Click to go to Six Degrees From Dave Home Page

PERSPECTIVES: John Sumser On The Influence of Blogs on the Recruitment Industry

Posted on February 23, 2007
Filed Under Blogging for Employment, Blogging For Talent, Recruitment Industry | 10 Comments

Often when discussing the issue with staffing executives, the issue of Blogging comes up, and it’s a topic of curiosity. The principle question among them being, the “Value Proposition” – “Why do Recruitment Blogs Matter?” As an effort to answer that question, from as broad a perspective as possible, I enlisted industry voices throughout the Recruitment Blogosphere to consider the following questions:

1) What substantive examples exist where blogs have influenced the products vendors develop, or the way products are marketed?
2) What instances would you suggest are instructive in terms of the power of viral marketing where recruitment blogs have played a major role?
3) Can you highlight the transition of the blogosphere from journal to its rise as a formative industry partner?

I am grateful to everyone who took time from their busy schedules to share their passion and insight on a question begging to be answered in unequivocal terms.

By John Sumser, CEO, Interbiznet
Email


A look at the comments on Kevin Wheeler’s latest ERE article is instructive. A fellow who was once a visionary in the field is outdated and appears so. Critics have jumped right up to tell him so. Blogs reduce the distance between “experts” and non-experts. Just check out the increased level of flack that I take each day.

Blogs have accelerated the speed at which information flows in the early adopter front end of the industry. The disconnect is pretty profound. Those who read and participate in blogs are light years ahead of the rest of the industry in terms of technique and results generation. Vendors and analysts alike are struggling to catch up. The gap between early adopters and the rest of the pack has never been so extreme. Most recruiters have no idea what RSS is or how to use it, for example.

You can’t underestimate the impact that Joel Cheesman has had on the industry. He has single-handedly made SEO a common thread (again, in the early adopter set). Both Martin Snyder and Colin Kingsbury have shifted boatloads of their marketing energy into the blog universe. By positioning themselves as thought leaders and participating heavily and effectively in a variety of conversations, they have reengineered their approach to marketing and made their companies vastly more accessible to market input. Martin tends to take the low road and Colin takes the high. This is solid positioning given their market segments. Martin’s tools are for nitty gritty recruiting while Colin serves a more organizational customer.

The give and take between Jason Goldberg and his market is really interesting. While he has taken a bunch of heat on the subject, Jason continues to innovate his product based on blog feedback. He relentlessly demonstrates the tough realities of being a blogger…you fail in public with an audience. But, that’s the essence of increased transparency and intimacy. It’s a vastly different game when you work in front of an audience. It’s even tougher when the hurdle is your level of honesty and authenticity.

Steven Rothberg’smarketing of CollegeRecruiter.com has become solely centered on the blogosphere and his inputs as well as the “BlogSwap”. So far, the history of the Recruitosphere is that good ideas are spawned in one place and then settle somewhere else. Rothberg is doing great things with the Blogswap and simultaneously making a great name for his company.

That’s really the trick here. You have to do something clever that delivers a strong benefit and then tag your aspirations to the back end. Each of the real leaders in the field demonstrate the “give first, take second (if at all)” method of marketing. They are not busy calculating the return on each incremental investment. Rather, they are giving freely with limited expectation of return. These folks will prosper.

Check the work being done by Matt Martone at http://www.jobsearchmarketing.com. He thoroughly utilizes his soapbox to publicly wrestle with his competitors. It’s pretty jazzy for a staid player like Yahoo (Note that in this universe, Yahoo is a staid player) He pokes at the enemy while educating his customers about Yahoo’s very interesting Recruitment offerings. It’s a great model.

Itzbig, the not so secret next offering from Hank Stringer and his band of Austinites has built a stealth brand awareness model through its blog http://www.itzbigblog.com>

Hans Gieskes, CEO of H3 has pioneered the art of influencing key bloggers to deliver his message.

A host of Bloggers have become key industry leaders in startups and well known firms. Their blogs reflect the transitions and demonstrate that professionalism is possible in the blog universe.

The rest of the story involves the (much slower) migration of actual recruiting into the blogs. Part if the issue here is helping people understand how to reach the audience that they need. Very little useful material exists on the subject of building the right traffic to your blog. It’s not really an SEO play. Rather, it involves the sort of traffic development pioneered by Kevin Strange at RecruitmentJobs.com

Ultimately, the competitive value to be gained from a blog will level out and diminish. That always happens. It’s important to remember that this is really about the bloggers, not the blogs. Blogs are tools. Bloggers are where the value comes from.

NOTE: This is the first in a series of perspectives from throughout the Recruitment blogging community to voice their opinions on the substantive value propositions that Recruitment blogs have offered as a stakeholder with influence within the industry.

Comments

10 Responses to “PERSPECTIVES: John Sumser On The Influence of Blogs on the Recruitment Industry”

  1. Article Feed » PERSPECTIVES: John Sumser On The Influence of Blogs on the … on February 23rd, 2007 12:24 pm

    […] Read More Dave Mendoza […]

  2. Martin Snyder on February 23rd, 2007 2:08 pm

    I\’m not sure what the \’low road\’ means sans any example, other than possibly aspiring to some sense of humor and not agreeing with JS from time to time.

