Two months ago, I couldn’t go nearly an hour without hearing about Google. Google + this and Google + that, but lately it’s been completely different. Facebook has fought back, and with all the media hype and thousands of blogs posts about Facebook, I’m done. In case you hadn’t heard, Facebook launched some major changes in their social networking platform. And if you’re curious what those changes are you can read about them (here, here, and here) but not here, at this blog post I mean. This blog post isn’t talking about Facebook altogether. We’re avoiding the topic because you are likely Facebooked out (if not, read here, here, and here). I bet you’ve used your allotted 15 hours and 33 minutes this week alone understanding, learning, and organizing your Facebook timeline and group pages. Fifteen hours and 33 minutes happens to be the average amount of time we spend on Facebook each month. So we’re talking about something completely different: social recruiting and social networking alternatives to Facebook.
- Forums, Chat Rooms, & Ning Communities. Online communities can offer an plethora of candidate opportunities who are active and engaged. Many of these communities offer a chance to chat, develop friendships and stay up to date on your favorite sports team and television show. Heck, I’m a member of Kitchen Table Companies, Empire Avenue, and ProBlogger’s forum. One of the most effective platforms in which I recruited from in the early 2000’s were dating websites where people were looking for love.
- LinkedIn. Eighty-seven percent of recruiters visit LinkedIn first to source candidates and search for qualified job leads to fill open requisitions. With LinkedIn, candidates are easily searchable and many are actively in engaged in groups or the Q&A section. These offer opportunities to pose very specific questions that provide you a new way in which to engage your candidate base.
- Member Databases. Although tricky to find, these do still exist throughout the internet. Membership sites, professional associations, and companies often use the internet to upload excel spreadsheets full of potential leads. They’re like Coronado’s search for gold. Consider leveraging Boolean search techniques to better unearth them. And don’t forget databases that can aid you in uncovering those golden candidate nuggets. Whois.com, a website domain database is one of my absolutely favorites.
- MySpace. Purchased recently by the likes of Justin Timberlake, still boasts 33.1 million members strong and can be an effective social recruiting sourcing tool. Small specialty communities like Myspace, Bebo, and Plaxo offer opportunities to engage users of small and targeted social networking platforms. Bebo, for example is popular in the UK.
- Twitter. In my mind, Twitter is still an effective recruiting and sourcing tool. It’s also easier to search than that social network of choice. Twitter allows for instant access to almost any user and provides an entry engagement point in which to build a relationship with potential candidates. Hash tags in particular provide an opportunity to engage a conference or group of individuals without actually physically attending an event.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a HR consultant, new media strategist, and author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. Jessica is the host of Job Search Secrets, an internet television show for job seekers.
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