When I first moved to Australia in 1999 – the way to break into the tech industry was to find a recruiting agency that would "present" me for jobs. Like most other job seekers, I circled ads in the paper and submitted my resume. But unlike many others at the time, I had a personal resume website which listed all the projects I had worked on and showed my (limited) design and coding skills. It was that website that got me my first job in Sydney. It was the same website that I revised (now VERY out of date) and used to tell a new story about my skills when I first applied for jobs back in America. The website worked because it told a story about my experience beyond a two page CV and slightly customized cover letter. Fast forward to today, where recruiting is a new different world.
Beyond just Internet jobs, resumes and CVs are no longer the currency with which the hottest candidates for other jobs get identified. A newly minted MBA or similarly respectable degree may not confer as much weight as authoring a well trafficked popular blog. Personal hobbies may indicate an aptitude for a certain type of work that tips the scale in your favor. In short, recruiting and good recruiters are moving into the 21st century full speed by looking beyond the paper. How are they doing it? Below are several great examples of 21st century recruiting (and job seeking):
- Harry Joiner, the Marketing Headhunter – This blog from a former Guerilla Marketer, now turned recruiter is one of the best examples of how a good recruiter can understand and connect with his target audience. His blog has been nominated for best marketing blog by Marketing Sherpa, his view and niche is unique and above all he offers consistently smart tips for marketing professionals. I’ve never met him, and if someone asked me for the name of a smart marketing recruiter, I’d probably send them to his blog. You can’t ask for much more from a recruiter’s blog.
- Ithica College Students – A group of college students from Ithaca got together to start an experiment by writing their own blogs on a variety of marketing and communications topics. There are blogs on Word of mouth marketing, advertising, and marketing to college students (who better to write about this than the students themselves?). Aside from giving them some great experience, it may well prove to be a useful personal marketing tool that helps them all get jobs when they graduate. Oh, and for any that might read this post and are interested in a summer internship with my team, let me know – we’re looking.
- ’05 Grads at Ogilvy – I love this idea from our UK office – it’s a blog authored by a group of ’05 grads giving the straight dish on what working at Ogilvy UK (and working in general) is and isn’t. I will definitely be getting in contact with the team behind this to see if we might recreate it in our own team here in Ogilvy PR, but it’s a wonderful way to connect with prospective hires and get them excited about trying to get a job at Ogilvy.
- Martina and the Adverblog – I have been reading the Adverblog for about two years now, and always loved the international perspective and thrill of keeping up to date on campaigns that happen in other markets. For some time, Martina was authoring the blog and seeking a job. She got one (and probably many other offers) and changed the blog to a group authored model which it is now. Some of the other examples of people who have used their blogs to get jobs include Steve Rubel, Jeremy Pepper, Ana Marie Cox (formerly Wonkette), and Nick Douglas (tapped by Nick Denton for Valleywag).
- Cold Stone, the Army and Video Games – From the recent coverage in Wired magazine about using video game skills as a measure of real life skills that someone may bring to a position … video games are becoming another way for recruiters to measure ability and evaluate job applicants. The US Army uses a downloadable video game to help people assess whether they are suitable for the army. Like with some other military innovations, corporations won’t be too far behind on this one. Some companies like Cold Stone Creamery are already using games for training.
As people continue to create their own content online, the practice of recruiting in the future promises to be more challenging and complex. In part, this creates a danger for job seekers being judged on out of date or inaccurate information. I recently wrote about some tips for job seekers and individuals to protect their online reputations from being hijacked or viewed in the wrong light. Yet despite these danger spots, this additional wealth of personal information online, as well as the ability of job seekers to illustrate more of their personalities when applying for a job will help both parties make the best connections. Someday we’ll all wonder how we ever recruited people based on just 2 sheets of paper.