Sometimes technologists are prone to exaggeration. What I mean by that is shiny new technologies are impressive, and they put butts in seats for conventions, seminars, and webinars.
I've spent the last four years telling you that social media is coming, and that as recruiters, we need to be involved before candidates and hiring managers cut us out of the loop. If we do our jobs well, we'll continue to be the go-to source for the employment experience. This applies to internal recruiters as well as third party firms.
Our job is to know where candidates spend time, and meet them where they live.
So what happens when an increasingly networked public recognizes that the same tools we use to source (linkedin, blogs, facebook) can be used to get them jobs? Recruiters start looking for a new industry (and mortgage isn't coming back anytime soon).
From an old blogging friend, Dean Esmay, whose son works in VoIP, I found this note about a VoIP blog that is offering to help candidates find positions in the VoIP community. Note the blog author isn't asking for a fee, or selling job postings. He's simply an industry expert offering to make the connections for employers directly. He's offering to do for free what recruiters and job boards pay for.
No big deal, right? The blog has about the same traffic as this site, which is about 100 readers a day plus subscribers. It's not bankrupting a 122 billion dollar staffing industry. Well, Craiglist was just a free classified listing when it started, job boards didn't start out that big either.
What this blog speaks to is a failure on the part of staffing professionals to engage with the public. Treating a customer base as a fishing pool works great until the fish figure out how to grow legs and walk away, and that's exactly what the public is doing. SmithonVoIP is just a start. Social networks around industries JobsinSocialMedia and blogs on specific positions (goodproductmanager.com) are going to start taking the best players in a field out of the hands of recruiters (and they already have left job boards).
Are you going to get in this game? Start with LinkedIn training for recruiters, and move to using Facebook to Hire. Time is ticking, and if you're not interfacing with candidates in social media now, they won't need you in the near future.