- Check out Jim Durbin’s blog post Peter Weddle Owes A Lot Of People Apologies
OK, before I go on a rant a few disclaimers:
- I have never met Peter Weddle
- I respect Peter Weddle
- I am responding to his blog post with a blog post rather than comment there as I have a lot to say.
- I am responding because for someone who is highly respected in our industry to have this opinion and state it so strongly it needs a rebuttal
Wednesday Peter Weddle posted The Great SCAM in Recruiting on his WorkStrong blog. I had copied and pasted his post below but took it out. Read his post, see my reply below:
Name the scammers (pundits and trainers). I am guessing I am one of them. I am an “evangelist” of using Social Media, networking sites and LinkedIn to find candidates. I have been using these tools for a “long time” and they are responsible for at least 35% of my 2008 revenue.
That Peter does not think LinkedIn is a source of candidates has me troubled and confused. And rather than be overly sarcastic or otherwise say something in appropriate I will move on...
I agree with Peter about Millennials and their use of social media. For the most part they are using it as a communications tool. Oh wait, that is what social media is, a communications tool.
I am not aware how much time Peter spends on a college campus but since I am on the University of Minnesota campus 2-3 times per month working with or mentoring college students I get why there is a separation from how they use it, how I personally use it and how I professionally use it.
Most never considered it a networking, internship or job finding tool until the recession. They share comments, photos, and events but it is not a far of a leap to job search as he seems to think. Conversations on social network sites on job, internship and career topics have increased significantly the past 18 months. Social networks are after all a window to what is going on.
It does not surprise me that they say job boards, company career pages and networking are how they will find a job. This is how they have been taught to find a job. That does not mean social media cannot be used. Many do. Many more are finding out it works.
But Peter gives one side of the story. Consider the CareerXroads 8th Annual Source of Hire Study. Scroll down to page 14-15 and see what these companies reported as their source of hire.
Just because the college kids say they think they are going to get a job through a tool (those are some high percentages) does not mean that is in reality how they will find their job. Worse, because they say that is how they believe they will then recruiters should be there for them? We already have been and most agree that job boards are not the awesome tool they used to be. Still “a good one” but not “the one”.
I would like to see Peter’s cross-generational numbers from his survey. I would also like to see what profession or job titles the respondents have. I ask because it matters. I could put a survey on my blog, Minnesota Recruiters or the Minneapolis & St. Paul Social Media Breakfast site and have numbers on the other end of the spectrum.
This is why I hate statistics. Numbers tell the truth and can lie at the same time and of course it depends on who is using them. I am not saying Peter has an agenda but (and maybe I am taking his post personal and thus have clouded judgment) his post seems more than just trying to shine a light on a topic.
Regarding Peter’s takeaways:
Beware the hype. I agree. Experiment to see if your potential candidate pool is using these sites. If you are recruiting marketing, PR, Social Media or IT you should depending on the size of your city/region have a large enough pool to work with. If you are in a smaller town or are sourcing candidates in legal, medical, administrative types of roles I agree with Peter, it may take a while.
I agree with Peter that social networking sites are different than traditional recruiting methods. Social networking sites are social, this is a far cry from the traditional old school method of post and pray on a job board.
Where I believe he is wrong is when he says these are not “talent markets”. Of course they are. He just has a definition than I have. If I am recruiting IT people in Minneapolis and IT people in Minneapolis are on these sites of course this is a market to use. The difference is I am going to them versus waiting for them to come to my site or ad on a job board. I would rather be proactive than reactive.
Peter either has not researched or dismisses the results that recruiters have had using these tools. I know of some corporate recruiters who are teaching their colleagues how to use these tools would take great offense if they were told they were teaching a “SCAM”.
He says in a comment that the success a commenter had is rare. Really? Peter come to Minneapolis and I will introduce you to corporate, consulting and search firm recruiters who have success. Maybe you need to either hang around a different or a larger pool of recruiters.
What I find interesting that he says 2014 these sites may work. What will change between now and then to make them viable in his eyes?
My last counterpoint is this, if there was ever a time for a recruiter to use these sites to develop relationships with folks it is now. Most people are open to career chat because one way or another they are thinking about it.
Let’s say Peter is right with his 2014 prediction and let’s say the economy is humming along with lots of jobs available is it not a little late to get in the game? What I mean is, that is being reactive. Why not have pre-established relationships? Why not have a passive candidate or talent pool in place?
What I find most ironic about this comments is his last bit of advice, “Learn how to write job postings...” is crazy. That is old news and old advice.
I do believe that a recruiter needs many different tools to use and in part this depends on who one recruits, in what industry and what area of the country. So Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, cold calls, networking, attending and/or sponsoring events, email, blog, RSS Feeds, optimized job ads and whatever else have been missed in my list need to be included.
To use the word SCAM in relation to teaching/training this material is about as silly as suggesting to learn to write a better job ad.
I guess I expected more from him.