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May 28, 2009


Jessica Lee

you know... what you're teaching isn't rocket science, i think we can agree to that. however, there are people out there who can't figure it out on their own and need help. if you can capitalize on that, then more power to you and i hope you make a lot of money in the process. maybe peter weddle doesn't understand capitalism. :) keep doing what you're doing!

Chris Hoyt - RecruiterGuy

It's certainly interesting how Weddle has approached the subject. I'd go as far as to say that it's disappointing. He would not however, be the first of recruiters/sourcers to be quick to spew words of frustration or amusement at this "fad" called "social."

I wonder if time will show us a change of heart... as it has done for a few others that come to mind. :-)

Don't be so hard on them. Change is difficult for many. Especially when it's something that they don't entirely understand.

Jon Payne

I don't have much experience in using Facebook or MySpace in professional context - I use those sites mostly for personal social uses...

But Twitter - I use that almost strictly professionally. As with everything this subject "depends" on the details, but lets say you are trying to recruit a web designer, internet marketing person or any sort of grassroots marketer or PR person. Not having an active Twitter account might be a disqualifier for me. Plus, you can set up search alerts that notify you whenever someone posts a Tweet that mentions something like "looking for a new job" and "marketing" or whatever. Building a network is one way to use these sites - but I think that is all Weddle is considering. Shoot I know some people who don't even use their Twitter accounts but do business just by using the search feature to find people talking about a given subject.

Jim Durbin

It's his willingness to use the word SCAM like he did that bothers me.

Them's fightin' words, and rather than address the issue with an honest eye, he immediately jumps to attacks.

His column suggests he either is completely unaware of what is happening online, or he simply doesn't understand the job marketplace has changed, and continues to change faster than he can keep up.

If that's the case, it casts doubt on the value of his services to jobseekers. He's selling a horse and buggy while complaining about hybrids.

Joshua Kahn

Jim, I think your frustrations are well-stated. It struck me as somewhat of an overly inflammatory approach from Mr. Weddle, but I guess thats how he feels.

My feeling is that he's focusing on the wrong thing here. He seems to paint such a black and white picture of what recruiting is, and that socializing isn't part of the recruiters approach. In my mind its one of the biggest thing a recruiter does, connect with talented people from a social standpoint. Your Starbucks example is right on.

I guess to me its all about appropriate use. Twitter is not bad in and of itself. Its about how do you use it, and what do you want to accomplish. Depending on those factors it can be great for recruiting (marketing professionals, software developers, et al) or it can fail miserably (tax professionals). So I'm not sure making a good/bad blanket judgement on a tool is very useful. Much less when applied to the whole of social media or people who train about it.

I'm guessing someone at the conference he was at was probably bashing job boards, Mr. Weddle's stock-in-trade, and perhaps he was riled enough to fire back.

One thing that hopefully comes of this little kerfuffle is some equanimity and clarity. Otherwise we're all just blathering with an agenda.

laurie ruettimann

I'm sorry I missed this and didn't comment sooner. The great scam is that Peter Weddle is out there using social media to propagate a philosophy that hurts job seekers.

The biggest scam? Peter's approach. Totally disingenuous.

Roberto Angulo, AfterCollege


Our data is valid and statistically sound. You can read my summary of our survey and obtain a copy by going to:



Jim Durbin


Your data is based on what college students think, most of who can't get a job.

Could it possibly be that they don't know how to use social networks (despite the myth of experience) to find work, and thus most aren't looking to those networks?

Compare that with a LinkedIn poll where 86% of respondents said they were using social networks to recruit. http://www.linkedin.com/osview/canvas?_ch_page_id=1&_ch_panel_id=1&_ch_app_id=7231830&_applicationId=1900&_ownerId=0&appParams={%22uri%22:%22\/answers\/show\/39699%22}

Your surveys say the most effective is to speak to someone at the company you want to work for. Can you think of a better tool than social networking to contact that person?

That your survey may be correctly administered doesn't mean that it's valid for Peter to use to claim all social media training is a scam.

How exactly do you explain the problem of selection bias. If most of your respondents had great difficulty finding a job, how exactly can we extrapolate meaning from that data and apply it to a national population/

I stand by my comments, and not those of someone selling a report. You've approvingly linked Peter's blogpost about this being a scam because it will help you sell more without addressing what he said or discussing how your study supports his contentions.

Roberto Angulo, AfterCollege

Hi Jim,

Our data is definitely focused on college students and recent graduates. We make this perfectly clear. You are correct, nearly 80% of this audience is unfortunately having a hard time finding work. However, when we looked at the minority who had an easy time finding work, the results remain pretty much the same.

Students are some of the heaviest users of social media. Over 80% of our users are on social networks. Maybe they don't know how to look for a job on social networks, but I doubt it. These guys are pretty savvy. What I agree with you on is that many of these folks are fairly green when it comes to searching for a job period, whether it's by using social media, job sites, or networking. So this should not play into the survey results.

I looked at the LinkedIn report and it makes sense. 86% of recruiters plan to use social networks to recruit. They should, as part of a well-diversified approach. Our survey, on the other hand, is based on job seeker feedback, not employer feedback, and the intent is to provide employers with user feedback to help them in their recruiting strategy.

I don't think social networking training is a scam. On the contrary, I think social networks are valuable and if you're training people on how to use them, I think you provide a valuable service.

My two cents:
-Use social networks, but not as your only strategy (I tell our clients who use AfterCollege the same: definitely use us, but diversify your strategy and measure what works and what doesn't, then reallocate budgets).
-Look at the data. Make decisions based on solid data.

We were looking for data that showed how college students used social networks and what they considered effective for recruiting. We couldn't find any research, so we did our own survey.

We're selling the survey report and also giving it away to our clients and partners at no charge. I'd be happy to give you or anyone participating in this discussion a free copy of the full report. Just email me at rangulo@aftercollege.com and I will send you a PDF.



Jim Durbin


Now we've reached a point of agreement. Your survey makes sense if you're looking to hire college and recent graduates. It's undoubtedly valuable in terms of showing recruiters where recent college graduates are and their expectations of the job search.

It has very little to say about the efficacy or worthiness of social networking in the general population, which is what Peter was using as a data point to claim training is a scam.

We'll have to disagree about the use of social media to get a job - in my work, it's clear that if you lack a skill, social media won't help you. Thus college graduates in general not knowing how to get a job won't be fixed with social media.

That said, a company looking to hire should know what graduates expect, so they can tailor recruiting strategies to generate the best outcome.

My complaint with your survey had nothing to do with your company, but was entirely based on the erroneous conclusions Peter drew from that report. I'll be happy to look at it, but it seems we've come to an agreement.

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