ERE Column On Recruiter Marketing

I've a column up today over at on why recruitment marketing is changing the way we approach the employment process.

Here's a little taste of what I'm trying to say.

These are uncertain times, but also exciting ones. Jobseekers, through social media, now have access to information on their would-be employers that is truly revolutionary. In addition to being connected through social networks to hiring managers and other employees, candidates can gather information on individual recruiters, staffing firms, referral programs, and even interview questions. They can do so while they are sitting in an interview room waiting for that manager to arrive. The imbalance of information has been a strength of companies, who can set wages, benefits, and generally control the employment process. Today’s job-seeker has access — and is learning the skill — necessary to balance that information. The result is smarter, better-prepared candidates with wider options as to where they work and what’s acceptable in the employment process (such as whether someone will put up with multiple interviews and long assessments).

This trend may not yet have affected your open requirements, but the strategies employed by the very top candidates are spreading to other high-quality candidates. I know this because I, and others like me are helping train them. Every time I write about a tool on a blog or a social network, candidates have every bit as much incentive to read as do recruiters. And from my website stats, those kinds of readers are growing in droves.

To read more, head on over to the site, and look for more columns on using social media to recruit in 2009.  Comments are also welcome. 

Paying To Interview? I Don't Think So

It wasn't that lot along that we first heard about the getting paid to interview business. Notchup, which got a blurb in this months Fast Company, on p.66, was one of those companies - they pay you to interview.  It's premised on the idea that the best passive candidates (how I hate that term) need an incentive to get interviewed.  Whatever your thoughts on the long-term success of the program, it sure beats something I just heard about - where a company demands a non-refundable application fee for a position.

Stop right there.  Let me tell you something.  Anyone requiring you to pay them for a job is someone you should run from.  They aren't typical employers, and while there might be a few legitimate people doing it, chances are you're getting scammed.  In fact, with the economy the way it is, there are several things you should look out for.

1) Paying a headhunter:  Headhunters/recruiters don't take money from candidates. That's it.  There's no economic way to do so, as most of the people we speak to aren't getting jobs.  That's why companies pay us 20-30% of your salary to find you.  If a company isn't willing to pay us to find you, then how can you trust them to hire you if you give the money to the headhunter directly?  It's a scam, folks. 

2) Beware career counselors who tell you they can help you find a job.  They can't.  Career counselors from your company's outplacement service and the state can be very helpful.  They teach you the basics of jobhunting and direct you to resrouces  Those who require payment for their services, well - don't expect to get much out of it.  You're better off buying a book or DVD and following the advice.  If you're the kind of person that needs career counseling because you can't do it on your own, then all the coaching in the world isn't going to help.

3) Headhunters don't work for you.  Marketing aside, we really don't.  It feels good to put people to work, but you don't pay our bills.  When I'm on a search, I'll talk to at least a 100 people.  1 gets the job.  If a headhunter is talking to you in depth, giving you career counseling, helping you out, passing on leads - they'll quickly be joining you in the unemployment line.

4) Sending out resumes is not good enough.  If you are unemployed, your full time job is looking for a job.  You should attend every networking function, every free class, read every magazine on your industry, practice interviewing daily, and be prepared for anything that comes your way.

I have never known any unemployed person to do this.  I see people playing golf, digging stumps out of their yard, sleeping late, taking vacations, and watching a lot of television.  Unless you're independently wealthy, it's going to come back and bite you in the ass.  Do you really want to dip into your savings and credit cards?  There are jobs, but they don't go to people mindlessly tracking the job boards and telling their family they had a good day because the job is perfect for them and you're sure you'll get a call.

5) Be careful taking advice from newspaper columnists.  I started my blogging career writing about the horrible advice in newspaper columns. These people don't interview regularly, and their advice is almost always terrible - terrible as in it's worse to read it than following your instincts.

6) Don't give up hope: Two things drive us to make changes in life.  Inspiration and Desperation.  If you're really excited about your career, or terrified about payhing the bills, both emotions can be channeled into an effective job search.  The one thing that can't be channeled is apathy.

I know it's tough right now.  And it's going to get tougher.  We're about to find out who the ants and graashoppers are.  Just keep in mind that if it sounds too good to be true, or if it offends you (like paying to interview), then it's something you shouldn't do.

Recruiting Webinar: Search Engine Optimization For The Recruiter?

Updated:  Live Link to Registration

October 29th, I'll be running my fourth installment of the Social Media Headhunter series at Hireability.

This particular training will focus on the use of search engine optimization techniques for recruiters, including primers on what SEO is, how to find SEO candidates, and how to rank highly in search engines for terms relating to your industry.

68% of offline purchases now begin with online searches.

Over 70% of recruiters admit to using a search engine to check a candidate's background prior to an offer.

