This profile is one in a series titled Monday Member Showcase. It was originally published on RecruitingBlogs.com, a recruiting and HR community, where I am a featured contributor. To read the whole series please click here
• Barbara Ling, Author of RiseTrends, “All Around Deity of Internet Smart Moves” in addition to Trainer, Dog Trainer, Karate bundle of ferocity
• Location: Monmouth, NJ
• RecruitingBlogs Profile
• Company Website
• Personal Blog
• Community Volunteering: Unofficial photographer for dojo/high school band
• Personal Causes: Animal Rescue
• Office Number: I don’t do phones – I do skype. Barbara.ling
• Personal Email
Barbara Ling is a "Deity of Internet Smart Moves" She has been both an Entrepreneur and Internet recruiting pioneer since 1997. She was one of the original Master Trainers of demystifying online recruiting. She has since extended that concept to teaching individuals how to become an authority in their niche (Income Fitness).
Barbara is an author of over 25 books and ebooks on entrepreneuring, Internet recruiting, marketing and business. She was spotlighted by Microsoft Corporation as the Small Business of the Month.
*Over-delivering is her trademark!* She offers free resources like those found at her Virtual Coach Income Fitness Community at http://www.virtual-coach.com/forums/forums.php
Q & A with Barbara Ling
Six Degrees: Tell us of your home world.
I’ve been married now for 16 years to the most wonderful man on the face of the planet, and have plethora of kids that range from the ages of 13-going-on-18 down to 6. Additionally, the Ling Clan hosts 2 mooses (okay, moose-sized doggies) and 12 Twitter Budgies – you can read more at http://www.squidoo.com/barbaraling
If you were to consider one key word to describe my family, it would be “character-building.” I always view any problems encountered in life as misunderstood opportunities that are craving to teach us something, and instill that view in my family as well.
Six Degrees: What do you do for personal fulfillment
Gosh, where to start? During my venerable lifespan, I’ve dabbled and/or mastered:
• Stained glass design
• Telephone insulator collection
• Computer hacking/security
• Dog training
• Teaching kids to read
• Playing the trumpet
• Hustling kids in video games (okay, that was in college )
• Twitter Budgie Mastering
• Video making and parakeet humor
-- among other things! When I was 14 years old, I was a professional comedy dog trainer and visited many nursing homes and hospitals across NJ. My doggie back then was a German Shepherd/Collie mutt, and we specialized in bringing smiles to people who otherwise led a very depressing life indeed.
And would you believe, I’m one belt away from earning my black belt in Gojuryu karate? It’s true – right after the Virginia Tech Massacre, I realized that while I might have taught my children everything about academics, their education was sorely lacking in street smarts/get-out-of-the-way abilities etc. So I signed up my entire family for karate and we’ve been progressing together ever since.
Six Degrees: How many years have you been in the staffing industry?
Teaching/training-wise, since 1997, when I started generating high SEO for local recruiters, Recruiters Online and teaching recruiters how to find quality resumes for free on the Internet.
Prior to that, however, I also dealt with recruiters on the other end (as I was a consultant to Bell Labs and AT&T after taking the buyout package in 1995).
Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?
It was a stark and dormy knight. I started as a recruiter back in 1997 (prior to teaching) when a local NJ recruiting company asked me to help them quality local techie folk for places like AT&T and Bell Labs. I quickly realized that I far more enjoyed the thrill of the hunt rather than using a (gasp!) phone to talk with candidates, so I started focusing my skills in the training/SEO area entirely.
The owner of this particular company was good friends with my husband, and he had heard that I was a wizard with Unix and security. At that time, he was LOOKING for people with my skills, and asked just how I would go about finding them.
The rest, as one would say, is a most magnificent history lesson indeed.
Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?
Achieving an 8-fold increase in the SEO visibility of Recruiters Online at http://www.recruitersonline.com
You have to remember, I started building webpages back when Mosaic was released (ie, Netscape Version 1.0). Here’s a fun fact – did you know that back then, if an image was included in a webpage that DIDN’T exist, the browser would STOP loading until you acknowledged this horrible omission? It made for humongous, long-loading pages back then, I’ll tell you that.
Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?
But of course – Bill Vick, the undisputed sage of everything recruiting online. Bob Larson has also been inspirational to me too.
I remember first meeting Bill back in 1998 – he was visiting NJ for the NJ Staffing association meeting. A dynamically brilliant guy, he ended up securing my services for providing SEO to Recruiters Online. Funny thing too – the next year, I was speaking at that convention. I will never will forget that.
