OK, so I'm not the most online literate recruiter but neither am I the worst. I am a successful recruiter though; so I must be doing something right non? For what it's worth here are my top 7 must-use online tools that I use day-in-day-out. I'd love people to suggest others that I might use instead or as well and I think my habits could probably be transferable to other professions; so I hope it has some resonance beyond recruiting:
Linkedin (the big blue obvious one): If there's a recruiter out there that isn't one of the 150m members of Linkedin I'd be surprised (in fact sometimes I think there are probably 149m recruiters on there and just 1m "real" professionals but that's for another blog). There is loads of advice on how recruiters should use the site to maximum effect so I won't repeat here (Undercover Recruiter and Bill Boorman are good places to start) but I would advise any recruiters on there to be 1) Courteous 2) Reciprocal 3) Interesting otherwise you're just using it like a large online database and missing its real power and influence (and you're a recruitment bore)
Twitter (because it's fast and fun): I've not yet used Twitter to source for talent but I know some do and that day may come. Instead I use my tweets to add to my personal brand. So this means a mixture of interesting news items that are worth sharing to show that I'm in touch with my sectors; some banter and interaction with my recruiting community so that I can keep up to date with industry changes, new methods and tools etc; a job posting now and then to show what I do and attract the talent my clients need; and lastly a bit of personal stuff to prove I've got a life (I hope)
Buffer (because I have a day job): I'm sorry if you think that I'm continually searching for great stuff to share and updating you in real-time. The truth is I fill up this great tool called Buffer at the start of the day (or the night before) and sometimes at lunchtime and it very helpfully tweets for me on a programmed schedule. This allows me to get on with important stuff like doing my actual job which pays the bills: business development, meeting people, sourcing, sifting etc. Of course I don't leave all my tweets up to Buffer and dip in to twitter now and then so I can interact with others otherwise life would be too boring and besides no one listens to monologues for long
Google Reader (because I don't have all day to read the news): Like Buffer, Google Reader lets me save time (and somewhere I heard time is money). I use this news aggregator to feed me interesting stuff which keeps informed and can be shared with followers and connections. I have 4 distinct news categories that I follow: 1) Sector news from the industries I recruit in 2) Recruitment community news 3) Local and national news 4) Blogs and sites I like and find interesting
Google (other search engines are available I know): I can't begin to remember what it was like before Google. How did we find info on companies? Discover email addresses? X-ray Linkedin? Find Jamie Oliver recipes? I think if Kubrick and Clarke were still around then after the black monolith appears and the man-apes in 2001 Space Odyssey pick up the first bone tools to chase their rivals off there would be a sequence where the bone is thrown into the air and becomes the "L" in Google rather than the revolving space station (....I'm such a nerd and that is such a tenuous and awful image I know)
Flipboard (because I have an Iphone and don't stop work at 5.30 pm): I'm a fairly new convert to Flipboard but apparently it's been around for a while and used by many many people who were clearly holding out on me. Flipboard allows me to feed Linkedin, Twitter, Google Reader, news sites and blogs etc into one easy to use Iphone app that I can flip through like a magazine. As Sinatra once said, "'Cause Nice and Easy Does it, Does it Everytime", and who would argue with Frank? No one unless they wanted to be visited by a couple of good fellas in pin stripe (allegedly)
I'm sure there are tonnes of other sites, search engines, apps, aggregators and social media networks that I could or perhaps even should be using. And probably better habits, tips and tricks that could give me an edge in my industry. So I'd be happy to receive suggestions, recommendations and criticisms.