November 4, 2010   view past issues

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The Non-Generational Talent of American Workers

Some pundits claim that successful recruiting requires the careful tailoring of your strategy to the differences among American’s Generations. They say you can’t recruit a Millennial the same way you recruit a Boomer and you can’t recruit a Boomer the same way you recruit a Gen Xer.

But here’s the rub: we aren’t recruiting generations, we’re recruiting talent. So, what’s important is not what makes talented people different, but rather, what makes them alike. And, those who are the most talented among Millennials, Gen Xers and Boomers have a lot in common. They share attributes and goals, preferences and practices that are best described as “career activism.”

If you’d like to know more – if you’re looking for the secret to recruiting top talent among Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers- get Peter Weddle’s new blockbuster of a book, The Career Activist Republic. It’s available at, in bookstores nationwide, and at

People are changing, social norms are evolving, but talent is a constant … regardless of one’s generation.

The Corporate Curtain Comes Down

There are millions of terrific employers in the U.S., but there are also too many that behave despicably. It’s all fine and good to be loyal to your employer, but it’s also important to be candid and honest about its values and leadership. Click here. to read Peter Weddle’s no-holds-barred, tell-it-like-it-is blog post on the changing perceptions of America’s working men and women.

The Silver and Gold of Recruiting Technology

Attend any recruiting conference these days, and you’ll find the sessions on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook jammed and the sessions on anything else all but deserted. We live in a culture that adores the next big thing, but that fascination can undermine our performance. It causes us to move on to the new, new stuff before we’ve learned how to master the old, new stuff. As a consequence, we never achieve the requisite level of expertise in any stuff to do our best work.

I recently did a survey of the social media habits of recruiters in some of America’s largest employers. One of the questions I asked the 79 percent that said they were using such sites was Why did your organization begin to use social media sites?. Here are the top two answers:

  • 35% To improve the efficiency and/or effectiveness of the recruiting team.
  • 29% To demonstrate competency in the latest recruiting techniques.
  • In other words, while many were motivated by the desire to improve their performance, many others were simply keeping up with the Joneses. Social media are hot, and they didn’t want to appear “behind the times” or “out of date” or “old fashioned.”

    And, that’s fine. Obviously it’s important to stay at the state-of-the-art in one’s field. But doing so shouldn’t prevent us from continuing to hone our expertise with other tools. Those that were new two or three or – gasp! – ten years ago, but are now considered ancient. If they work well – and many still do – then they’re worth using well.

    Today, it’s social media, micro blogging and mobile apps. We want to be sure we know what they can do. Yet, many of us still haven’t learned how best to use the tools we already have. Traditionally, it’s been early adopters who focused on the former, while mature adopters concentrated on the latter. Today, those two roles have blended into a single experience that generates all of the excitement of discovery, but none of the results of refined practices.

    What are these old, new tools? They include (but are not limited to):

  • Blogs,
  • Professional networking forums,
  • Intranets for employee referral,
  • Corporate career sites,
  • Search engine optimization and marketing, and
  • Job posting on both job boards and social media sites.
  • Although there are many examples of the expert application of such tools, there are even more instances where they poorly used. There are recruiting blogs that are so stilted with bureaucratic language, they turn off even the most active job seekers. There are job postings that are so boring they would put a comatose person to sleep. And, there are corporate career sites that are so impersonal they make candidates feel more like widgets than humans. And, that’s just a few of many examples.

    What’s not being done well, however, can be improved. We just have to adopt a more balanced approach to our professional development. Absolutely, it’s important to invest the time to stay at the leading edge of recruitment technology, but that commitment should be no greater than the time we allocate to deepening and enriching our capability with the tools we already have. Indeed, I think the Girl Scouts have it right. As they put it, we should “make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other gold.”

    Thanks for reading,


    Visit me at

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

    Recruiters (Like Everybody Else) Need “Career Insurance”

    These are tough times for everyone in the workplace. And, that includes recruiters.

    It doesn’t matter whether you have 2 or 32 years of recruiting experience, today’s world of work is a risk-filled, even threatening place. And, unless you win the lottery, it’s also the place where you’ll spend one-third or more of your life.

    So what should you do? Get yourself some “career insurance.” Get Peter Weddle’s book, Work Strong: Your Personal Career Fitness System.

  • If you’re in transition, it will power up your search for a new job.
  • And if you’re employed, it will make sure you can hang onto the job you have.
  • Click here to get a 24% discount on the book at!

    Or, if you’d like A FREE WORK STRONG WRISTBAND, order the book directly from WEDDLE’s by calling 203.964.1888 or clicking here.

    Get WEDDLE’s Recruiting Bestsellers Today

    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.

    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.

    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.