I've been writing StlRecruiting.com as a local recruiting blog since 2004, and in that time, the explosion of online recruitment blogs has been a wonder to behold. It was difficult in the beginning, but as industry conference leaders like ERExpo and Kennedy Expo put us on panels, and with people like John Sumser flogging the ideas, we built a name for blogging in online employment.
What set that early group of writers apart was our recruiting experience. Jason, Anthony, Animal, Harry, and Dennis were all practicing recruiters who saw a gap in the reporting. We stepped in, in traditional blogging fashion, and gave our expertise to that niche.
That's the way blogging and social media work. When an industry fails to accurately provide real-time information to its members, someone steps up and makes a name for themself. That success led the Recruiting Blogosphere to be an early success story in social media. We were way ahead of corporate America, and ahead of PR, Marketing, Customer Service, while holding our own with IT.
But then something happened. The community fell apart, as each of us went our separate ways and focused on our own businesses. It was inevitable, but ironically, the success of Recruiting.com led to a devolution in the online recruiting world. The logical next step was for the national community to splinter off into more local communities, as recruiters focused on hires they could make in their own markets.
That is happening, but it's not getting the attention it deserves. Rob Neelbauer in D.C., and Paul DeBettignies and gang up in Minneapolis, are doing great things locally. Jason Davis and his RecruitingBlogs.com lead the way to Recruitfest in Toronto. The Recruiting Roadshow is a great unconference that takes the message of social networking local. These are worthy causes, but the majority of the online employment space isn't covering these events.
The purpose of recruiting blogging, which is to hire more people, simply isn't occurring in any meaningful way nationally. Instead, we have a series of sites competing to be the next Recruiting.com, or ERE.net, or Fordyce Letter. There's nothing wrong with these sites gaining traction, but they are once again leaving a niche open. The top blogs and the top websites are now media organs, passing along information about recruiting technology, conferences, and new products. Where are the recruiters? Where are the people using social media tools to do more HIRING?
What's the number one complaint of recruiters who aren't in the super secret blogging cabal?
It seems like you guys are just talking to each other. Is anyone doing any real recruiting?
Now I'm not pointing out any motes in your eye. There's a log in my own the size of, well, it's large, and there's no doubt that I dropped the recruiting mantle for two years to focus on my marketing business. But since returning, what I see is a lot of people chasing the social media dream, but not a lot of people focused on making social media relevant to the average recruiter. The ROI of social media should be more hires, better hires, and easier hires.
Nothing else matters to a recruiter. Friends on Twitter, Facebook profiles, and podcasts should be tools, not destinations. And so to close the gap, I'm working on a project that will train recruiters on specific social media tools. No fluff. No cool theories. Just my experience in using social media to recruit.
For all of the us, the task is clear. If we're going to talk about social media, we need to be involved in helping recruiters hire more people. It's the metric that matters most, more valuable than page views, advertising dollars, and even conference speeches.
What are you doing to help recruiters hire more people?