Recruitment, The Times They Are A-Changin'

Come gather 'round recruiters

Wherever you roam

And admit that the technologies

Around you have grown

And accept it that soon

You'll be tweeting, and not so much working the phone

If your billable return to you

Is worth savin'.

Then you better start social networkn'

Or you'll sink like a stone

For the times they are a-changin'.

Come sourcers and researchers

Who connect on LinkedIn

And cast your referrals wide

The chance to recommend a friend won’t come again

And don't commit Facebook suicide too soon

For the online community is in a spin

And there's no tellin' who

That it's bloggin'.

For the trailblazer now

Will be later to win

For the times they are a-changin'.

Come employers, hiring-managers

Please write on your company’s wall

Don't stifle the chat

Don't block up the hall

For he that gets hurt

Will be he who has stalled

There's a battle outside

And it is ragin'.

It'll soon shake the job boards

And rattle newspaper revenue some more

For the times they are a-changin'.

Come HR managers

Throughout the land

And don't criticize

What you can't understand

Your job seekers and your employees

Are beyond your command

Your old road is

Rapidly agin'.

Please crowdsource

If you can't lend your hand

For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn

The social recruiting curse it is cast

The slow one now

Will later be fast

As the present now

Will later be past

The old advertising order is

Rapidly fadin'.

And the first one now

Will later be last

For the times they are a-changin'.

Views: 171

Comment by Jason Kent Crowell on August 18, 2009 at 5:13pm
yes. Needs the Dylan voice. Nice work, man.
Comment by Bill Boorman on August 18, 2009 at 11:00pm
Paul,
You often talk great sense but you have been tweeting too long. The phone is still the best route to business. Conversation = Compensation. Talk to people. Discover the art of real conversation and enjoy the returns. As an older recruiter it is not neccesary to keep up with the young bucks. We are great bloggers, tweetaholics and SM Gurus.....but mostly we are phone jocks. Don't be seduced. New tools/old rules!
Comment by Paul Jacobs on August 19, 2009 at 1:45am
Thanks for the comments thus far. I feel I should respond with some further lyrics and maybe another song like REM's Man (aka recruiter) on the Moon, for Jerry, but this will suffice for now. I agree that people shouldn't just hop on any bandwagon or space ship, but the lyrics in my mind paint a picture of the current landscape, sentiment and momentum / openness towards using the social web in recruitment. In some corners there is quiet evolution and I believe we are starting to see some early sparks of a revolution within the recruitment industry; harnessing and mashing technologies to facilitate all those things that Bill mentioned - like conversation.

Let’s take this Recruitingblogs community as an example. I may have an opportunity in New Zealand for a recruitment manager to lead our nation’s biggest company or recruitment agency. I may glance at some of your profiles on this site (and possibly look at your profiles on LinkedIn and other platforms), and send you a direct message - we may have some digital dialog and then possibly set up a Skype chat and go from there. I may even tap further into your own networks. All up, I’m leveraging social networking. I’m having a conversation - I’m wanting to establish affinity, rapport and trust. Go to the Ernst & Young Careers page on Facebook - there is conversation - the members on the sidelines are being informed by observing the Q&A around selection processes, criteria, events etc.

Of course we need to be pragmatic and I recognize the value of "the phone", especially in addressing candidate concerns, negotiating, reaching closure etc. In the lyrics I wasn’t implying that you stop using the phone. Many recruiters I know can't use a computer and make a very healthy living from working the phones - they’re good at it. Likewise, I know recruiters who are having lots of success working the social networks, in addition to emailing, SMS/ texting, instant messaging, skype-ing - and yes, they still use the phone. Then again, I know of recruiters who are using the social networks in all the wrong ways - and complain when it doesn’t work for them. For the record, my Second Life avatar, Mr Sonic Caproni connects with job seekers in ways that the phone would never be able to achieve. Many recruiters are cognizant of their audience; a lot of Gen Ys are addicted to texting, but talking into a phone for them can be very foreign. I’m not a big fan of drawing generalizations between Gen Y, X, and baby boomers, but inter-generational differences / considerations do come into play in sourcing, the way we communicate to job seekers, our key messages etc.

I'm reminded of the saying that goes something like this: "If you stand where you always stand, you will be where you always be". If you only rely on the phones then you may be missing out on opportunities to connect with people, more people, and bring in even more candidates and clients. I’m reminded of another saying, “just because you do things one way, doesn’t mean it is the only or best way”. Could a blended approach of “old” and “new” technologies lead to even higher financial returns for a recruiter?

By the way Jerry, I know many recruitment players who have by-passed the Moon and are heading straight for Mars. They’re interested in new frontiers - it’s risky, but could be damn rewarding and adventurous. You never know they may find a pipeline of talented Martians.
Comment by Jerry Albright on August 19, 2009 at 8:24am
Great reply Paul. We are in agreement.

One point though regarding standing where you're always stood. I've watched my former colleagues try to maintain their position this past year or so and they are now out of business. Not one. Or two. Or three. Many. (Half?)

So for those of us still here we have obviously adapted. Heck - we're here on RBC - the most famous S&M site for recruiters in the world!
Comment by Slouch on August 19, 2009 at 8:27am
"The most famous S&M site for recruiters in the world!" I like that Jerry.
Comment by Jerry Albright on August 19, 2009 at 8:33am
Animal and I decided that while many sites are social - and many are media - there are fewer still that combine both. RBC is a very nice blend of S and M.

For us to all lump every single site on the internet as once giant fishbowl of SM shows a clear lack of understanding really.......Like I do not see Linkedin in the same category as Twitter. Do you? So while I say the majority of SM sucks for direct recruiting (candidate and client identification) there are some sites that are excellent.......

Oh. But S & M? Animal's the expert.
Comment by Maureen Sharib on August 19, 2009 at 8:39am
More focus on the business side of things on these networks is what brings the bacon home. No doubt. Phone jocks. I like that. May I use it Bill?
Comment by Gerry Crispin on August 19, 2009 at 11:18am
Nice evolution of this conversation. Happens every time I listen to a Dylan piece...except I'm usually talking to myself. Like the interchange about "If you stand where you always stand, you will be where you always be" To me it is important to note whether anyone can find you. If not, move and do it quickly.

We tend to focus so heavily on the tools we sometimes forget were supposed to be using them to do the right thing by all the stakeholders in our sphere of influence. You can destroy your credibility with your clients and candidates just as easily with the phone as with mobile text messaging...just slower.
Comment by Jerry Albright on August 19, 2009 at 11:23am
Note to Gerry - I would be more than happy to stand squarely where I have been since 1987. Or sit I should say. In the cockpit of my virtual supersonic space machine - scouring the universe for whatever my clients seek wherever they may be hiding - and connecting however they may be reached.......

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