Kevin Wheeler: Why Social Networking and Internet Search are Essential

Tips to building a more powerful practice
Thursday, March 13, 2008 | by Kevin Wheeler

I am sitting in Vermont this morning reading a local newspaper with the headline: "Vermont lost 2,000 jobs last year." But the article does not attribute this to the slowing economy; instead, it attributes it to the aging workforce.

Now, Vermont is a tiny state and certainly does not represent most of the United States. Its unemployment rate is low, its workforce a mix of highly skilled professionals and those engaged in farming, forestry, construction, or tourism. But what is noticeable is that this loss of jobs is attributed to demographics.

Andy Condon, chief of the economic and labor market information section of the Vermont Department of Labor says, "We believe it is demographic, that working-age population is beginning to decline in Vermont." He goes on to say that as we come out of this recession, companies "may have a hard time finding workers."

While this may be an isolated example of the impact of an aging workforce on employers, I believe it is validation of the claim that we will face a large shortage of qualified workers because of exiting Baby Boomers and the lack of younger skilled workers to replace them. Of course, many young workers have left Vermont for warmer and more prosperous climates, but this trend underlines the larger issues all organizations, state and governments will be facing over the coming decades.

Social networking offers the beginning of a solution to finding qualified people, no matter where they are, and connecting and communicating with them about opportunities. Social networks give recruiters the channel to market what they have to a broad, global audience.

They give recruiters a chance to develop personal relationships with people they have never seen face-to-face and to learn a great deal about them. Vermont's issue may simply be that people are not aware of what the state offers or what jobs are available. Connected recruiters could make a difference in changing that perspective.

Being proficient at searching for candidates on the Internet also extends your reach and power when it comes to filling those hard-to-fill positions. I have been in discussions recently with recruiting leaders in remote areas of North and South America who are seeking mining engineers, one of the toughest professions to find. Without the Internet, they would not be able to find half enough of these engineers to meet their needs. By using Internet search techniques, they are slowly building talent pools that will continue to grow as they are linked into a private social network.
Connecting Recruiters to Candidates

Some social networks connect recruiters to potential candidates. Examples of these include, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and a host of small emerging networks.'s recently released figures on the number of visitors to social networks show LinkedIn growing by over 700% in one year, Facebook by 77%, and Twitter by more than 4,000%!

Any recruiter faced with building a talent pool will quickly find READ MORE HERE !

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