This post will be somewhat tangential in terms of the SNS line of thought, although I would like to respond/think about Ken Forrester’s blog post “Searching for the New Recruiting Model”. Ken describes a conversation with a contact about how everything is being turned upside down, and that we now have a need to reassess what constitutes a workable recruiting model.

A lot of information is available for free now, where it previously was not. Hence we cannot assume that people (whether companies or candidates) will be willing to pay for services as they have before. Ken’s take was that recruiters need to reestablish themselves as a particular kind of consultant, one that spends “time with their clients to understand their needs and provide a service for a fee.”

Personally, I think what we are faced with here is the need to upgrade the service that we offer in terms of improving the quality of the information that we can make available to clients (again, I am thinking here in terms of both companies and candidates, at least for the time being).  SNS make available an astounding amount of information, for free. But, from the point of view any one particular job seeker or company looking to hire, most of that information is what you might call white noise. It is useless information in the sense of being irrelevant to the task at hand. It is something that needs to be filtered out in some way. It is our job to get someone the information that will be most useful and productive, when they need it.

I will give you an analogy. One of the clients that I work with is a smaller and relatively new pharma marketing firm. They offer consumer analytics services to pharma companies by partnering with retailers involved in the filling of prescriptions (such as larger drug store chains). The problem is that most prescriptions don’t get filled, so it becomes ineffective to get the data about consumers from the professional side (i.e., from physicians).  There is, in effect, a lot of white noise in the raw form of the data. This marketing company essentially scrubs the HIPAA information from the data, sorts out what actually gets filled (along with relevant demographic information) and is then able to offer actionable analytics information to their clients.

This company provides a valuable service by managing and understanding information. The trick is that even if the raw information relevant to finding and filling jobs is available for free, there are still important steps to be taken in order to make that information actionable, and that is where a good recruiter can come in.

My Labor Day weekend starts tomorrow…  Hope everyone has a nice weekend.



In the past couple of posts I have spent some time pondering how SNS can/will be incorporated into recruiting efforts. I looked at how Asurion Mobile Application’s AddressBook might integrate with an ATS, such as Jobvite. Both are focused on making use of and managing SNS based efforts, and therefore offer a way to capitalize on those technologies.

So at this point I feel the need to play devil’s advocate, at least from the point of view of someone who is typically skeptical of newer technologies. Do I really need to spend my day twittering, posting and sending invites? I mentioned in a previous post that it seems ‘obvious’ that a recruiter who does not adopt/make proper use of SN technologies will be left behind, but is that really true?

First of all, professional networking is still the name of the game, regardless of how it is accomplished. You find the best candidates through your network, and your network is comprised of…? People you have met in person? Not necessarily. People you have met through coworkers? Not necessarily. So it doesn’t really matter how you meet? Why can’t I do this the old fashioned way: swap cards, shake hands, and do lunch some time?

You might think a relationship is what happens after two people meet. However, meeting off line, because it is less and less common, seems like a great way to buck the trend. Human beings are hard-wired to remember faces and other aspects of physical interactions. Hence the initial interaction sticks, and it therefore more likely to lead to something productive, right?

What’s more, SNS will only crowd my network with people that I do not know well at all, and who may not be able to give good recommendations or referrals. What good will it really do me to have several thousand connections on LinkedIn if the quality of those connections is such that the vast majority of them do not take seriously any request or question that I might have? It seems like all that SNS can do for me is force me to stay on top of a network that really might not be worth managing at all. In other words it forces me into a strategy that opts for quantity over quality.

Well… there is some truth to this, and of course some misunderstanding as well.  But I think it is important to incorporate this point of view into our efforts, so that we do not suffer from the ill effects of an over eager rush to embrace new technologies.

So… how do we reconcile the Luddite with the Technophile? My take, at this point anyway, is that reconciling the two views is in large part (but not exclusively) the age old debate over quantity versus quality. Of course, from a production stand point we want as much of both as we can get.

In the next post I will take a careful look at adopting SNS and associated technologies with an eye towards maximizing the quantity and quality of the relationships.