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JAMES DURBIN On “Recruitment Blogs As Industry Influencer”

Posted on March 13, 2007
Filed Under Blogging Influentials, James Durbin | 3 Comments

Voices from the Recruitment Blogosphere

By James Durbin
Durbin Media

Recently, Glenn Gutmacher, Microsoft Guru answered Recruiting Animal critique on Recruitment Blog Influence:

“I think the recruiting blogosphere is an important influencer, but it’s indirect: They influence the thought leaders who get disproportionate mindshare, and in turn, influence change.”

That actually is the function of the blogs in other parts of the blogosphere. The top 10% of a community is known as the influentials, and in politics, media, and marketing, the top 10% read blogs.

The question is whether this is true in the recruiting business. I don’t think the top billers read blogs, but the top corporate recruiters do.

We are small potatoes in terms of other markets, but as John points out, it is the bloggers that make a difference, not the blogs.

Blogs as a group break down hierarchies – which means their first effect will be in national conversations tracked by search engines.

In our industry, the real value is at the local level, as employers and employees begin to share information that actually leads to hiring.

But that’s not nearly as interesting to report on as viral marketing campaigns.

John Sumser hits it right on the head. The key is the bloggers themselves, not the different blogs. Blogs help people focus their creativity on their jobs, asking the questions about what can be done better. This is the function of all employees, but bloggers have the advantage because they are forced to think about their jobs to write about it.

Blog community influence Upon Products Vendors Develop & Market:

Southwest Airlines took to their blog to discuss their policy of open seating on flights – this was on the nutz for southwest blog, and the CEO asked the question on who should they move to assigned seats or whether to continue open seating. Blogs have also played a major role in software like feedburner, technorati, and a couple of hundred of web 2.0 technologies.

Other ways to measure blog ROI –

Blog Ads worked for Audi to drive traffic –

The power of viral marketing where recruitment blogs have played a major role:

I don’t know where recruitment blogs have played a role that big – certainly for Hirevue, WetJello, Jobster, The Ladders, Joel Cheesman, Harry Joiner the Marketing Headhunter, Microsoft’s change in recruiting and retention, the success of and my own metamorphisis into a blog consultant are all examples.

Bad examples are Sony’s fake blogging – and Walmart’s PR mistakes – but at least Walmart is trying

Blogs – The transition from journal to industry partner:

I think the best example of this is that blogs are taken seriously at all. Tech Crunch went from a review blog to a monster presence for website reviews, and pulls in a couple hundred thousand in ad revenue a month. The Wall Street Journal, NY Times, and Washington Post, as well as every local newspaper and trade magazine cites blogs and often has blogs. The fact that you are even having this conversation shows that blogs are in the social conscience.

• Blogs helped Howard Dean gain notoriety, and now he’s the DNC chair – they helped break the CBS Fake Memo Story, a huge accomplishment that brought down Dan Rather and affected the presidential election. That’s no small feat.
• In marketing – these types of events are smaller, but business blogging has only been around a year.
• Marriott, GM, Boeing, Microsoft, Sun, McDonald’s, IBM, and a host of other companies are trying to figure out how to use blogs, while small businesses from BBQ restaurants to handmade jewelry e-commerce stores are using blogs to boost their sales.

For recruitment, this progress has been slow, but the number of recruitment blogs has doubled in the last year, and they are panels at the ERE, ONREC and Kennedy conferences – and they will be at SHRM, soon, if they are not already. It’s just not there yet for corporate recruitment blogging – with the exception of Heather Hamilton at Microsoft, Dennis Smith at T-Mobile, and Adam at Honeywell. It doesn’t seem to be catching on, because there isn’t enough experience on how to use blogs to recruit (right now it’s Durbin Media, Job Syntax, and Exceler8ion – everyone else is still suspect).

Recruiting Animal’s contrarian views on this topic are right in that recruiting blogs are not hitting their potential, but to the extent he’s magnified them, he’s being unfair.

• Recruiting blogs are supposed to help hire people and provide valuable information to recruiters, HR, and candidates.
• Marketing Blogs are supposed to have an effect on branding, marketing, advertising
• PR Blogs are supposed to have an effect on message.

He’s judging recruiting blogs by the wrong standards. Do we have an effect on our target industry? Ask the Bloggers and their audiences themselves.

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3 Responses to “JAMES DURBIN On “Recruitment Blogs As Industry Influencer””

  1. Jim Durbin on March 13th, 2007 1:30 pm

    Thanks Dave – but next time let me know this is getting posted – and I’ll be happy to check it for typos.

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