Cloud Recruiting Part III

August 27, 2009

In the last two posts, I have spent some time worrying about how we should view and understand the concept of cloud recruiting. There is essentially a gestalt switch in play here. Are recruiters making use of a cloud in the sense of deploying social networking technologies, or are they providing candidates access to a cloud by deploying social networking technologies? The worry is that recruiters will get caught up in the hype surrounding these technologies and think of them only as a fix/panacea for managing client communications.

My contention is that the “power of free” factor will get lost in the shuffle and that recruiters will lose site of the fact they still have a service to provide to candidates: value added content & productive networking. You have to have something to offer in order for the power of free to work. Of course, social networking technology is both the means to providing it, and it is part of what is being offered. In other words, we offer candidates access to a cloud of resources by way of the very same technologies that make up the cloud.

Getting weird and a bit confusing? Yes. I suppose the better way to think about this is to stick with Google as an analogy. Google doesn’t offer individuals access to the Internet, but offers them an excellent way to figure out which part of the Internet they really want access to (and of course they do this for free). They use the Internet, in part at least, to perform this function.  So in much the same way, if we take the cloud to be a collection of (professional) networking resources, one that is connected through social networking technologies, then our job is to provide candidates with a way to figure out which part of that cloud they really want access to. Furthermore, we will do this by applying the very same technologies that make up that cloud.

Again, I use Google as an analogy, but one that is, on a functional level, not very far removed from what we should be doing with social networking technologies. Just like the Internet, from the point of view of the average Internet user, the web of professional networks is a massive and confusing one. It would be very helpful to have some guidance in searching for the right connections and opportunities. While no recruiter could ever provide the level of access to the cloud that Google provides to the Internet, the basic idea is the same. It is a service oriented approach, and one that can potentially lead to far better word of mouth advertising among candidates. 

In the next post I will get into more detail as to how this can work. Specifically, I will take a look at some mobile applications that can help to provide better access to the cloud of professional networking.

Chuck

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