Search engines are an important part of the way we conduct our business.  We check out salespeople calling us by checking their name in a search engine.  We research vendors, and yes, we check out recruiters before we agree to send them a resume.

Learn how to dominate your niche both locally and nationally.

And if you'd like to see how it's done - do a search for "jim durbin" recruiter.  Last time I checked, I was 18 pages deep on Google.

Also search, "hyperion recruiter," "java swing interview questions," "best st louis headhunter," and "list of st louis staffing agencies."  Notice any sites popping up?

St Louis Blogging Boot Camp

I get a lot of requests from small business owners looking to improve their online brand.  For those not in the know, blogging is one of the easiest ways to build a online profile, and in comparison to paying an SEO company or marketing expert to do it, the return on your money is phenomenal.

The problem of course is one of scale.  What might work for a larger company isn't always feasible for the budget of an owner/entrepreneur.  There's also the question of community, as I find a lot of people are excited to start blogging, but can't keep it up without support.

So the result, is the first St Louis Business Blogging Bootcamp.  I'm going to work with 5 companies to show them how to use blogs to increase sales, referrals, and their online presence.

The classes will be conducted online using GoTo Meeting and in-person when necessary, and will be a six week course (one class a week) on how to set up and run a blog.

I need businesses that aren't competitive, and in some ways are complementary.  Some great examples would be real estate, b-to-b sales, b-to-c sales, a recruiter, a car dealer, a furniture store, a mortgage company, and a professional services company like an accountant or financial services person.

I'm hand-picking the class for best fit, and will run other classes in the future, but if you think this is you, contact me through e-mail at

Why Social Media Matters To Companies

My lecture on the impact of social media stresses the two sides of social media.  The first is the technical aspect, which covers the tools and how they can be used to advance traditional corporate purposes.

But the second piece of social media is the impact is has on companies as a phenomenon.  The public has access to the same tools as the corporations, and what they are doing as a group is dwarfing what companies are or even can do.

  What does that mean?  It means that the tools can be tracked with your typical technology charts, where early adopters, and fast seconds, and finally, mass use and monetization are the order of the day, but it would be a mistake to group social media in with other technological revolutions.

The difference is human need. Social media covers six basic human needs in a way no other technology does.  In the mass movements I'm talking about, technology is already adopted, and the change now is the way in which the user base is altered by the technology.

Don't take my word for it.  Listen to Tony Robbins describe his version of the six basic human needs, and think about how the fit into social media.

  1. Certainty
  2. Variety
  3. Significance
  4. Connection
  5. Growth
  6. Contribution.

Whether or not your a Robbins fan, you can see that social media gives people more than just technical tools.  It enables wide-spread relationships that fulfill needs that aren't filled in the workplace or home. I was an account manager for a staffing firm, whose company saw me as just someone to fill a role.  I wanted more, and social media gave me all six needs in a way my job didn't.

This is true for Mom blogs, business and marketing blogs, pr and recruiting networks, twitter friends, politically minded citizens, knitting bloggers, and kids in communities Club Penguin and Webkinz and World of Warcraft.

It's  a mistake to see social media as just talking.  Yes, lots of businesses are misusing or failing to understand social media, but the real cutting edge is in the user base, and that's altering the way we communicate to our customers, vendors, and employees a lot faster than our internal social media programs.

Impact Of Social Media: Lecture Wednesday Morning

If you're signed up, don't forget tomorrow, Wednesday, is the lecture on social media at Washington University.

Here's the link to the google map to Whittaker Auditorium.  It's on the corner of Big Bend and Forest Park Parkway, caddy-corner from the Kayak Cafe.

Feedback is appreciated

The link is found here, and has been corrected for the background.

Go Sign Up For

I don't often make demands of you the readers, but I was looking through, the social network for Recruiters that has seen amazing growth (11,000 members), and there are only 26 Missouri recruiters.

That's crazy - I have more Missouri readers than that.  We need to boost our numbers, and get in on a forum that gives you fantastic information, helps you connect, do your job better, get hired, win prizes.

Seriously.  Add me as a friend when you get there.  If we add 50 people from Missouri, and you friend me, I'll put your names in a hat and draw a name for a $50 gift certificate to Bristols.  If we add 50 more, and you are already a Missouri friend, I'll put your name in as well.

Getting Recruiting Bloggers Into Newspapers

I got started as a recruiting blogger going through newspaper employment sections.  The advice that was given was so incredibly bad that I felt the need to call these syndicated columnists out on the carpet.

From interview weakness questions to negotiating salaries, columnist advice in newspapers is embarrassingly bad.  It's the symptom of distance.  Syndicated columnists don't look for jobs the same way that the people who read the employment section of the newspaper do.  They're far removed from the actual, day-to-day employment process.  And it shows.

