Technically speaking, the ERE groups are in fact blogs and blogs are in fact groups – if you can envision a mobius strip you know what I’m talking about. About one year ago (maybe more), Maureen Sharib began more aggressively pushing her sourcing services (which coincided to her ongoing posts on The Recruiting Edge). Well guess what happened? More work from employers, more comments on our blog, more complaints from group members who weren’t using the groups as a personal marketing device (PMD).But what happened next was more group members subtly selling their services.
Ultimately, the community self-regulated what was acceptable and people stopped complaining. Yet more people became aware of other products and services.
The ERE Feedback groups has also consistently help modify the ERE community…
A few deftly placed blog posts on BountyJobs by yours truly increased recruiter sign up by roughly 50% – and I was being low key because I’m sensitive to sales overload. It’s like trying to find the path of greatest return – you have to poke here, prod there – eventually you find the best way to get the highest rate of blog return. It’s not always necessary to hit the community hard with the first punch.
What instances would you suggest are instructive in terms of the power of viral marketing where recruitment blogs have played a major role?
I remember when Jason Alba emailed me about Heather and his thread on personal branding; it quickly led to mention in other blogs, articles in major newspapers and as Jason can attest, lots of notoriety and interest. The issue is finding a path that taps into the hidden river of need and desire:
Viralness is still very fickle and what is hot one day is cold the next. I once read an interview with Gregg Spiridellis of JibJab who noted that the message needs the right content, it needs the right vehicle for penetration, the technology needs to be able to send out the message faster, and it needs to be seen by a larger and larger audience. Recruiting is still behind the times and needs to associate itself more with marketing to be more effective.
3) What we are looking to highlight is the transition from journal to industry partner, and any perspectives you can share would be helpful.
Bloggers need to be physically seen by their audience. It’s just like recruiting – sure, the Internet can produce names but just like elections are won by shaking hands and kissing babies, bloggers need to be able to touch their audience. I may be a cynic over the Internet but in person I’m really just a sweetheart who cares about our profession and am willing to stick my neck out with my opinions. For instance, I don’t believe anyone in recruiting has been sufficiently vocal about how the government – under the guise of the EEOC and OFCCP – is working against the mission of the profession; rather than rally against inane federal statutes we’ve cowered and have become accepting and excited about “new technology” that “more effectively” accounts for Internet applicants. HR has blindly added layer upon layer of processes in response to these statutes in a way that reminds me of holistic education: “Little Suzie/Bobby, although your grammar is horrible, since you made a good effort at writing, I’m still going to give you an A on your paper.” You can’t be a strategic business partner if you’re going to roll over in a heartbeat. An industry partner needs to stand for the needs of the industry that stands for excellence, not for an industry standing for mediocrity.
Jim’s point about what influence recruiting blogs should have is well taken except for one thing: The categorization of recruiting blogs as those that must have specific qualities different than marketing and PR blogs.
Most recruiting blogs are inherently marketing and PR blogs that reflect orientation of the person or persons doing the writing. In some cases the charisma and other personality characteristics of the writer come through to further brand the blog and in others they’re just bland words on the screen. Dennis “Boo-Boo” Smith has a great marketing and PR blog that just happens to help him recruit people to t-Mobile. He often includes posts from people he finds interesting (uh, like me); in doing so, the reader gains a feel for what Boo-Boo is like and hopefully extends these feelings to t-Mobile. How is this different from marketing and PR where a message is shaped for the audience?
The big issue IMO is attempting to measure the impact on recruiting of a blog like Recruiting.com which is a compendium of posts from companies, vendors, suppliers, and candidates and not just a sole source. In this case I’m wondering if the different posts “cancel” each other out or is there a potentiating effect of the varied opinions and trains of thought that somehow shape the way readers view recruiting?