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Helping Jobseekers With Social Media

 (Welcome KSDK viewers - have a look around and click through the links in this post.)

Click here to view the segment on Today In St Louis.

Looking for work?  Hoping to use social media to find it?  Here are some resources you really ought to be tapping into in your job search.

Ultimate Job Hunting Secrets. This is the best book I've read for jobseekers, ever. Most books are written for only top people.  They are written with the assumption that you are a highly driven, highly successful, name brand employee with the ability to negotiate high salaries and with the resources to wait out job offers. That's not many of us.  This book lays out the basics for those who aren't used to looking for work.  

JibberJobber:, and his book, I'm on LinkedIn, Now What.  Jason Alba was a jobseeker a few years ago, and launched a site to help him find work.  He's since turned it into a program that is extremely helpful in managing your search. - run by Paul DeBettignies, the MNHeadhunter, who is turning a lot of his focus to helping candidates.

Are you an executive, with your own unique jobhunting challenges?  Head on over to, where executives learn to pitch themselves, network with other executives, and get advice from top coaches.

There's also this post of mine that was published at Marketing Profs on how to raise your profile so headhunters will find you.  And an old favorite, 8 ways to get noticed online.  It all boils down to a single piece of advice.  Figure out what you're interested in.  Go online and find people discussing that topic.  Engage those people, and make sure that you have a profile somewhere online that tells people you are available.

Top Secret Recruiting Tip:  Don't say you're "looking for work."  Instead say you are "interviewing for new positions."


Steve Finkel In St Louis February 19th

Time: February 19, 2009 from 7:30am to 10am
Location: Spazio at Westport
Organized By:
Event Description:
As you know, Steve Finkel is an Internationally acclaimed speaker and trainer in the Search and Placement Industry. He is arguably our industry’s most respected and experienced author and trainer, and has seen our industry through multiple cycles of good times and bad.

His speaking programs with virtually every association on five continents have drawn the highest accolades from industry veterans, associations and publications. His book “Breakthrough!” now distributed in 25 countries, addresses market downturns from a recruiter’s viewpoint and his 5-volume CD series “Turbulent Times!” is now guiding the best firms in our industry through the current recession.

Referred to by The Fordyce Letter as “universally regarded as our industry’s leading trainer”, he is the acknowledged authority on dealing with difficult markets.

He will be delivering his Program “Sell Your Way Through A Changing Market”, to his hometown colleagues. He will be covering:

Expanding your Client base
Skill Improvement for Downturns
Identifying the Right Niche Market
Changes You Must Make in Dealing with Candidates and Clients
Maintaining Production in a Slow Market
Time Management in a Downturn

There will be time for questions.

MAPSS Members in good standing $40.00

Non-Members $69.00

Please visit and register now for this opportunity to benefit from world class training, right here at home!

For more information, also consider the St Louis Headhunters network on Ning.

Rehabcare Column Up At ERE.Net

I have a column up at ERE on the success of the social media recruiting projects at Rehabcare. Rehabcare is a local company that hires occupational, speech, and physical therapists for facilities nationwide.  Recruiting is a very important division in the company, as there is a shortage of therapists, and competition is fierce for new graduates.

The column lays out a good portion of the social media strategies that have been employed, including Facebook, podcasts, maps and pictures, all centered around the Rehabcare college blog.  For most clients, I don't get the chance to talk much about what they are doing.  Social media is a long-term project that has to fit into the DNA of a company, and gathering results takes time.  For Rehabcare, those results are good enough they let me write about them.  Social Media types won't be surprised by the tone of the piece, but credit has to be given to the Campus Relations staff.  For 18 months now they've integrated social media into their hiring in small ways.    

Social media has not been a silver bullet, and it certainly doesn’t replace the work the team already performs. Rather, the social media projects enhance its profile, and are an easy way to communicate with its audience. That communication clearly contributed to its success last year, especially in the eyes of the executives, who have green-lighted even more ambitious recruiting goals and strategies despite a tough economy.

