• http://blog.eskill.com/ Curtis Whitler

    I’ve come up with few tips of online recruiting etiquette here. Don’t get too enthusiastic trying to fish up personal details hidden to you. Yes, we often get excited having come across the profile of a candidate who has perfect skills set and background to fit in the open position. But it wouldn’t be the brightest idea to begin literally cyber-stalking the candidate. Another piece of advice: don’t ‘friend’ every potential candidate (with only exception of LinkedIn probably). First think, would you ask them out for beer or coffee in the real world like a real friend?

  • Keith Halperin

    Thanks, Pete. There’s a saying in my contract-recruiting world: “If you have time to build relationships with candidates, you don’t have enough reqs.” While Social Sourcing (IMHO a more accurate name than Social Recruiting) may be a good way to build a candidate pipeline, the vast majority of my colleagues and I work in places where we can’t spend our time and the company’s money going after people who MIGHT be interested in a job in 3, 6, or 12 months- we need to get qualified people who want our job RIGHT NOW. I’d love to have a job where I spend my time going after people like this, as long as I don’t have positions that need to be currently filled, and IMHO, being responsible for both immediate hires AND a long-term pipeline is a one-way ticket to Crazytown.

    There’s another problem with this, and with most recruiting techniques and tools: they can be quite effective until *too many people start using them. It’s like a freeway- a wonderful way of quickly getting from place to place until hundreds of thousands of people want to use it at the same time. Thus, with a recruiting tool or technique: a strong initial competitive advantage for a given user, then a plateauing, then perhaps a decline. My suggestion: if you find a technique/tool that works well for you: DON’T TELL ANYBODY!
    If you hear about a tool/technique that seems to be “taking off” but you’re doing fine without it, TELL EVEYONE TO USE IT!


    *A rule-of-thumb: If you first read about a new tool/technique here on ERE, IT’S PROBABLY TOO LATE.

  • Matt Pru


    What if there was a tool that perfectly modeled every single person’s skill set, interests, and other relevant information. Wouldn’t that be THE recruiting tool to use?

    What more could you ask for than that? The only improvement I see from there is having an automated system that does the job of the recruiter by pairing candidates with relevant jobs and contacts the candidates with appropriate messaging.

    TalentBin and other social recruiting tools strive towards both modeling individuals well and automating outreach.



    Using the word ‘cyber-stalking’ makes the action seem more harmful than it is. Don’t see any problem with searching through publicly available information about an individual. More information tends to be helpful.

  • Keith Halperin

    Thanks, Matt. I’ve discussed this before:
    Let’s say you are a single, available (wo)man looking to date, and on an overall evaluation scale, you’re an 8/10. You and 300,000 other single, available (wo)men have complete backgrounds and direct contact information for all the supermodels in the world. You’re an 8/10, but what do you think the chances are that ANY of the supermodels would:
    1.Ever talk with you,
    2.Ever go out with you, if they did talk to you, no matter how quickly

    Increasingly, any sourcing tool/technique is going to run up against these inherent (and probably unsolvable) problems:
    1) More and more potential candidates of all types will become increasingly easy to find- as John Sumser has said: “Pretty good sourcing gets better and better.”
    2) Any competitive advantage a given tool/technique will lose its value as more and people use it.
    3) I suspect that someone who is hard to find is also hard to get.

    Bottom line:
    I could have totally free access to something which compiles a digital dossier on every person in the world, with data mining and AI affinity-extrapolation components like the NSA will maybe have in 10 years, complete with direct contact info and one click, multi-mode contact features (like “WOOF” on “The Office”) so I theoretically could contact everyone in the world at once, and it STILL wouldn’t be a perfect tool, because even if you can instantly find out everything about everyone at in the world, match them to your needs, and contact them instantly as many at as a time as you want- recruiting will be relying on some few hundred thousand folks like me telling a small group of people that everybody wants to hire who’d never work for our client/company about jobs that have nothing special to offer them…….

    The perfect tool is something which helps greedy, arrogant, fearful, and ignorant/incompetent hiring managers to:
    1) Stop trying to get excellence on the cheap- they’re SO not into your company
    2) Stop getting themselves into situations requiring people who can’t be obtained AT ANY PRICE. Isn’t that a fun corner to have painted yourself into? (You’d think people as intelligent as they claim to be could avoid this VERY STUPID mistake…)


  • Frank Zupan

    >>> What Keith said, kinda.

    It seems to me that really good product development folks like Pete (his LinkedIn profile indicates he’s got some PD chops) should write posts for product development types to learn from, right? Knowledge sharing, community development and all that?

    But when really smart product development folks write sponsored (or un-sponsored) blog posts and speak at conferences about products their selling to a particular, other community, say Recruiting for example, it gets a bit messy.

    And then when someone else (Matt Pru) from said smart product development persons company decides to chime in to the conversation, well it becomes a bit weird, or a bit commercial, or even a bit “Social Zombie like”. #JustSayin

    But then again, what Keith was saying about recruiting was kinda spot-on.

  • http://www.grouptalent.com Manny Medina

    I also agree with Keith, but for a different reason.
    Running sourcing for our own platform and as a wholesaler to recruiters we have come to appreciate outreach (“social” or otherwise). As a numbers game, ie a W number of people outreached, will yield X (a number less than W) candidates, of which Y (a number less than X) will be a good fit, of which Z (a number less than Y) will end up taking an offer.
    If targeted well mannered social recruiting improves X, ie the number of people who respond back, then it will decrease W, the number of people you can reach out to – b/c you are so targeted, polite, and funny that you are minding your ps and qs and can only write so many email, blog post responses, twitter chime ins, or FB funny ones.

    At the end of the day you want to do the trick that improves all variables at once. Like mass-custom-socially-cool-relevant-timely-unexpensive outreach that can be run at scale AND be personalized. sigh … if only that existed ….

  • Keith Halperin

    @ Manny: Thank you.
    @ Frank Thank you, too.
    I think such cross-promotion is only a problem if you’re one of the folks who actually are looking for a fair, un-biased platform for the free exchange of (non-commercial) information. I’ve said before: if we kept ERE non-self-promotional and advertorial/infomercial-free, there wouldn’t be much left, and if we further required statements given as facts to have proof attached and opinions to be based on some tenuous connection to the reality of ordinary recruiting, well, there’d be hardly anything to respond to except John Z’s and Todd’s articles, and how fun would that be?


    Keith “As Guilty as the Rest” Halperin