Today’s Guest …
CEO, TalentSpark Consulting
Dave Lefkow recently left his position as Vice President, Professional Services at Jobster to initiate his own consulting practice, “TalentSpark.” His firm will reflect the vibrant message Dave has been evangelizing throughout his “A” player career, “Do you have the right employment value proposition to attract and retain the radical innovators who can take your business to the next level?” He has been a leading voice throughout the recruitment industry, as evidenced in his series of articles at ERE, and as a source of reference within the blogosphere for his expertise in the use of technology and creativity to help companies gain a competitive advantage for talent.
Today, Dave shares his perspectives on the Influence of the recruitment blogosphere as a platform for innovation.
1) What substantive **examples** exist where blogs have influenced the products vendors develop, or the way products are marketed, etc?
I would argue that John Sumser’s Electronic Recruiting News is, in a way, the first example in the recruiting industry of a blog – which is ironic because the term blog didn’t exist when he started writing it. There’s one author (not a requirement for a blog, but usually the case), his writings are often stream of consciousness and he uses his site to create a two-way dialogue in the industry by highlighting and discussing some of the responses he receives (although I wish he’d allow comments and let the fireworks fly). For anyone that doesn’t know John’s work, he’s had an enormous influence on everything from products that have been developed and innovations in the online recruiting space to emerging forms of communication and how new technologies could apply to the recruiting industry.
From my own perspective, having a bloghas introduced me to dozens of new people around he world, some of which have been very useful in my business dealings, especially now that I have a technology and strategy consulting practice (talentspark). The number of people in random locations that say “I read your blog all the time!” really surprises me. It’s not only flattering, but it also helps you connect with people on a deeper level than you could in a passing conversation.
2) What instances would you suggest are instructive in terms of the power of viral marketing where recruitment blogs have played a major role?
Viral marketing sounds like some kind of disease you’d get in business school, but it’s really a great way to get the word out about a product or service in almost any industry. Books like The Tipping Point, Crossing the Chasm and Creating Customer Evangelists demonstrate the power of developing relationships with and support from influencers, and bloggers are increasingly influential in the recruiting space, particularly among early adopters. Any new company entering the recruiting space would be wise to engage with this audience, as each blog is not just one connection point, but a series of them.
3) How do you perceive transition of recruitment blogs from its origins as a personalized journal to that of industry influential?
I fear that blogs are at times a bit too isolationist or even elitist in some ways. It’s great to have a small, loyal following of readers, but there’s also nothing wrong with providing a set of information or having a dialogue that thousands of others can follow, comprehend and participate in. You can still be one of the cool kids without making other people who don’t have your level of experience or share your viewpoint feel small – check your ego at the door, please.
NOTE: If you are interested in building an innovation culture within your staffing organization, and developing domain expertise to to invest in the talent management industry, Dave Leftkow’s consulting firm, TalentSpark, should be on your speed dial to seek guidance on how best to creatively use technology to gain a competitive advantage for top talent.