Does industry news matter?

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Every day I peruse ERE.net, Cheezhead, Workforce, and a bunch of other sites. Why? Well, of course I’m avoiding my ‘real’ work…but I’m also trying to keep up with the ever-shifting winds of change in the HR, recruiting, and job board worlds. This task can take as little as 5 minutes – but it often sucks up much more time.

So I asked myself: does it matter? Is there really any reason to spend time that I could otherwise be devoting to my business and clients? For example, if Monster lays off another 400 people, is that going to affect me? (Um, not likely). If Taleo releases a completely new and exciting version of their omnipresent ATS, will that trickle down to my work? (Er, maybe, maybe not)

But…some developments do matter. As I wrote recently, sometimes the latest and great innovation actually does become something useful.  New entrants can turn into serious competitors. And learning what someone else is doing can be extremely helpful – either as a warning to avoid the same action, or a trigger to help you rethink your own services. Occasionally, news can be reassuring (“Wow, another company is doing just what I am – it must not be as nutty as I thought it was!”).

So I guess the answer to my question is yes, industry news does matter. But to extract the most benefit from what can sometimes be a distracting or tedious task, I would encourage you to use tools that allow filtering in addition to relying on sites (such as the above) that do the filtering for you . Two that I like are TweetDeck (allows you to set searches and track tweets that match up) and Copernic (powerful programmable search tool). And (giving advice I sometimes follow) set yourself a time limit. Don’t let it take over your morning.

You may be surprised what you find.

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