Sunday, November 07, 2010

Promote The Blogs of Your Employees On Your Recruiting Web Site

In the book Empowered by Josh Bernoff, the author talks about how the marketing funnel we all learned about in Marketing 101 has changed. People used to become aware of your company via your messages, consider your products and a few buy your products.
The new marketing funnel from the book "Empowered by Josh Bernoff"

But things have changed. Josh says that Mass Influencers among your customers are broad casting information about your products. Increasingly, new customers are listening to the voice of influencers who have already bought your product and not the listening to the your messages you spent millions to broadcast.

This suggest that sales is no longer the end point. You have to continue to delight your customers so that they broadcast your praises. You also have to empower your customers to broadcast their messages by enabling them with appropriate content and tools.

Most of what I said above is not news to anyone who understands the basics of Web 2.0.

How does this apply to recruiting people?
However I see the same situation applying to recruitment as well. Increasingly, new recruits have access to the voices of your employees and ex-employees via dedicated sites such as Glassdoor.com and LinkedIn. They also can quickly access the personal blogs of employees within the company. By following a company on LinkedIn, they get a remarkably accurate view of turnover in the company.

For example, if you want to know what is going on in the BusinessObjects division of SAP, you will get an accurate, timely and straight-from-the-hip information from Timo Elliot's blog. If you want to know what SAP is doing in the Web 2.0 area, you will get an accurate and indepth view from SAP Web 2.0 Blog run by Timo. In fact even SAP employees go there to get up-to-date information. Timo's content is a combination of original material he puts together and SAP official marketing messages he curates.

People executives, with some rare exceptions, think that their recruitment messages on their web sites are the only ones heard by potential recruits. Most recruitment web site content and messages are written by, let's face it, recruiters.

Here is what I suggest.
Why not list the top influencers who work for your company along with links to their blogs in the company's recruitment web site. Give them an incentive to share their personal blog there. List them by their area of work and encourage potential hires to visit the blogs and read them. Don't try stunts like ghost written blogs of executives. It takes 5 seconds to tell that a blog is not genuine. Do even think about hiring a traditional PR person to write a 'personal' blog. In fact if a blog is completely error free, I get suspicious.

How do I know who the top influences in my company are?
Most people who write about their work would have listed their blogs in their LinkedIn profile. Put some one on the job to collect these profiles and analyse them. If you are planning to hire a lot of engineers next year, reach out to your engineering bloggers. If you are planning to hire in Japan, find out if any of your Japanese colleagues blog.

So, Do I need to install a blogging software and hire a VP of Social Media?
No. you dont have to do that. You can do this without any IT investment. Don't force an tool chosen internal IT on your employee bloggers. Bloggers are using what they are using for a reason. You are going to them because they are the influencers while your recruiters are not. So, let your influencers make their technology choice.

By the way, you may want to keep such influencers from leaving your company. I guess you already knew that.
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