Think like a recruiter…

I've given lots of advice on how to make yourself more visible as a potential candidate on the Internet, how to use your blog as a job search tool and how to write a strong resume. My intent in sharing this advice with you is to help you understand how recruiters think. This will help you determine where you need to be in order to be found and how your information, once found, will be interpreted. So I'm going to share with your some resources that recruiters go to. Some of these will give you insight into the issues facing recruiters today and others will help you understand the tools recruiters utilize to identify top talent. Recruiters out there may want to jump in with some additional recommendations:

AIRS (I think it stands for Advanced Internet Recruiting Strategies). This organization specializes in Internet search strategy training for recruiters. I like to think of their offerings as “Internet Search 101”. Their site includes directories of recruiters and job boards. Most importantly it helps you understand some of the strategies recruiters use to find people on the web (peeling back, x-raying, etc.)

Electronic Recruiting Exchange (ERE). This is an organization focused on recruiting as a discipline. They have a newsletter that contains info from industry leaders on topics like effective interviewing strategies and the state of the business. By the way, I am speaking at their Fall conference in Boston. I love Boston and can't wait! Will be doing some interviewing while I am there as well.

CareerXRoads. Gerry and Mark considered industry experts, especially with regard to job posting strategies. They publish a book with job posting resources for recruiters, by industry.

Recruiters Network. More newsletters about recruiting related topics.

Conferenza. This site lets you do searches on conferences by topic. This helps recruiters find candidate names associated with conference speaker lists or attendee lists.

In addition to these specific sites, recruiters tend to focus on a couple additional types of resources:

-MBA Alumni Associations. This one is big for us right now. The resources most often utilized are job postings, alumni directories and class notes (recruiters search them to find career announcements). Many recruiters will also become more involved specifically with their own university since graduates have additional access privileges. So, for example, I have access to a lot more info on USC graduates than other schools and I definitely take advantage of that connection. At Microsoft, I tend to spend my time with the top 20 MBA programs although am interested in MBAs from other schools. There are also additional organizations like BASES at Stanford or the HBS Tech Jobs User Group, which are MBA program specific, that recruiters can and do leverage to reach out to MBA alumni. I suspect recruiters in other functional areas do similar work with other majors/degrees.

-Functional discussion groups. For example, I am involved with the Software Product Management Discussion Group. Always keeping my eye open for people making intelligent posts and also making myself visible so people can contact me. If you do post to these types of groups, insert a signature in your post so folks (recruiter or hiring managers) know how to get in touch with you.

-Blogs. OK, duh, I know. I have lots of recruiters coming into my office and asking how they search for blogs. Because blogging is relatively new, recruiters are focusing on blogs to figure out what they are and if they will become part of their recruiting strategies going forward. Aside from developing your own blog (I've posted on that enough), think about the comments you post to other peoples' blogs and make sure you link back to your blog. I'm definitely inclined to contact someone who posts some interesting comments to someone else's blog.

-Industry specific conferences. I mentioned Conferenza, but aside from that, recruiters will likely select a few industry specific conferences (like CES for the consumer electronics space), based on the businesses they are supporting. In a time where recruiters aren't just filling jobs but finding the “best” talent, you would be well served to be visible at these conferences (both in-person and online). Recruiters will search on speaker lists for top conferences. For example, “CES (speakers or bio*) 2004” could be a search string a recruiter would use to find out who are speaking at the most recent CES conference

-Chapter level associations. Right now, I am working with the SVPMA and also speaking with the Boston PMA and the Silicon Valley AMA regarding upcoming opportunities to engage with their membership. Our recent trip to the valley was very successful and we are finding that this type of targeted interaction makes sense when there are great pools of technical marketing talent located in specific geographic areas. Other recruiters in other spaces are probably looking at the organizations and associations that make the most sense for their businesses. Many companies are also probably involved in the chapters closest to their HQ offices as well. So you might want to think about getting involved in some organization close to your target companies if you are willing to relocate.

I hope this gives you an idea of how recruiters think and some of the resources we use to identify talent!

Comments (2)

  1. Nik Palmer says:

    Good Call. It is Advanced Internet Recruitment Strategies.. But we just use AIRS these days as we have branched into the Mentoring (Atmosphere) , Career Transition (Horizons), & Automated search tools (Oxygen). Keep up the good blog!

  2. Nik Palmer says:

    PS- The Job board directory is about 5000 sites strong and one of the best on the web. It’s one of the most commonly trafficed page on the site. It does require registration, but the registration is free.

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