5 Must-Use Social Media Tools For HR & Recruiting Professionals In 2009…

If you're a Recruiter or HR Professional, 2008 may have been the first year that you actually heard the terms Web 2.0, social media or social networking. So you may be a little late to the game, but congratulations – you're here – so that's a start! And just so you know, I'm officially declaring 2009 to be THE year to get to know and effectively utilize social media tools that can help you in your career. To create your Personal Development Plan (gotta call it something you're familiar with so you'll feel comfortable), I'm recommending 10 tools that you need to implement or increase your involvement with in 2009. You'll get 5 in this post, and 5 in a subsequent post. You may already be using many of these tools, and if you're rockin' and rollin' with all 10 of them, then move to the head of the class! (Of course, you're probably already there since using social media tools has likely set you apart from your peers who haven't figured them out yet.)

  1. Go where the peeps like you hang out on the web. The best way to get smarter aboutSocial-networking-guidelines something is to surround yourself with people smarter than you. There are plenty of options to choose from, including – RecruitingBlogs.com, HRM Today, ERE.net, and The Fordyce Letter Network - just to name a few. Check them all out, see which one best fits your niche and join at least one. Create a profile and set aside a few minutes each day to explore. Next, add some contacts and join Groups of interest. Work your way up to commenting on blog posts and forum discussions and participating in the live chats. Graduate to posting content and questions of your own as well as helping others. By participating, you'll be able to network with other recruiting and HR professionals who are dealing with and solving similar challenges, and you'll be able to build a community of like-minded folks who are willing and able to help you when you need it. If you're not involved with these groups, you're missing great information like this, this, this and this

  2. Learn how to use (really use) LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a no-brainer these days for business professionals. I'm regularly surprised to find HR or recruiting pros on LinkedIn with incomplete profiles (or worse, no profile), very few connections and no Group memberships. LinkedIn is one of the best on-line tools out there for Personal BrandingJob Search, Business Development and Recruiting! An effective profile is your on-line business card, marketing brochure, Google-rank helper, etc. Create a great profile, connect to others, join and/or create Groups, participate in Discussions, ask and answer Questions, etc. Need help? Here are some great resources to get you started: Jason Alba's "I'm on LinkedIn — Now What??" book and blog, the Social Media Headhunter's LinkedIn Recruiting Companion, Shally Steckerl's LinkedIn Cheatsheets, and the LinkedIn Blog for the latest news on what's new at LinkedIn.

  3. Read more Blogs by becoming an RSS Rockstar or Ninja. I started reading blogs early in 2008, and like most, I subscribed via email. Like most, I also get too much email, so I found myself moving blog posts to a "Read Later" folder – which I never got to. After discovering Google Reader (there are others too), I now subscribe to over 300 blogs, and I can skim through or read content at a much more efficient pace (and my email box is happier too). Some people get their info from books or newspapers - I read blogs and feeds. And I learn. A lot. Need some suggestions for your starter kit? Start with FOT's latest Talent Management Blog Power Rankings, Business School Directory's Top 50 HR Blogs, and RecruitingBlogs.com Best 2007 Recruiting Blogs. (You can also find many smart bloggers who syndicate their feeds on RecruitingBlogs.com and HRM Today.) Subscribe to several, and then add and subtract as you go. Pretty soon, you'll be up to 300+ blogs in your Reader too. Or not. It's up to you!

  4. It's time to try Twitter. If you've been resisting using Twitter so far, then it's time to give in. I resisted initially too, but since I started Tweeting in March 2008, Twitter has become one of the best resources I have as a recruiter, coach and talent consultant. Why? Because I connect with thought leaders who share what they're working on, resources, tips, links to interesting articles, etc. Twitter doesn't have to take over your life. Like you, I have a day job. Some days I check in a few times in between phone calls, interviews and client meetings, and other days I'm not there at all. And for those who say the people they need to connect with aren't on Twitter – think again. I deal mostly with senior level professionals and executives, and I have clients, candidates and potential clients/candidates following me on Twitter. Trust me. They're there - or will be. Need help getting started? Check out Why Recruiters Should Use Twitter on RBC, and my post over at CincyRecruiter's World on 10 People All Recruiters Should Follow on Twitter.

  5. Figure out how to use Facebook for recruiting. I'm also adding this one to my own PDP for 2009. LinkedIn wasn't necessarily the place to be in early 2006 when I joined, and while recruiters were certainly some of the early adopters, it's most definitely the place to be now. Because I got in early and spent time developing my network and learning to use the tools, I'm ahead of many of my counterparts in using LinkedIn to develop my business, my personal brand and my relationships. I predict that Facebook will become an even more important tool for Recruiters and HR professionals in the future. Many companies are already effectively utilizing Facebook to connect with and recruit young professionals, but I'm seeing more and more senior level talent signing up and trying to figure it out as well. (Translation – everybody's doing it.) Facebook has some cool tools for recruiting and employment branding. So stop thinking about all of the pitfalls of Facebook and just do it already! And when you figure out how to use it well, share your knowledge on all of the tools above.

Stay tuned to Fistful of Talent for 5 more social media tools to get involved with in 2009. (And if you need help with subscribing – see #3 above, or just click here and add to your Reader! I'm on all of the tools above, so hopefully, I'll see you/meet you on the Interwebs!

