Paying It Forward As a Recruiter In a Down Economy…

Kelly Dingee HR Technology, Kelly Dingee, Sourcing, Working With Recruiters

For a while now I’ve been working on a blog item called “Paying It Forward”. Hopefully everyone reading this has, at least once in their life, been enmeshed in a job search. And, probably many of you have done it more than once. If you’re a recruiter or sourcer, do you pay it forward? Knowing that job hunting can be a bear of a task, how do you give back, and who do you help?

Personally, I jump right in. When I was laid off several years ago, I had a lot ofPay_it_forward
recruiting vendors, colleagues, neighbors, etc., offer to help me with my job hunt.

So as a believer in “what goes around, comes around” I try to help out pretty much anyone, and you really don’t even have to ask. For example, this summer I had one of the most satisfying “pay it forward” experiences by just emailing our school’s principal and letting her know I had an awesome teacher (new grad) candidate for our school. I was worried she’d get away from us because, well, public schools are a bureaucracy and have large HR departments that might miss the really great candidate because they’re average on paper, or lost in automation.

But this gal, she had the goods, working as a swim instructor with all levels and all ages, and was a top rated grad from her masters program. It was just a matter of giving her a little push in front of the right people. Two weeks later she was interviewing, a week later she had a job. Now, she’s teaching in my kids school, loving it, and the parents are loving her. That was awesome. She got the job, I just gave her background a push in front of the right people, and I was fortunate to have insider’s knowledge of the school system. I’m the daughter of a teacher, so I knew where her information needed to be.

More recently, a former telecom colleague of mine just relocated back to the DC Metro area from Wisconsin. I’ll admit, I have a soft spot for people from Wisconsin having spent my formative years there. This colleague and I had been in the trenches together in the late ‘90s and early 2000’s, me as her HR Rep, and her as the Director of a Call Center/Customer Service organization. She eventually changed careers and joined me in HR and when she moved to Wisconsin, then slid into Marketing. When she returned to the area, she was flexible on HR or Marketing but knew that if she could find a job in Marketing, she’d go for that first.

So we met at Starbucks, got her set up on LinkedIn, introduced her to SimplyHired, Indeed.com and MomsCorp, then discussed which job boards would be worth her time to catch the attention of employers in the area. I also put a “shout out” to all of my local recruiter friends via LinkedIn, letting them know about this potential candidate. A month later she’s got a job, on her terms. And how much of my time did that take? Maybe an hour at Starbucks and 1 minute to send a LinkedIn message.

I really like it when I look around and see other HR professionals putting their best foot forward to help a colleague out. If you haven’t ever been laid off, good for you. If you have been laid off, like me, you appreciate any help you can get finding the next gig. I came across this Ning group not too long ago, ForwardOn, created by Intuit Recruiter Chris Cox. Primary objective of this group? To get well-networked professionals (i.e. recruiters and others) to forward on resumes, job postings and more to help others currently looking for new opportunities. Great concept – definitely visit the site and give it your support. I also still strongly recommend anyone on the hunt checking out The Ruthie List– which just had a group created on LinkedIn to supplement its Yahoo efforts. The volume of quality openings on this list for recruiting and HR professionals continues to impress me. And Jason Davis’ RecruitingBlogs.com is offering free job postings on his site, so if you need a recruiting professional, that’s a great place to post!

My suggestions for HR and Recruiting professionals searching? Make yourself as visible as possible. Build online profiles at LinkedIn, Plaxo, Naymz, Jigsaw and network. Check to see if you’re “findable” on sites like Pipl.com, ZoomInfo and Wink. Have a certification like the AIRS CIR? CDR? ACIR? Network through that peer group, either via forums online or groups on LinkedIn. Kick up your social media presence and include your job title, and maybe even job history on Facebook or MySpace. Definitely review your resume, preferably with a peer and weed out the bad, pump up your achievements and get your resume posted. You should post on job boards popular in your area, but even just upload it to Scribd.com or DocStoc.com for other recruiting professionals to find.

Do you wonder if it’s overexposure? I’m not so sure about that. Some recruiting organizations have unlimited funds to staff and use every resume database plus internet search, whereas others break out the Boolean and dig online for free with only a browser at their disposal. I’d also suggest checking out Ning for groups local to your area or professionally interesting to you, and network through those as well. Here in the DC Metro, there’s an ever expanding DC Recruiters group that’s good to be a part of. And job hunting? Visit Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com in addition to job boards popular in your area. Don’t forget CraigsList, it’s cheap for recruiters! Good luck in your search and if you liked to “link in” to me to expand your network and find a job, go for it! Want to “tweet” about your hunt? Find me on Twitter too.

Any suggestions from the FOT audience? I know our readership would love to know about them.