I'm a long way from writing furious scribes on this topic here and at, and my choice of topic has moved from candidate-focused to business focused, but there are a lot of fresh and not so fresh voices in the recruiting blogosphere that day in and day out are providing fantastic advice to the average job-seeker.

I'm talking about people like Jason Alba and Chris Russell and Louise Fletcher, who regularly put out fantastic advice that peels back the problems of employment process and helps people get jobs.

Continue reading "Getting Recruiting Bloggers Into Newspapers" »

Ironic E-mails From eGrabber

eGrabber sent me what looks like a bulk advertising solicitation this morning. It's pretty funny, as they are promoting a tool that grabs contact information from the web.  I don't mind businesses sending me information - my role in the online recruiting community has been one of breaking news, evaluating products, and building  buzz.  It is strange when I get bad e-mails, though, and I post this only as an instructional lesson.

  Hi, (Your formatting is off.  The Hi is too far to the right- and don't you know my real name?  If you're  bragging about contact information, shouldn't you at least use my real name)

I am Smith, a Marketing  Associate at eGrabber, Inc ( <> ). (Come on, we know this isn't your real nameWhy go through the trouble of writing a name down if you're not going to be a live person?)

eGrabber is the leading Silicon Valley-based provider of data  capture automation engines. eGrabber's tools quickly capture contact  information found on web sites, emails and other places and transfer them to  ACT!/GoldMine/Outlook for immediate follow-up. (I like that you call yourself the leading Silicon Valley provider.  I wonder if there is a provider in Duluth, MN that is better for me?)

I am looking for  Advertising/Partnership opportunities to promote our products (through banner  advertisements/ stand alone email ads). (what is a partnership opportunity?  Are you offering me a chance to buy into your company?  And why use slashes instead of and/or, it's annoying/poorgrammar.)

We have a newsletter subscriber  base of 55K, and our audience will be a good fit to promote your  products.(You have an extra space after subscriber.  And if you don't even know my name, how do you know what products I'm selling.  How do you even know I'm selling products?)

Let me know if we could work out some sort of a barter deal  (or) a co-registration deal. I am pretty sure that both our organizations can  benefit immensely from a venture of this nature. Please feel free to reply to  this email. I look forward to hearing from  you.

Smith  - Marketing Associate - eGrabber Inc

Barter?  Look buddy, I take cash, not chickens in payment for my services.  I do agree you can benefit from my services, but maybe an editor or some live person checking your e-mail would be a better first step.  For a company that says they are expert at finding contact information, you've just provided a very poor example of gathering contact information.  I don't know what site or what company you're trying to pitch to, but a little homework upfront would have made a difference.  I do have products to sell, but there's not a chance I'd let you in on it if you take so little care with your e-mail marketing.

Tell you what.  Smith, if that's your real name, if you are reading this, contact me, and we'll talk about changing the piece.  If you were serious about partnering, I would think you at least have an interest in reading the blog.  If not, and Smith is an imaginary name, well, consider us to have an imaginary partnership, and I'll put up an imaginary  banner ad for you. 

Recruiting Tools 2.0 Workshop

I'm going to change the way you recruit, in less than 5 minutes a day.

My new webinar on August 12th is about Recruiting 2.0 Tools.  We're going to surf the world-wide web and repurpose social media tools to use in recruiting.  Calendars, video slideshows, click-to-call sites, and microblogging are all on the menu.  This will be like nothing the recruiting world has ever imagined.

Sign up for 1:30 EST, August 12th at Hireability.

Recruiting 2.0 Tools Workshop:  5 Minutes A Day To Change The Way You Hire

Jim Durbin is an expert in social media who connects companies with results-driven candidates. As a consultant and business owner, Jim has worked with over 40 companies to deliver integrated marketing solutions using blogs, social networks, widgets and video.

In this 90 minute webinar, Jim demonstrates a step by step walk-through of the hottest Web 2.0 applications, including Twitter, FriendFeed, Meebo, YouTube, Flikr, Skype, Jajah, and more.  This is no dry presentation. We’ll show you how to easily manage entire social media campaigns in less than five minutes a day, using free tools that connect you with hundreds of the right prospects in your market.   

Everyone's talking about Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn, but these sites can take a substantial upfront investment to yield results.  In this one of a kind presentation, you’ll learn how to interview candidates over video, create click-to-call job orders, promote positions through microblogging, and build a referral system that requires no maintenance.   The best candidates are getting smarter about looking for work. They're using the power of Web 2.0 to connect with hiring managers and other great candidates, and their personal networks often shun recruiters as unnecessary middleman.  Using specialized knowledge learned in this webinar, you can get to those spaces and identify yourself as a savvy recruiter faster than your competition can post a job on Monster.