• http://www.inboundrecruiter.com Brian Kevin Johnston

    Raghav- Great article… What I have learned is LAZY people always lose… It is easy to build a list, but nurturing and follow up with that list (Community, Database, etc.) take work. The “action” associated with the list, community, database is the GOLD…

  • Michael Rosmer

    Great article, I second Brian’s comment about lazy people losing, caring more, working harder, communicating better and more consistently goes a long way.

  • http://www.cleanjourney.com/ K.C. Donovan

    Raghav – your article to coin a phrase from the dramatic Derby last night is a “home run!”

    Quite a few companies have built databases of contacts using SEO or key words that generate huge numbers of “members.” Others have taken their active job seeking applicants – some in the hundreds of thousands and dumped them into a “Community” and wonder why it doesn’t bear fruit. The best example are the FaceBook Pages or Linked In Groups with thousands of likes or connections made – yet group interaction is with the top 1-3% of group activists – keeping the numbers of potential hires extraordinarily low…(as Raghav points out it’s a good marketing tool – just not for employment).

    Most think like marketers that look to creating “brand impressions” in hopes that a percentage of them will “buy” or in our case “apply.” First, the difference between making a career choice v. the type of soap to shower with is obvious…but even bigger is that this type of decision, as Raghav so aptly puts it, needs to be influenced or at least guided through pertinent interaction and engagement. It is silly to think that you can engage with 10,000 let alone 500 people effectively. The example of micro-communities is a good one. For years at our firm we’ve called them “neighborhoods” where the size is limited to no more than 150 (the Dunbar Number limit of effective groups). If the interest is more than 150 people, we split the Community – not unlike sections of a grade school class – to limit the “neighborhood” size.

    In the Engagement Economy, if you are not providing interesting engaging content for Members to interact with and learn from – as in Raghav’s example – you may be doing more harm than good. As someone that has been building Talent Communities for the last decade, I can attest to their incredible effectiveness of building a strategic talent acquisition program, but I would recommend to anyone considering this approach to get some expert help before plunging in…No question to us that it is the future of employment – but like anything it needs to be carefully implemented to get the huge benefit a Talent Community can provide…

  • http://www.tmp.com Andrew Stock

    I think everyone can agree that raw numbers/size of the talent community is only a part of the puzzle. Ongoing engagement is key to a successful talent community. We’ve been working with one of our clients to build a Talent Community for the last year. They currently have well over 1,000,000 candidates registered. But it isn’t just raw numbers. By segregating the community into demographic-based groups (by job type/category and location), the community members are getting relevant data that pertains to them, which keeps them reading (monthly newsletters, SMS messaging, twitter updates, etc).

    Furthermore, there are a number of contests and games rolled out every month to keep them engaged (with iPads and other prizes too).

    The other key piece of this puzzle is that joining the Talent Community has become the only gateway to be considered as a candidate; and this is a company that hires several thousand people per year. So, every job fair, website, mobile ap, brochure, etc. are all driving the candidates to register. And every hiring manager in the company knows to go to the Talent Community database as their first step when they have a new position to fill.

    The end result is that the Talent Community is in the top 10 sources of hires every month; this is out of over 350 different media outlets that the company is utilizing. This article makes it sound like success rates are really low for talent communities, but there are certainly some shining examples from which we can all learn.

    There are a lot of lessons that can be learned from this and other best practices that others are seeing. This article is only pointing out the fact that there *is* an iceberg, it doesn’t necessarily begin to map out the true size and scope of the iceberg itself. This is a topic that could go much, much deeper.

  • Keith Halperin

    Thank you for the interesting article. I caught at least some of your double entendres/puns….

    @Brian: Brian Kevin, Michael:
    I learned a long time ago that if your plan on making money requires that people be hard-working, altruistic, and intelligent- it’s doomed to failure. On the other hand, if you can make money assuming they’re lazy, greedy, and stupid- you might have a chance. After all, lazy people have created the vast majority of all the inventions and improvements in human history, so who can say?

    I’d be really interested in talking offline about how you create the successful Dunbar-compliant micro-communities (Technically they should be “deca-communities” [tens of people], but that’s my inner nerd speaking.)

    I’m glad for you and your firm that your client has so much money it can pay your company lots and lots of it to set up this mega-community, and presumably has the large numbers of staff dedicated to keep it going. It must be an “employer of choice” for so many people to be willing to go through online hoops and act like trained monkeys doing tricks for the chance to get jobs. As an applicant, I don’t want to “form a relationship” and “be part of a community”- I want to quickly and easily apply for real jobs that I have a reasonable chance of getting, and in the process be treated as if I matter to some degree. I also think there are many millions/tens of millions of people out there who feel the same way.



  • http://www.cleanjourney.com/ K.C. Donovan

    Keith – you may want to review this http://ow.ly/5CMvt a brief review of Dunbar effects and research…there is nothing compliant – we just try to keep the human social element to a positive vibe… if you have ever experienced a Tweet Chat on Twitter with a few hundred participants v. one with 30-50, you would see immediately the difference in what a group social dynamic can tolerate for effective interaction.

    It’s vitally important to match members to the appropriate Community – based on their motivation. People that want a job today go to one group where they can apply and have a chance to win an IPad as a career consolation prize, and folks serious about investing in career building will go to another where they can learn about challenges and career leveraging activity.

    Andrew – the Community you describe does not seem like what I refer to as a Talent Community – seems like an ATS with content sharing capability…(pretty sure some of the ATS firms also provide this functionality). An applicant database kept interested with a monthly newsletter and a chance to win a prize is a fine thing, but how different is it from the thousands of ATS systems in use today. Obviously the people that applied are interested in a job with the company or they wouldn’t apply in the first place…I think that if I got an email about a company that didn’t want me, didn’t really interact with me and told once a month about someone else that got the job or won an IPad – I personally wouldn’t be very thrilled with that experience…

    Talent Communities can be anything you want them to be, but to me they should be a place where you can interact with company employees, learn about the company “vibe” ot see if you would fit in, and have a chance to show what makes you tick – while having a good time with folks of like career interests.

  • Keith Halperin

    @ K. C. :: Thanks. I’m bookmarking this…

  • http://blog.yoh.com/ Adam Lawrence

    Nicely done Raghav. I think the comments thus far pretty well sum things up. It’s really all about the “harvesting”.

  • http://www.insideconnector.com Jon Bryant

    Raghav – terrific article. I believe that in our new world of social recruiting and talent community development, small is the new big. It’s far more important to matter a lot to your target audience than to matter little or nothing at all to the masses.

    Thanks for shining a light on it with your post.

    -Jon Bryant

  • Karen Turner

    Raghav – I loved your post, great read! Not only the spot on content, but also the manner in which you weaved in the humor. Well done and thanks for sharing your views.