Thursday, March 8

Influencing Industry: Recruiting Animal

If you can get past the moniker, odd assortment of pop culture images, and colorful — sometimes snarky — commentary, you'll find an influential early pioneer in recruiter blogging based in Toronto. Of course, he'd prefer to deny the influential part as the "lack of blog influence" in the recruiting industry was the topic for his first BlogTalkRadio.

Despite denial, however, he continues to attract and influence recruitment bloggers at Recruiting Animal and Recruiting Bloggers, compelling them to take playful beatings on his blogs, and, more recently, compelling several industry blog leaders to participate in an hour-long radio show that asked if recruiter blogging was influential or if they are (recruiter bloggers) just blowing smoke. You can find a somewhat skewed recap of the show Recruiting Radio Shatters Myths or listen to it at the link above (warning: the first 15 minutes of the show includes on-the-job tech training).

Who should listen? Anyone interested in the advancement of social media into the mainstream, especially those public relations professionals who are among the 72.3 percent of public relations professionals who do not have a formal system for monitoring the blogosphere.

The show is one of the reasons I accepted the invitation to participate on Recruiting Bloggers in the first place (there are others). What the recruitment industry seems to lack in corporate communication (several on the show still think transparency is what got Jason Goldberg into trouble, when it is clearly faux transparency that got him into temporary trouble), they make up for in the fact that they've positioned the recruitment industry ahead of several other industries on the merits of social media, including my own.

Of three questions asked, the one that deserves the most attention is "How have blogs become an industry partner (in recruitment)?" You can read responses from Neil Bruce, vice president of alliances for Monster; Russell Glass, vice president of products and marketing for ZoomInfo; John Sumner, CEO of Interbiznet; Matt Martone, recruitment media sales executive at Yahoo!; CM Russel, author of; Steve Levy, principal of Outside-the-Box Consulting; Dave Lefkow, CEO of TalentSpark Consulting; Glenn Gutmacher, senior researcher at Microsoft; and Harry Joiner, executive search recruiter at No Blog, No Sale. In the end, they all seemed to agree that blogs have the potential to have influence in their industry, but it has not happened yet despite the fact there are plenty of success stories where most can hang their hats.

In terms of the recruitment industry, they are almost right. The question is off the mark because it seems to me that blogs are about as influential as a news release, and new releases are not industry partners. More likely, as in any industry, there are influential industry professionals who have taken up blogs as a means of communication. Each, on their own merit, may be influential or not. Some might even gain influence through this medium, but only because they already had the potential to become influential in the industry.

The same can be said of any industry. It is not blogs that are influential, but the authors of those blogs in their respective industries (and some industries are ahead of others in terms of how many leaders are participating). Currently, it seems to me that entertainment gossip, technology, and politics are the leaders (but even political consultants claim blogs are mostly read by insiders and not voters). In fact, you might notice that traditional media is most often likely to turn to these social media niches for stories too.

It seems clear to me, as an outsider looking in, that recruiter blogging is also light years ahead of other industries, not because they are so great as much as it is because they have the semblance of foundation for a niche industry, whereas communication (advertising, marketing, public relations, etc.) seems stranded in debating what recruiting already resolved two years ago. (Besides, communicators keep getting hung up on this idea that applying social media is too much work. Ha!)

Sure, recruiting blogging may not be story sourced by traditional media yet, but that may change in the near future (unless other industries, like communication, manage to mount a rapid pace after they finally get out of the gate). All in all, it's a horse race and the recruiting industry seems to be among the early leaders.

So what is the question? The question is: who will be considered the social media experts of the future? Entertainment gossip aside, it seems to me the snapshot (today, maybe not tomorrow) is tech bloggers, political bloggers, and maybe recruiting bloggers will eventually begin converting their skill sets to focus on communication vehicles beyond their current industry niche. And, unless traditional corporate communication professionals and related communication fields wake up and sharpen their social media game, they will become second tier professionals, working for some of the guys I named above (much like some communication professionals ended up working for IT guys overseeing Web site design).



Rich on 3/14/07, 7:24 PM said...

Famous First Words:

Jim Stroud chats with The Recruiting Animal about his new off-the-wall, rambunctious, confrontational and offbeat radio show via a podcast:

MK on 3/16/07, 5:38 AM said...

Wow, my name in lites!
My reply is here

Rich on 3/16/07, 3:32 PM said...

Hey, you're the man!


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