Six Degrees: Tell us about the “Barbara Ling” engine – tell us what those pistons are churning out on a daily basis!
Nowadays, I’m a powerhouse of one (count ‘em, one!) and focus on teaching people how to use the Internet to their best advantage (recruiters, business folk, career peoples, etc.).
I am responsible for everything regarding my brand – writing my products, designing the copy, setting up the websites, generating the high SEO, supporting my customers, and the like.
This is one of the reasons why I’m always up and about at 3am; it’s the best time to simply get things done WITHOUT having to deal with a passel of kids, 12 chirping Twitter Budgies and 2 mooses to boot.
Six Degrees: (A) What other companies' recruiting operations do you admire or have heard are best-practice examples?
Maureen Sharib, Jim Stroud and Shally.
(B) In what aspects are they superior?
Maureen embraces the phone (something I can NEVER do). Jim is a master at podcasting and getting the word out… and Shally, well, he’s SHALLY. And when you’ve said that, you’ve said it all.
Six Degrees: Tell us about your broader involvement within the staffing industry:
I offer help via my blog and forums at http://www.virtual-coach.com/forums/forums.php
I’ll also lend a hand when colleagues ask for assistance regarding their web design or how to find candidates online. Nowadays, I’ve broadened my focus to embrace the small business niche as a whole. I’ve learned that no matter in WHAT business you might have online…..some things will never change (the need for quality customer care, how to design an effective website, where to go for help online, etc.).
Six Degrees: Can you detail how the recession has affected your particular industry niche?
For me, it generally hasn’t – people STILL want to be profitable online. But! For my recruiting customers - I’ve noticed quite the shift indeed. Many recruiters have abandoned the field in hopes of finding more profitable venues and are more open to different lines of work. The big-billers, of course, know how to weather the storm, but for others…the field was rapidly depleted of the individuals who weren’t in it for the long haul. Unemployment has become rampant, and yet at the same time, individuals are even more leery about where they spend what they still have. Thus, even recruiters who tried becoming job coaches instead found difficulty in employment as well.
Six Degrees: Aside from simply the generic term “Networking” what specific efforts have you made on your own behalf, or on behalf of colleagues to broaden your opportunities.
I’ve been branding both my name and my sites now on Twitter, Facebook and other social networking platforms quite prominently. I use resources like Ping.fm and Social Oomph to get the word out. Not only that – because forums are great communities, I started my own at http://www.virtual-coach.com/forums/forums.php
. To do that, I had to teach myself how to run the entire exciting thingee – that was character-building in the extreme! But I always say, “Fear is the main thing that prevents success” And I refuse to let such a damaging emotion sideline my efforts.
Now, back when I was heavily involved in teaching recruiters, I would frequent sites like http://www.ere.net
and the various Ning groups as well. I find those resources to be stellar in assisting recruiters to maximize their bottom line; http://www.recruitingblogs.com
are two excellent current-day resources too.
Six Degrees: Given your own Trial and Error experiences as a Networker, what advice do you have for your peers on what NOT to do?
Got a couple of years? Here are some of the top tips I can offer:
• Do NOT spam your blog for SEO.
• Do NOT promote your C++ job opportunities to hard-core sys admins (I still get offers for that!)
• Do NOT write anything that you’d be ashamed your children found out
• Do NOT be arrogant online, but DO be confident
• NEVER apologize for your own personal greatness
• Do NOT EVER talk bad about your competitors. Compare and contrast instead.
• Showcase WHY you’re the recruiter of choice – walk the walk you talk.
Remember, it’s NOT enough for you to just make the placement. Theoretically, ANYONE can “make a placement”…but that’s a single, short-term goal indeed!
You want the candidate to RECOMMEND you to THEIR friends as well. If you choose to get known for your superior customer service (read – you SOLVE potential candidate issues instead of treating them like a commission check), your reputation will spread like wildfire in a GOOD way; the candidates will do your marketing for you!
Six Degrees: What is your next career goal? What do you need to do to get there?
I’m shooting for Empress of the Galaxy but will be willing to accept “All Around Deity of Internet Smart Moves” , in other words, the ultimate AADISM.
I plan on becoming THE authority of choice when it comes to maximizing one’s business profits online. Recruiting, after all, is a customer service adventure – it should be hands on from the beginning to the end. And the Internet allows anyone to showcase themselves as THE recruiter of choice; it’s simply a matter of taking advantage of what’s out there an seamlessly adding it to your business online.