The lesson is an important one. Social media recruiting works, but only when in concert with a strong team, a knowledgeable manager, and buy-in from executives. There are no starry-eyed Facebook surfers or YouTube watchers in this department. Just recruiters using social media to do their jobs — better.

I like this piece.  It's a good summary of where internal departments need to head for Recruiting 2.0. 


I'll Be On Today In St Louis Monday Morning

Just finished an interview with Jasmine Huda of KSDK on the use of social networks in hiring.  It is planned to air Monday, February 16th between 5 and 7 am.

Heading on over to the KSDK site, you can see their heavy emphasis on hiring.  The site of the day is LinkedIn, a recent article talked hiring for Gen Y, and the bit we recorded was on using social networks and social media to get hired.

Here's my quick candidate primer - don't join social networks to get jobs.  Join social networks to make connections with smart people in your industry, and make sure your profile suggests you are open to being hired.

Don't say - "I'm looking for work."
Do say:  "I'm interviewing for new positions."

Do you homework.  Find the companies you want to work for, and identify the departments and the positions that might fit you.  Then go out and find connections that will walk your resume into a hiring manager.  If they are not hiring, contact the recruiter or manager and tell them you know they aren't hiring for this position, but in the future, when they do, keep your name on the top of their list, because your long-term goal is to work there.

Of course, only say that if you really want to work there.

And be interesting.  Just be interesting.  If you don't know how to be, link information from people you find interesting. 

A Letter From Your Boss

This has been making the rounds of the internet, and while it's apocryphal, I actually know several business owners who have done just as this letter says.

To All My Valued Employees,

There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of this company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the good news is this: The economy doesn’t pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in this country.

However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help you decide what is in your best interests.

First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers againstemployees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is a back story. This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You’ve seen my big home at last year at a Christmas party. I’m sure; all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life.

However, what you don’t see is the back story.

I started this company 28 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300 square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living apartment was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you.

My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission. I didn’t have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business — hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.

So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9am, mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5pm, I don’t. There is no “off” button for me. When you leave the office, you are done and you have a weekend all to yourself. I unfortunately do not have the freedom. I eat, and breathe this company every minute of the day. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attached to my hip like a 1 year old special-needs child. You, of course, only see the fruits of that garden — the nice house, the Mercedes, the vacations… you never realize the back story and the sacrifices I’ve made.

Now, the economy is falling apart and I, the guy that made all the right decisions and saved his money, have to bail-out all the people who didn’t. The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed a decade of my life for.

Yes, business ownership has is benefits but the price I’ve paid is steep and not without wounds.

I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don’t pay enough. I have state taxes. Federal taxes. Property taxes. Sales and use taxes. Payroll taxes. Workers compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes on taxes. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then guess what? I have to pay taxes for employing him. Government mandates and regulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my time. On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000 for quarterly taxes. You know what my “stimulus” check was? Zero. Nada. Zilch.

The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single mother sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check? Obviously, government feels the latter is  the economic stimulus of this country.The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of your paycheck you’d quit and you wouldn’t work here. I mean, why should you? That’s nuts. Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, I agree which is why your job is in jeopardy.

Here is what many of you don’t understand … to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly government mandated to me that I didn’t need to pay taxes, guess what? Instead of depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I would have spent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial economic growth. My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now.

When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don’t defibrillate and shock his thumb thinking that will bring him back to life, do you? Or, do you defibrillate his heart? Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not kill it. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the poor of America are the essential drivers of the American economic engine. Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change you can believe in. So where am I going with all this?

It’s quite simple.

If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple. I fire you. I fire your co-workers. You can then plead with the government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your child’s future. Frankly, it isn’t my problem anymore.

Signed, Your Boss

Now, a couple of points here and there in the income tax code aren't the issue.  What is at issue are federal regulations on employment, compensation, and tort reform that make it very scary to run a business.  I got a letter the other day, from the government, and sat there for a few minutes before opening it.  To my knowledge, I hadn't done anything wrong, but that doesn't mean that some faceless bureaucrat didn't find something in a tax form or follow up some complaint from a candidate who decided they were treated unfairly because I didn't get them a job. 

