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January 2012
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Should Recruiters Blog?

There's a common question in social training for recruiters. How much time should you spend on the computer instead of on the phone?  The answer is that if you have phone calls to make, you make them first, and then you use the internet to find more people to call, but the bigger question is why do you need social media at all?

It's not just that social media helps you find candidates. It's that it helps you find yourself 


YourHRGuys tells you why he does it.  Reasons #1 and #2:

1. It has made me more thoughtful - Many people think blogging means you have to go out on a limb and say something sexy every post. My experience has been the complete opposite. People appreciate advice that is interesting, unique and thoughtful. Some people who give career advice seem almost glib at times and others give perpetually boring advice. If someone says you should wear a top hat to your next interview to stand out, that’s just entertaining but not useful. If someone says you should work on your handshake, that’s not entertaining but it is useful. I’ve tried to say things that are both entertaining and useful. So when you wear that top hat, make sure you give a really great handshake.

2. It allows me to learn - There are some really smart people in the blogosphere that I have been fortunate enough to interact with in-person or through telephone, e-mails and comments. This is why I couldn’t possibly do all of my 2009 predictions without including feedback from the great people online as well. Since I started getting involved with blogs (a lurker for four years and contributor for more than two and a half), I’ve learned about subjects I never would have even known about. It is truly amazing.

The key reason to blog is knowledge - both about your industry and about your business.  You'd be surprised how many people never take the time to look critically at the way they do business. In today's business climate, that's going to be a problem.

How can you improve, if you don't know what you do right and wrong?  Blogging demands content, and the best content is looking at your situation and discussing what you do wrong, and how you plan to fix it.

Forget the rest.  Blog for yourself. It makes you a better employee, more aware of what's going around, and there's that personal branding boost you need for the future.  Most recruiting is about closing candidates and closing deals.  You have to have that down.  But what comes next?  How do you reach another level?  Some people pay for training, others take long vacations, and some do what comes naturally - they network with friends and colleagues online to get better at what they do.

That's the reason to blog. It makes you a better person.  It forces you to think through what you do and why, and if you find yourself unable to write, you might find it's not because you ran out of time. It's because you've stopped learning.  Writing for me came naturally after five years of recruiting, but I was also at a crisis point.  I wasn't burnt out, but I was close.  Writing blogs about the industry ultimately taught me that recruiting is in my blood, which is why nine years later, I'm still excited to get new requirements, and still identify myself first and foremost as a recruiter.

Finding Isn't Sourcing

Bill Boorman writes about the death of sourcing after a recent SourceCon event in Atlanta.

And here is the thing, sourcing is just starting. There are plenty of tools for dissecting and finding data that gives you the answers you want. The tools may no longer mean that you no longer need to know Boolean or other internet searching tips,but understanding what data means is a real art. It is not about finding people, it’s about understanding people. Things like who might be most ready to move. who has accumulated experience since they last updated a profile. Finding people might be easy. People are represented by data, and anyone with the right tool can find data, but interpreting data is a real skill.

Bill is right on here.  I attended Sourcecon last fall to get a sense of how good I was against professional sourcers.  As a full desk recruiter, and a sales account executive before that, sourcing is in my job decsription, but it's a lot more personal, as I have to make the calls and compare my results in real time.

What I found, and what is considered basic sourcing theory, is that everyone sources different because our brains aren't alike.  Our experiences help guide us down different paths, and thus no sourcer is going to be the same in the lists they provide.  This is important, because the rise of data increases the need for sourcing, instead of decreasing it.

Think of resumes.  The more you have, the more you need to be able to get to the ones you want.  Despite the advances in search technology, I've yet to hear about an ATS or job board that hands you perfect candidates without some kind of human filter. Why would this be changed just because social profiles give more clues?

The question itself is still rather moot.  Most of you reading this know what sourcers are, but how many have a full time sourcer on staff?  The major companies do, and agencies will often hire someone to sift through resumes, but sourcing still hasn't caught on in the majority of the recruiting world.  To talk about its death is akin to saying social media was dead in 2008.  In 2008, most recruiters didn't use LinkedIn.  Many still don't.

Bottom line?  Until candidates worldwide standardize their resumes to what a client wants (through some kind of mass mental hypnosis), resumes, and people will still have to be discovered.  And that is the essence of sourcing.

If Recruiters Were Hollywood Gangsters

If I ran my own recruiting firm, all of my recruiters would be required to memorize the speech Marsellus Wallace gives to Butch (Bruce Willis) in Pulp Fiction.

The day of the offer, you might feel a slight sting. That's pride messing with you. To heck with pride! Pride only hurts ... it never helps. You fight through that stuff 'cause a year from now, when you kickin' it in the Caribbean, you gonna say to yourself, my recruiter was right."

I'm not saying it would be legal, or even advisable, but it sure would be a lot of fun to see the reaction you would get.

And if any of my candidates ever backed out of an offer, you know what speech they would get.

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