Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Story Behind the Story

A couple weeks back, while on vacation at Sea Colony in Bethany Beach, DE, I was deeply entrenched one evening in Thomas Friedman's best seller, The World Is Flat. In this book, Friedman eludes to how technology has helped to even the playing field on a global scale, essentially 'flattening' the global economy. This particular evening, I run across a passage where Friedman states, "Introducing new technology alone is never enough. The big spurts in productivity come when a new technology is combined with new ways of doing business." "Hmmm, very good point..." I thought, and read on.

A few minutes later, that quote popped back into my head. I had to go back and read it again. "Hmm, new technology, new ways of doing business, interesting...". It starts to get late and I'm thinking I should head off to bed, but I can't get this quote out of my head! It's 11:30PM and I can't sleep, my brain is racing, and DING! That's it! Friedman encapsulates in that quote why these new recruiting technologies have not been more broadly adopted by the general public yet. The technology was great, but very little has been so far to educate the public as to how these technologies were a new way of connecting with job opportunities.

I had to write something down, so I head back downstairs to the kitchen table with pen and paper in hand, and start writing. Two pages later, I'm thinking, "Hmmm, this could be more than just a blog post, ERE might have interest in this". Two days later, I send the article off to ERE, and thanks to the wisdom and guidance of Todd Rafael, the article was published today.

As I state in the article, I'm a recruiting technology geek, and have been so since early-on in my career. In the early part of this decade however, the technology which had grown so fast in the 90s, started to stagnate. I came to realize that to attract the best people to your company, you needed to do more than just rely on those who were finding you, or those who were putting themselves out on resume databases to be found. We needed a better way to identify and qualify passive candidates, a better way to deliver our jobs to targeted audiences. The War for Talent was heating up again and we were fighting with outdated weapons. Over the past two years, this technology has began to emerge, and I've been trying my best to keep up with it ever since.

I'm sold on the methodology of many of these tools, but they are all still secondary players in the market. Ask most people what they will do if they want to search for a job, they would probably say, "Go to a job board". This has been beaten into our heads for the past 10 years via Superbowl commercials, banner ads, etc. The new recruiting technologies are changing the paradigm of online recruiting for the better, but more people need to know about how these tools work, and how they can utilize them to take charge of their career growth. The paradigm will never change through viral marketing alone, more proactive steps need to happen.

That's what the article was about, and I've been encouraged today by hearing many positive comments in support of my opinion on this subject. I encourage these companies to reach out to various media sources to spread the word about what these tools are and how they work. A buzz needs to be built that this a better way for both sides, recruiters and candidates. In future posts, I plan on discussing why I think these tools offer a "better way", i.e. how they will be more effective weapons in the War For Talent.


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