I sat looking at that envelope, wondering if there was something in that would bankrupt my business.  It was a reference letter for a friend looking for government work.  Now tell me - if you own a business, have you ever had such feelings?  Is it any wonder that small businesses are fearful of hiring?  Common sense has been set aside, and politicians write laws to create "fairness," usually defined as what can they do to say they are protecting people who will vote for them. 

We are being slowly strangled by the weight of government regulation - every administration grows a little or a lot.  State governments grow in good times and bad (no state budget has grown less than the rate of inflation since World War II).  I ask again, Who is John Galt?

CEO's Make Too Much, and Barney Frank Is Going To Stop Them

Last week, the President announced that executive pay would be capped at $500,000 for banks that took TARP money. The argument was that federal taxpayers shouldn't be paying ridiculous money for failing institutions. Recruiters roundly condemned the idea, and pointed out that failing institutions weren't going to get better if top talent couldn't be recruited.  Supporters said if you take federal money, you have to take federal rules. 
It turns out that in the eyes of some legislators, everyone takes some federal money, so everyone is subject to CEO pay caps

"Congress will consider legislation to extend some of the curbs on executive pay that now apply only to those banks receiving federal assistance, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank said.

“There’s deeply rooted anger on the part of the average American,” the Massachusetts Democrat said at a Washington news conference today.

He said the compensation restrictions would apply to all financial institutions and might be extended to include all U.S. companies

The TARP argument had some merit, though it shows a fundamental understanding of the link between pay as an incentive and pay as a reward.  Packages for compensation are bait for top performers to take on thankless jobs.  Part of that compensation is rewarding even those who fail.  Some may not like it, but less people were complaining when their paychecks and 401K's were increasing 10% a year. 

Now that we're all down, the urge to "do something" is a dangerous one. Barney Frank is proposing fundamentally altering the economy by limiting CEO pay.  This is part of a broader societal trend of demonizing business owners as greedy and workers are noble.  So how are business owners responding?

They're selling their companies and sitting on the sidelines. They're laying off workers and cutting back on investment, secure in their cash flow and doing part-time consulting to supplement their income. Our best producers recognize that the risk of starting and growing a company isn't worth it when the government and your workers despise you. 

It's hard running a business.  There is pride in employing people and helping your community. It's a powerful motivator.  When we allow demagogues to turn working families against business owners and CEO's, we set the stage for failure.  This doesn't mean that we don't prosecute criminals or punish those who betray the trust of their employees.  It does mean that when we start from the principal that everyone in executive management is a crook, we shouldn't be surprised when those with the ability to lead choose not to. 

You can tax me, but you can't make me work.  Who is John Galt? 

Using Twitter To Hire Developers

The Twitter training (twaining) is complete, over 90 minutes of solid work on using the Twitter protocol to recruit.  The cost?  $89.

You can find almost 800 developers in St Louis in less than 10 seconds on Google.  Do you know how to reach them, get them to respond, and hire them?

Jim Durbin, the Social Media Headhunter, presents the sixth volume in his series on using social media to recruit.  Twitter As A Recruiting Tool demonstrates live shots of how to source, connect and hire from the world's most popular microblogging service.  Follow Jim at, or check out the recruiter training store for more titles.

Twitter is a microblogging site, a community where groups of people share thoughts and links in a text messaging format that allows only 140 characters. Having experienced explosive growth in the last year, Twitter is a hot property for finding passive candidates and engaging in industry debates.

Like all networks, Twitter has its own rules and etiquette. Users must choose to “follow” you to get updates, and writing the wrong updates will quickly drop the number of people who read you. Used correctly, Twitter is a reserve brain of 1000’s of people in your industry. You can quickly get the answers to questions, find “buzz” before your competitors, and increase the power of your SEO and online profile.

Mostly, you can use it to recruit really smart people. In this ninety minute presentation, Jim turns you into one of the “Twitterati” and sets you loose on a vibrant candidate population.