FOT Background Check

Jennifer McClure is a Vice President at Centennial, Inc.,a Cincinnati-based recruitment and coaching firm, where she's charged with strategic recruiting efforts, executive coaching and business development for the firm. Send her an uncustomized LinkedIn invite at your own peril...


  1. Jim Durbin says:

    I normally never do this – comment spam offends me greatly, but I couldn’t resist leaving a note that all five of these topics are covered or will be covered with my new training dvd’s over at the Social Media Headhunter Cafe.
    Facebook and LinkedIn are live, and Twitter will be here January 15th. Social Networks and blogs will be here this quarter If you’re curious about how these work, and want step-by-step instruction, head on over to the store (it’s in the link on my name).
    And remember, never, ever leave comment spam pitching your product, except the one time where it makes a lot of sense.

  2. Social Media Tools You Should Get To Know As A Recruiter

    Fistful of Talent is a group HR blog that represents the same kind of zeitgest Recruiting.com brought to the recruiting world. It’s fun, informative and most of all, it’s building a rabid readership that tries to implement what they’ve learned….

  3. Excellent post Jennifer, and thanks for the plug to my book 🙂

  4. Chris Young says:

    Great post Jennifer! I really enjoy all the great links you have been so kind to include in your post!
    I’ve featured your post in a special year-end edition of my weekly Rainmaker ‘Fab Five’ blog picks of the week which can be found here: http://www.maximizepossibility.com/employee_retention/2008/12/the-rainmaker-4.html
    I wish you a happy and prosperous 2009, Jennifer!

  5. Steve Zimmerman says:

    Excellent post Jennifer. I agree Google reader as well as other readers is a great way to stay on top of whatever you want to track. Good thoughts on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Another good site I have been using recently is Friendfeed to aggregate posts from friends and thought leaders I like to follow:)

  6. @Jim – thanks for spamming our comments and providing readers more info about your products! 🙂 Seriously – you’ve got some great stuff on using social media tools in recruiting, so thanks for making everyone aware of them.
    @Jason – Thanks for stopping by, and always happy to point people in the direction of the I’m On LinkedIn – Now What?? book and blog. Very helpful!
    @Chris – Woohoo! Maximize Possibility is included in my Google Reader, and I always enjoy the Fab Five blog picks!
    @Steve – Thanks for commenting and mentioning Friendfeed as well. I’ve been resisting signing up for Friendfeed thus far too (like I have all of the other tools I now use all of the time), so based upon your recommendation, it may be about time I jumped in and checked it out.

  7. Amani says:

    Nice list. Linkedin is getting better and better each day. Don’t forget youtube as well. Depending on what you are recruiting for, there are some creative people on there.
    And ADD Friendfeed on your PDP for 2009. It is a great site and the conversations that occur on there or invaluable. Here I am on Friendfeed –> http://friendfeed.com/mirthnadir

  8. Another paper you might want to check out is Rita Ashley’s e-paper entitled “LinkedIn For Job Search” at http://www.jobsearchdebugged.com/blog/index.php?page_id=171.
    Anne Fisher’s employment column in Fortune Magazine mentioned it as a useful tool:
    “Note to job seekers: You may be one of LinkedIn’s 14 million members, but do you know how to make it work for you in a job hunt? Career coach Rita Ashley has written a useful e-book – illustrated with step-by-step screen shots – on how to make the most of LinkedIn to help you find your next job. Download it for free here.”

  9. Dan McCarthy says:

    Jennifer –
    Jennifer –
    I love the idea of including a few new social media tools to include in your individual development plan. I’ll grade myself a 2, or “needs significant improvement” for the first five.
    Thanks for the ideas!

  10. Jason Gorham says:

    Jennifer, we help companies do all of this with our S^3 product set. We focus on Search Engine Marketing (one of the first companies to pioneer it including patent-pending technology…search engine optimization and social networking. It’s interesting how many people dabble in this but have no goals or metrics defined for success.

  11. Jason Gorham says:

    @Amani I disagree with your comment that Linkedin is getting better everyday. Did you know that with their must recent search change you can only view 100 profiles and then they want you to upgrade? Searching linkedin with our free sourcing tool is much better as your searching the web and not through linkedin. Give it a shot.

  12. @Amani – I’m with you on YouTube! You might just hear more about that in the follow up post…
    @Colleen – Thanks for sharing the article link, although it appears to be a bit out of date. Last time I checked, LinkedIn had over 31 million members, and is growing at 1 million plus each month.
    @Dan – Good luck with getting more involved with social media in 2009, and remember the rules of the self-review – always score yourself at least a 3. 🙂
    @Jason – I’m always interested in new products and resources that can make us more efficient using all of the social media tools available. As for LinkedIn search capabilities, I’d recommend focusing on using it more for networking and building/maintaining relationships – especially for those just jumping in. Typically, only high-volume recruiters will have a need for larger search results, and those users can either turn to a tool such as yours, or purchase an upgraded membership. For the average user, that particular issue is likely a non-issue. Thanks for adding to the conversation!

  13. these tools are so awesome to use. this is such great tools. thanks for the information.

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