Combing Blogs to Find Star Candidates

February 15

One could argue that the end goal of a recruiter is to hire a star employee for their currently vacant positions. The search for star employees involves a solid recruitment strategy with an increasing emphasis on leveraging social media to source and engage candidates possessing star potential for extremely specialized, niche positions and thought leadership vacancies. Online groups, internet consumers' ability to produce content and the increasing transparency of communications will forever change the way recruiters interact with job candidates, the "employee-scape" and how employers communicate.

Any person with a digital device can become a producer of content for the internet. More and more professionals are defining themselves online with a personal blog relating to their industry, reflected by the increasing number of blog domains appearing on submitted resumes. Therefore, it is essential recruiters and hiring managers become proficient in determining a blogger's relevancy.

Bloggers can prove themselves a candidate with star potential via their published content. A relevant blogger will:

  • Publish timely industry news and demonstrate knowledge of industry trends.
  • Share their industry expertise through individual thought. A relevant blogger will never parrot what's already been said. If they do, they'll provide a differing perspective.
  • Extrapolate and analyze other timely articles while disseminating the information with a new angle.
  • Their posts will contain opinion, often backed by research. These posts are usually divisive and spur conversation among readers.

That said, many relevant bloggers do possess star employee potential. They're passionate about their industry and are keenly aware of industry trends; most likely, it's not just a job to them. You may be able to glean insight into their work ethic; oftentimes, bloggers work well into the night to publish their thoughts, reflected by a timestamp on their posts. Bloggers are able to learn and accept new ideas from others and are comfortable generating and presenting their own unique ideas. They often have a network of similarly relevant industry professionals to bounce their new ideas off of. Relevant bloggers are skilled in articulating these ideas and industry trends, often resulting in them becoming recognized personalities within your organization, able to interface with clients and speak publically about your company. Similarly, they are easily converted to internal brand evangelists. Depending on how reputable the blogger is in the blogosphere, they can add instant credibility to your organization.

The "employee-scape" is evolving as more and more professionals engage in social media. When a candidate engages in social media surrounding their career, in essence they are developing their own personal brand. Every tweet, blog post and LinkedIn status contributes to how they are perceived by their peers within their industry. A seasoned recruiter knows that a star hire is more than the most educated applicant. Once they become employed, they must remain engaged for an extended tenure. Recruiters must hone in on a candidate's personal brand to determine if they are a best fit for your corporate culture.

While recruiters have taken steps to attract active candidates, it is also wise for them to turn to the blogosphere to fish for candidates who aren't actively seeking employment. The sharing of thoughts on the web results in groups of people producing and consuming similar content. By nature, groups are often smarter than their most intelligent member. Collective wisdom is greater than the knowledge of any one single individual. Relevant bloggers often flock to online blogging communities because of the instant network they provide. These online communities are a great place to start when making efforts to source a blogger.

The formation of online groups provides an opportunity to enhance your brand as an employer. TMP Worldwide is able to provide strategic counsel on engaging in social media. Contribute to these online groups, forums and discussion boards to earn respect as a thought leader in your industry. As a result, job candidates will perceive a job opening at your organization as an opportunity for career advancement. An increasing number of organizations are beginning to blog, tweet and create social media profiles. These social media engagements result in increased transparency, providing job seekers insight about how the organization is run and what it is like to be their employee. With the ever-evolving digital revolution, employers should strive to incorporate social media initiatives into branding, recruitment and retention efforts.

Katie Newland, TMP Worldwide's Brand Group

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