Sunday, January 11, 2009

Recruiting Branding & Sourcing

Issue 1 of 3

Everywhere I turn, I keep hearing that in todays business climate, you have to build relationships with clients and customers to gain their trust and their business. Really? Was there a time when we didn’t have to worry about building relationships with our business partners? If this is a novel concept to you, you’ve probably already missed the boat. If it’s not in your DNA to care about those you sell to or service don’t bother trying to fake it. Your transparent lack of caring will surface whether you like it or not, so keep selling those encyclopedias and worry about the next customer another time. In my opinion, it’s always been about building long lasting relationships, demonstrating that your concern for clients and customers reaches well beyond the paycheck you receive for services rendered.

Through recent social networking platforms, building relationships with professionals has never been so easy. Whether you engage in sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter to name a few, our networks are growing by leaps and bounds. Spammers need not apply. Often times we begin a relationship on line before taking it to the next level off line and in person. How does this all relate to the recruiting industry?


Where is the recruiting industry headed and how should we prepare to succeed in it? One of the most respected publications in the recruiting industry is In an article written by Dr. John Sullivan (well known thought leader in HR) he discusses, 13 Trends In Corporate Recruiting for 2009. They are as follows:

· Update employment branding
· Reinvigorating referral programs
· Renewing the focus on quality hire
· Reinforcing the business case for recruiting
· Utilizing social networks
· Utilizing video
· Upgrading succession planning
· Using employee blogs for recruiting
· Using mobile-phone recruiting
· Using a CRM model for recruiting
· Hiring innovators
· Recruiting globally

While I plan on discussing many of these trends in future articles, for the purposes of this blog, I will tackle utilizing social networks in the recruiting industry and how they can effectively be used to help with personal branding and candidate sourcing. While I was not the first to utilize social networking in the recruiting industry I have been a huge advocate for how the two can intertwine.


No matter what industry you work in, we all want to be thought of as experts in our field and respected among our peers. There are many ways we can accomplish our goals however it takes time, effort, and dedication to our craft before we can be considered the ‘go to’ professional. LinkedIn is a great site to start the branding process through various features including testimonials, slide share presentations, group discussions, blog links, and much much more. I have found that helping others by answering questions is a great place to start. Having the knowledge and sharing with others is always a great way to establish your personal brand, but that alone is not enough. Real production, success stories, monetizing your business has to be a part of building a positive brand. There has to be substance, not just sizzle.

One of the fastest growing micro-blogging sites is twitter. In an article written by Adam Ostrow , Editor-in-Chief of Mashable Twitter is Growing Like Crazy: Up 422% in 12 Months. While it's highly unlikely growth like that will sustain, there is much to learn about where professionals are choosing to spend at least part of their day. The key is recognizing that every time we speak, write, and share with others we open ourselves up to observation and criticism. Mike Lipkin is one of my favorite motivational speakers and hits the mark when describing the need to build preeminence one conversation at a time.


What is so wonderful about networking is that every encounter, every conversation, and every introduction enriches our knowledge and deepens our network. I am constantly looking for talented, successful professionals for my clients and typically find them in the most unusual places. Most often, the candidates I find for my clients were not looking for new employment. Candidate sourcing is often reactive meaning they find me as opposed to me reaching out to them. With our current struggling economy you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting someone looking for work. The key to effective candidate sourcing is creating a sourcing strategy, then implementing that strategy.

I often spend time on twitter to both develop my personal brand as an expert in the recruiting industry but also to scope out prospective candidates. I’m reading blogs, engaging in conversation, and testing the waters to determine which professionals to pursue. Facebook has become a bigger player in candidate sourcing of late with its popularity and includes a combination of features some recruiters use to source. Most of these networking sites include profiles, work samples, testimonials, and more which are a recruiters dream.

For those recruiters reading this blog I ask you this question: What are you doing to build your personal brand and source candidates? We can all learn from one another.

1 comment:

  1. My promises in 2009-

    I will incease my writing frequency and improve my writing overall.

    I will not comment on my own posts. Had to kick it off.