The new job-search methodology for employers is everyone is a potential employee, if and only if employers can find you on the Internet. No longer is recruitment at the employer level focused on professionals who are actively seeking work. Applicants do not matter as much anymore; the race is on by employers to find and identify the right candidates. Will you be a proactive candidate by developing a strong ProfessionaliBrand, or will you rely on being an applicant?
Just a few years ago the great advantages headhunters had over employers was their access to professionals who were hard to come by, the so-called “passive candidate” who was employed and not actively searching for work. Now most employers have replaced their dependence on, or limited their need for, headhunters by having access to a large pool of proactive candidates that they can tap into directly with sophisticated search tools, active social media strategies, and referral reward programs, as well as sophisticated data capture and analysis tools. The competencies of the new recruiter in the Recruiting 3.0 world include the ability to use sophisticated tools and strategies to uncover the best candidates through social networking and search as well as promote his company’s recruiting brand to specific target communities of professionals. Employers need to develop their own recruiting brands just as professionals need to develop their own ProfessionaliBrand.
Fortune 500 companies are realizing the potential of Recruiting 3.0 in a big way and are integrating social media, networking, and referral tools combined with reward systems into their recruiting strategy. Case in point is MeshHire. Here is how this service geared to employers describes its service on their Website: “MeshHire is a cloud-based referral recruiting and marketing platform designed to help recruiters and human resources professionals create and manage their Talent Referral Network across social networking Websites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. MeshHire serves worldwide customers from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, providing the most comprehensive social and referral recruitment solution in the industry.”
Services like MeshHire are truly changing the landscape of recruiting. Recruiting 3.0 has truly arrived. When you analyze Sarah E. Needleman’s Wall Street Journal article “Recruiting 3.0: Web Advances Change the Landscape, you clearly come to the conclusion that Recruiting 3.0 was only in its infancy in 2008. Recruiting 3.0 has matured and is a force that has to be recognized by professionals because it combines the power of numerous channels including the Web, e-mail, social networking, blogs, audio, podcasting, video, live streaming, video conferencing and video interviewing, broadcasting, social media data management and mining, online referral reward systems, and the power of stealth tracking and the power of search to complete the 3.0 recruiting stew. It should be noted that the information employers garner from these channels as well as the connections they make online are the precursors to an employer taking the relationship offline and meeting with you. Even this step of meeting with potential employees is beginning to be relegated more and more to video interviews. Most eye-opening, however, is that some employee–employer relationships are truly happening virtually.
Work interactions are happening in a truly virtual world such as Second Life where IBM workers interface as Avatars. Even interviews are being conducted “Avatar to Avatar,” as reported in the Wall Street Journal, such that company Avatar representatives (from Microsoft, Verizon, and others) are interviewing Avatar candidates for jobs in real space (sounds weird to have to say “real space” to identify terra firma). To avoid being left behind, you need to accept that job search has come a long way from simply attaching your resume to an e-mail and sending it out. Okay, maybe Second Life was or is a bit ahead of its time and Avatar interviews are not catching on, but the fact that employers are experimenting with all types of new technologies just means that they will continue to do so, and you must be able to differentiate between what is a fad and what is a trend and take the necessary action. Some of the best jobs in the world may no longer be available to you unless you embrace becoming a Recruiting 3.0–friendly candidate through ProfessionaliBranding.