 45,000+

    Source of resumes: Direct from individuals

    Top occupations among visitors: Administrative, Finance & Accounting, Information Systems, Management, Healthcare

    Other services for employers: Banner advertising, Status Reports

    Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: Yes


    Don’t Miss WEDDLE’s Recruiting Bestsellers!

    Hot off the presses, you can now order:

  • WEDDLE’s 2009/10 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. This widely acclaimed guide to the Web’s 100,000+ job boards and career portals has been completely updated so you can make smart buying decisions for your organization’s online recruitment advertising.

    This edition of the Guide, our 9th, introduces an entirely new format: The Top 100, our pick of the most effective job boards and career portals on the Web, and the Best & the Rest, a directory of over 10,000 sites organized by career field, industry and geographic focus. And at just $39.95, it’s a true recession buster, as well!

  • WEDDLE’s 2009/10 Guide to Association Web Sites. The best talent are often members of their local, state, regional or national professional associations. This one-of-a-kind Guide enables you to determine which of those associations have the recruiting resources you need to connect with their members.

    The Association Guide lists over 3,000 associations by the career field, industry or location in which they specialize and indicates whether they have a job database, a resume database and/or a discussion area for professional networking. It is the only book of its kind in print and at just $49.95, it’s practically a steal.

  • How can you get these amazing resources? Click here to reach our online bookstore or call 203.964.1888 to order your copies of these truly unique recruiting guides.

    And don’t wait. Even if you’re not hiring at the moment, these books can be helpful to you. Their site profiles will enable you to pinpoint the best places online for recruiting, once the economy starts growing again. And if that takes longer to happen than you would like, these books also include useful information for a job search. So, don’t delay; get your WEDDLE’s Guides today!