Fri, Jul 29, 2011
I’m in San Antonio today to lead a few conversations around social recruiting at Talent Net Live, focusing on the litany of emerging technologies that, collectively, make up the “cool tools” in today’s talent acquisition tool kit. From Facebook to Twitter and beyond, the #kooltools track promises to be a bit of a geek off, as we like to call it, with Craig Fisher and a few others joining in the conversation.
As for me, I’m mostly going to focus on the new tools for measuring predictive internet behaviour which are uncannily accurate at predicting the digital shift of a job seeker from being somewhat passive to truly active. And the whole footprint it creates can be captured, analyzed and utilized to dramatically improve recruitment and talent management.
Another one of the big picture trends I’m excited to talk about involves networking behaviours, particularly how social media has changed the way we do things, in business and beyond. Of course, for me, the reality is I don’t think things really have changed all that much, other than expanding one’s reach globally and being able to connect with anyone, anywhere.
The only shift I’ve seen in social media is that these channels permit us an unprecedented level of access. But the way we behave online is the exact same as the way we behave offline, which is the way we’ve always behaved, and will continue to behave. Social media reflects a picture that’s really not that different.
We still have a need to associate and spend time with (or just plain hang out) other people who we think – who we perceive – as ‘just like us.’ That’s why Facebook Fan Pages, for example, are such an effective business tool, particularly when it comes to recruiting.
Humans, as a rule, really don’t like being told what to do. But, of course, we’ve also got humanity, and that same sense of right and wrong is why online communities work best when they have a “DJ” spinning a dialogue instead of, say, a “community manager” or “content manager” filling the airwaves with manufactured noise. Because anything that suggests control detracts from the entire concept of community.
And in these communities, within our walled gardens, life happens much like it always has. Sometimes we want to be serious and talk business, but other times we just want to share our feelings with people who we genuinely like, and who genuinely like us. Because we all need a little support and encouragement once in a while, or someone with expertise about a topic that far exceeds our own, or any of those other functions that make community the kind of place, by definition, you want to be.
Our online places, wherever they are, give us all of this and more – this constant contact with the trusted people we choose to group ourselves with. Of course, we can reach further, and have more ways and more real sources to connect, but the reason for connecting in the first place haven’t really changed at all.
Ultimately, though, more than anything else, communities happen because all of us, really, like to get eye to eye and see, ‘in real life,’ the people who we respect, enjoy and share a common interest or passion online.
These are the people with whom, when I get to meet them in person, I choose to laugh, to debate, to drink beer and find out, in fact, if the face matches the avatar. And in this respect, I’m rarely disappointed. Of course, someone may look a little different then you’d expect, judging solely from their avatar, but when it comes down to who they are as people, there’s rarely a difference between ‘personal brand’ and ‘personality.’
And it’s those personalities, from Robert Scoble to China Gorman to Craig Fisher and many more (I’m particularly excited to meet Joel Cheesman for the first time), that compelled me to get on a plane for the second week running and fly half way around the world for #TNL.
Of course, I already know from past experience that the smartest guy in the room will be someone I haven’t ‘officially’ met yet. We may have tweeted at each other or exchanged messages, but until the curtain closes on Friday at #TNL, I won’t know just how smart they are.
But I do know that everyone who takes part in the #TNL experience, from San Antonio and on social media, will end up as smarter, better connected professionals.
If you can get to #TNL, be there. Because it’s always great to put a real face to an avatar.
You can find Bill Boorman’s avatar on Twitter @billboorman