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Selling the candidate: how recruiters, job boards, and (gasp!) social recruiting make money

I don’t know if it’s inevitable that age and experience brings cynicism, but the ongoing discussion about social recruiting certainly brings out the skeptic in me. Social recruitment is about the ‘conversation’, the ‘engagement’, the ‘ongoing discussion’. Umm, no. Social recruiting is about landing a candidate. And somewhere along the line, landing the candidate involves money.

Don’t misunderstand me – just because I’m crass enough to talk about dollars and candidates in the same breath doesn’t mean I think we should treat candidates poorly. Au contrair! In my experience, we as an industry (and I’m speaking of the online recruiting world) have not treated candidates as well as we should have. I would like that to change.

But the reason for the existence of 3rd party recruiters, corporate recruiters, job boards, recruitment ad networks, social recruitment agencies, and the like is really quite simple: there is gold to be had when you link the right candidate to the right employer.

So whether you have a ‘talent community’ that you are ‘nurturing’, running a job board, or are simply keeping a very copious database of every Ruby developer in Portland, remember: it’s all about the candidate and the employer and actually bringing them together. Don’t get lost in a maze of feel-good phrases, endless (but fruitless) Twitter conversations, or the eternal hunt for that ‘silver bullet’ that will make everything you do so much simpler. If you’re a job board, get better candidates and make it easier for employers to land them. If you’re a recruiter, get better candidates and get them to your client. And if you’re a social recruiter, well – do the same.

And don’t forget to get paid.

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1 comment… add one

  • Lauren Smith

    March 26, 2012, 5:03 pm

    Great job, Jeff! Thanks for helping us see that the fundamentals are all the same! Of course, I’m still an advocate for building “talent communities” that “nurture” candidates and “foster meaningful relationships” as the best way to “land a candidate” :)

    We love your blog at Ascendify.

    Lauren

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