    I\’m a fan of Colin\’s writing so I\’m glad to be half of that couplet- although not the lower half (not that there is anything wrong with that)!

    If I wanted to blog as primary marketing tool, I would be linking to our famous customers, announcing product changes, etc.

    \”Low-end\” does not really describe our offerings. Our tools, in fact, are used in large ways by large organizations- but since we don\’t name names, spout nonsensical press releases, and tout every deal we sign, that\’s between them, us, and people in the know. Sumser knows a lot, but he has no idea about our business.

  3. Kangarooster » Blog Archive » Wat doet blogging voor onze industrie on February 24th, 2007 1:05 pm

    […] En nu is er een bevestiging van deze gedachte bij monde van John Sumser. In een uitstekende post over het belang van blogging in de recruitment arena beschrijft John op zijn onnavolgbare wijze de waarde, de beperkingen, de risico’s en de toekomst van blogging in onze industrie. […]

  4. Recruiting Animal on February 26th, 2007 10:26 am

    So, that’s Papa? Where’s Mama?

  5. Jim Durbin on February 26th, 2007 2:42 pm

    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.

  6. “Influence” peddling - is it a crime? » Confessions of an Executive Restaurant Recruiter on March 1st, 2007 1:39 pm

    […] There is an ongoing buzz in the recruiting blogopshere which I think was started by Dave Mendoza with his series of articles on the Influence of Bloggers on the Recruitment Industry…. Quite a few folks have commented on the premise both on their own blogs and on recruiting.com:  Harry Joiner, who write Marketing Headhunter.com, says that no blog equals no sale. Matt Martone of Job | Searchmarketing writes The night the lights went out; an experiment in blogger influence, Martin Snyder of Main Sequence dukes it out with Animal, Jim Durbin of Stlrecruiting.com has give and take on a number of blogs on this topic, Recruiting Animal who has blogs Recruiting Animal and Recruiting Bloggers, seems to make the claim that our community is too small to have much influence. Seems like there is an argument about how our 300 (plus or minus) recruiting focused blogs don’t have much influence in the industry. Heck, there is some question about whether or not my blog even counts as a blog in the recruiting industry, as Recruiting Animal and I have had some tongue-in-cheek dialogue about that in comments on recruiting.com. […]

  7. Greg Paskill on March 8th, 2007 3:05 am

    While blogs do have many beneficial payoffs for recruitment as noted above, far too many in the hiring scene are still very reluctant to actively contribute to the blogosphere. This includes the very candidates some recruiters want with their drive, initiative, communication and leadership capabilities. They are very tech savvy, to the point that they will not always be early adopters. Having been a first mover in other instances, they now choose to see what’ll happen to others who try to sell and market via blogs.

    And while they may not know of Ivan Tribble, they nonetheless hear or read how what one wrote in a blog can and will be used against them during future job searches, passive or active. While Tribble’s piece was aimed at academics watching their steps online, some in the “real world” deliberately don’t blog. And some who choose to read only are still hesitant to say that they obtained their information via a blog, preferring instead to cite a newspaper, Web site, or other more authoritative source especially as managers themselves. (Ivan Tribble was the pseudonym of a professor who wrote a highly controversial piece entitled “Bloggers Need Not Apply”, at http://chronicle.com/jobs/2005/07/2005070801c.htm )

  8. Six Degrees From Dave - Recruitment Blog Networking for Passive Candidates - Dave Mendoza on March 8th, 2007 4:11 pm

    […] There is an ongoing buzz in the recruiting blogopshere which I think was started by Dave Mendoza with his series of articles on the Influence of Bloggers on the Recruitment Industry;. Quite a few folks have commented on the premise both on their own blogs and on recruiting.com:  Harry Joiner, who write Marketing Headhunter.com, says that no blog equals no sale. Matt Martone of Job | Searchmarketing writes The night the lights went out; an experiment in blogger influence, Martin Snyder of Main Sequence dukes it out with Animal, Jim Durbin of Stlrecruiting.com has give and take on a number of blogs on this topic, Recruiting Animal who has blogs Recruiting Animal and Recruiting Bloggers, seems to make the claim that our community is too small to have much influence. Seems like there is an argument about how our 300 (plus or minus) recruiting focused blogs don’t have much influence in the industry. Heck, there is some question about whether or not my blog even counts as a blog in the recruiting industry, as Recruiting Animal and I have had some tongue-in-cheek dialogue about that in comments on recruiting.com. […]

  9. Recruiting Bloggers.com on March 20th, 2007 8:35 pm

    Craig Silverman’s Three Card Monte…

    Praises Jay-Dee then slams Recruiting.com. [I look at Recruiting.com and] what I see is a great group of excellent bloggers who are creative and interesting but I’m not sure of what that does to help the average recruiter out there to be more successf…

  10. Wat doet blogging voor onze industrie | RecruitmentMatters on December 1st, 2007 4:43 am

    […] nu is er een bevestiging van deze gedachte bij monde van John Sumser. In een uitstekende post over het belang van blogging in de recruitment arena beschrijft John op zijn onnavolgbare wijze de waarde, de beperkingen, de […]