We live in exciting times.  Remember 1999 when the Internet was growing astronomically?  It opened up the world with speed of communication and spread of information.  The Internet continues to transform the way people live and how businesses operate, including ours – search, recruiting and staffing.  Now we manage databases and use new tools to efficiently prospect, manage relationships and deliver for our clients and candidates.

After the Internet boom, media stories were written about what would be the next “Big Thing.”  Well, we have two big things happening now, in my view.  The first is about energy and its effect on the environment.  We can’t live without it and must find new sources of clean energy to satisfy increasing demand while protecting natural resources.  This is a topic for other experts.

The “Big Thing” now – in recruiting and staffing – is Social Media,
and how it will increasingly change the way we do business.

Businesses are in the midst of great transformation.  All centers around information; how to find it, manage it and communicate it effectively.  We in recruiting, staffing and human capital management are at the epicenter.

How we communicate in the beginning of the recruitment process – finding and engaging clients and candidates – will always be a key to success.  Before the Internet, recruiting was about building a rolodex, mainly through cold-calling. It still is, but to a lesser degree.  E-mail and websites changed that first, allowing us to touch greater numbers in less time.  Now with the interactive web, two way communication is changing the game dramatically.

It’s not about who you know anymore, it’s about who can find you.

In my firm until about two years ago, the first step in the marketing and recruiting process was gathering quick information; name, company and phone number.  Then we would make the call, using techniques to “overcome objections.”  After all, we were originally trained that recruiting was about the numbers.

In the last two years, my firm has shifted our approach.  We do significantly more before the initial contact.  A key objective is to brand – by planting “impression seeds.”  This is done with a combination of marketing, PR and social media.

Consider this:  With the ease and low cost of creating information today, potential clients and candidates want to feel very comfortable with you before they conduct business.  They want to trust you. 

Many times, the best way to gain new business is still through a referral.  However, for those who don’t know you, they want a professional who is credible who can deliver.  And, they will want to check you out before doing business.  What does your “electronic footprint” say about you?  Have you Googled your name lately?

We never get a second chance to make a first impression.
New objective:  Make a name for yourself before you talk to prospects.

What do public relations, marketing and social media have in common?  They all require you to be proactive and to plant the seeds.  They all require building relationships.  They all enable branding and greater name recognition.

  • PR is about gaining visibility in the media; by being quoted in traditional (newspapers, magazines, TV) or new media (electronic, blogs).
  • Marketing is a multi-step process to build your name in the minds of prospective clients and candidates.  Do you know it takes 6 to 8 “touches” before a client remembers you?
  • Social Media involves two-way communication.  The Big Three are LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. If you connect your networks in the right ways, the branding and broadcasting capabilities have the potential to create a huge pay-off.

When used effectively together, PR, Marketing and Social Media strategies can be very powerful in building your brand and your recruiting business.  Together, all affect to increase your name as an expert in your field.  People find you. Business flows to you.  Your revenue increases.

Here’s the exciting part:  You can create and manage your brand.  What do you “say” to clients and to the media? What do you “say” on social media sites?  What do you “say” to industry partners/contacts?  Before you start spreading the word, start by securing your name on the social media sites and then post a professional profile. Because when people find you, you will want it to say the right thing.

Now more than ever, it is important to keep up with new trends and tools available to stay competitive.  Social Media and advances in the Internet are not fads.  They are here to stay.  Recruiting and staffing professionals must continue to learn, grow and evolve. 

Here is additional advice to help you. 

Together with PR Expert Susan Young, I will be hosting a new webinar, “Make More Money in 2010:  Power Marketing, PR and Social Media.

In two content-packed hours, you will learn:

  • New Marketing Techniques that combine proven methods with new media.
  • Proactive PR Strategies to increase your name recognition, visibility, credibility and revenues.
  • Social Media Trade Secrets that are key for all Recruiting, Staffing and HR professionals to thrive in 2010.

Your choice of two dates: 12/4 or 12/10.  Register by 11/20 for 30% discount.  Approved by NAPS for continuing education credit.  For details and to register today, click here: http://bit.ly/26uIPd