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Glenn Gutmacher’s “How to Make a Kick-Butt Recruiting Blog Portal”

Posted on December 26, 2006
Filed Under Blogging For Talent, Branding | 1 Comment

By Glenn Gutmacher, Master Cybersleuth

  • Read Glenn’s Linkedin Profile
  • Website
  • Zoe’s post on JobSyntax about whether job postings on blogs distract Job Seekers, especially given that most of these postings are generic feeds (at best filtered by “category,” whatever that means). It inspired my following take on the issue of what a recruiting blog should be.

    If you want to stand out from the crowd and develop a loyal following, I think you have to go as close as possible to one or the other of the following extremes:

    1) Pure, clean blog: Just your postings, and ideally, just your own original thoughts, not repostings/links which is what Shally accurately described as the noise that turns most thinking people off to the blogosphere. Stick with it, and people who matter will come to find and appreciate you.

    Conversely, bloggers who add any content other than their own probably secretly wish to have a portal, not just a blog. That would potentially attract more visitors (jobseekers and otherwise), so I understand the motivation. But if you’re leaning that way, then do it right as a…

    2) Blog-portal: If you’re an employer, you’re already investing in a career website. If you’re independent, I understand you may want to make money (or even a living!) from blogging. It’s possible, but I couldn’t sleep at night if I were doing it the way some are (i.e., backroom entrepreneurs who hire SEO gurus to create hundreds of vanity sites with autogenerated, repurposed content into some semblance of a targeted category and everything links to contextual ads and products sold with affiliate codes). I think the recruiting blog-portal (I didn’t make up this term) is a term not properly used – currently refers to any amalgamation of blogs related to employment – and needs to go much deeper than what I’ve seen.

    How it can be done well is to craft a truly useful portal that contains:

  • Super-targeted job posting feeds: with really tight search criteria against SimplyHired or another job aggregator allowing advanced targeting, and turning that URL into a feed on your own site. For example, Keith Halperin posts his recruiting researcher (“sourcer”) job search strings using this very method to various recruiter mailing lists. (I wish he didn’t repeat the same ones every month, but still a nice gesture on his part.) This can be useful content. I know this seems like heresy because those feeds will inevitably include job postings from your competitors, but I’m telling you, your credibility, traffic, good PR and other gains (quality applicants!) will more than make up for it.
  • Semi-automated news headline feeds: Again, it has to be really targeted (the pre-built Moreover categories don’t cut it). Even then, some garbage will creep in, so it’d be better if it were someone passionate about the subject matter who reviews feeds and then filters what gets posted.
  • Group blogs: What we’re really talking about are article-quality contributions. (Joel Cheesman has the right idea.) You need rotating contributors who all do quality posts so that every day there’s something new that’s really worthwhile (i.e., minimum of 7 so each author’s burden is only weekly). Anyone whose quality slips (up to you how to measure) is booted after one warning.
  • Promotional content: Anyone tempted to write a promotional post (we realize good bloggers are also invited to appear at conferences, etc.) puts it in a separate section for that purpose, but some of it can be reused as follows…
  • Industry calendar: Have a targeted events listing where each item is annotated so the reader knows why it’s important to them. It’s ok to mix in the event listings from the previous bullet.
  • Employer info: We realize you’re ultimately trying to get people to apply for jobs with you, or at least have enough goodwill/awareness about you that they’ll proactively share your info with others who may be looking for a job change in your space. Do what employers do, but make sure it’s got buzzworthy content, too, that people will want to read and share (e.g., true, insightful day-in-the-life profiles of workers like what I created for Getronics way back when).
  • Anything else that’s relevant: If your target audience is technical, then give them technical content to help them earn the certifications they need, or to learn about the latest tools (ok to include links to other sites in these cases, but have your own employees – ideally experts in the space / people in the hiring group who know this stuff first-hand, provide annotated links – it’s unique and compelling because it’s more personal and authoritative). You get the idea.

    When you provide a greater range of content of interest, you increase the chance you can touch someone, then you have the potential to draw them in further to other parts of your blog-portal, and ultimately apply to and/or refer opportunities.

    Ultimately, blogs, jobs and anything else that supports the desired employer brand will become integrated with corporate websites. Third party sites trying to get a share of the job market will do the same.

    Do you know any companies doing portals this way? Did I miss anything? Am open to your suggestions.

    –Glenn Gutmacher

    P.S. On the last bullet about your own employees in the target group providing content, you can use pseudonyms to discourage poaching (e.g., anyone asking for columnist “Clyde Jones” immediately gets transferred to HR/Legal) but this does go a bit against the genuine feel you should be striving for. I’m ambivalent on this one.

    NOTE: Visit Glenn’s site, Recruiting Online for the latest Internet sourcing methods & other recruiting insights


    One Response to “Glenn Gutmacher’s “How to Make a Kick-Butt Recruiting Blog Portal””

    1. Glenn Gutmacher on December 28th, 2006 11:26 am

      Thanks for sharing my post with your audience, El Dave. I have received a few comments to date on this, and I will respond on my own blog & I may have hit a nerve.