Before Al Gore won an Oscar and a share of The Nobel Peace prize for the granddaddy of all Power Point presentations, he said he "created the Internet". For that alone, he must be praised. Without the Internet, recruiting would still be in the dark ages, and unfortunately, many of our human resources and recruiting comrades are likely still there – only looking up from the Help Wanted ads long enough to change the roll of paper in their fax machines.
In a November 2007 article on ere.net, Dr. John Sullivan points out the following:
I have been involved in recruiting for over three decades, and I used to routinely say that nothing had changed in recruiting. However, in the last few years, the Internet, the mobile phone, and other changes in society have finally produced enough change in recruiting that someone can differentiate between "old-school" recruiting and "new-school" recruiting. Old-school recruiting relies heavily on old media, including newspaper ads, career fairs, large job boards, and mailed-in resumes.
In direct contrast, new schoolers are enamored with new communication media like blogs, podcasts, and text messaging. The divide is getting larger, and it’s becoming more obvious every day. Old schoolers in recruiting are decidedly uncomfortable with these new communication approaches, the same ones that the new schoolers can’t live without.
Dr. Sullivan also lists "10 Signs of an Old School Recruiter". You may read those, see yourself, and begin to sound something like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Main – "I don’t have time to do that" or "we can’t afford those things", etc. etc.
Walk toward the light my friends! Recruiters who win in the "war for talent" must be ready, willing and able to utilize every resource available to them to find top talent – and also to draw talent TO them. There are a number of tools and resources to do that, and below are a couple of "freebies" that you may not be using to their fullest potential – which could stop the babbling above.
LinkedIn – There are over 20 million people using LinkedIn today (are you one of them?). And while you can search for candidates – both active and passive – there are also other ways to use LinkedIn to your advantage. As a recruiter, you should build and enhance your on-line "brand" (and your company’s brand) through a carefully crafted and interesting profile. You should also spend some time and effort not only connecting with people you know, but becoming a person that others want to connect TO. Become "someone they should be connected to" in their industry, field, etc. Make sure your profile has key words related to your industry or the positions you recruit for, and that you come up high in search rankings – number of connections, referrals, and a complete profile affect that. Also, join or create Groups on LinkedIn that your "targets" will want to be in.
Twitter – Go ahead. Sign up. People once doubted that the Internet would survive too. Twitter does have its haters, but as a recruiter, you can’t afford to not be an early-adopter – and with almost 1 million Twitterers in 18 months, those tickets are going fast. Start "tweeting" meaningful stuff about where you work, the positions you’re recruiting for, and interesting things about yourself (keep it clean people). Yes, Twitter can be a distraction if you let it – but that’s true of most things. It’s another free recruiting resource for you – and this IS about recruiting. Jim Stroud recently posted "How to find Software Developers on Twitter". Good stuff. Read it. Use it! Another of Jim’s posts – "There are only 85 recruiters on Twitter?" offers more search tips, and prompted me to sign up. I wanted to be in the first 100 recruiter Tweeps to do so!
So there you are my friends. The Holy Grail of recruiting – finding passive candidates – right at your fingertips, and at no cost to you except your time. And if your job involves recruiting, that’s how you’re supposed to be using your time – right?
O.k., since Al Gore is a Democrat, and we don’t want to start a political debate, let’s give equal time to the Republicans and their web involvement. In case you didn’t know it, President Bush is a frequent user of "The Google" and "The Internets". I wonder if Al or George are using Twitter yet…
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…