The next generation of corporate career sites need to completely invert the funnel and begin to engage visitors on their terms – with immediate access to information that is real and important to them. Career sites will HAVE to incorporate two-way communication and distribute their content through the innumerable web-tubes in order to create opportunities to directly connect hiring managers and recruiters to passive talent where they live online. This also means that companies have to come to terms with the fact that
“C2.0”, as in Careers 2.0. – the next generation of Career Sites and Intranets that enable dialog and collaboration, closed corporate social networks, and employee communities will define and build Employer Brands in the future.
many of the interactions between talent and company will not begin on the corporate career site at all as people increasingly utilize social media and Google in order to gain access to *authentic* information and gain access to windows into the soul of a company. As any reader of EXCELER8ion knows, my tireless mantra is – “C2.0“, as in Careers 2.0. – the next generation of Career Sites and Intranets that enable dialog and collaboration, closed corporate social networks, and employee communities will define and build Employer Brands in the future.
People are increasingly using “new technologies” that make it easy to publish content to the web to share opinions, insights, experiences, and perspectives with each other. For the uninitiated, the applications and web sites that enable this user-generated content are often grouped into the term Social Media. Authentic user content that can be generated by anyone (and everyone) and shared through social media. This content can powerfully influence overall perception of a company and their employer brand. In my experience, Social Media has a bad rep in the corporate HR world – and yet this is with social media tools that people are connecting, building relationships, and the sourcing of talent is happening.
We are living in an age where we are finally seeing the rise of what is being called the prosumer – a consumer who is actively involved in the design and manufacture of products, no longer a passive player upon which preferences are pushed upon, rather – consumer that is part the process. Duncan Riley on Techcruch discusses prosumer in a recent post:
The word is a combination of producer and consumer that perfectly describe the millions of participants in the Web 2.0 revolution.
This revolution that we are witnessing doesn’t stop because we are talking about employer brand and recruitment. I am calling the ‘prosumer’ of the employer branding / recruitment world – the “Career Prosumer” – an individual that actively produces content, participates, and engages with prospective employers – often outside of the careers site on a corporate blog or in a social network. Career Prosumers will not necessarily always use or relate to the sites that we create in the ways that companies expect them to.
Providing platforms and forums that seek out and *encourage* such real user generated content introduce a level of transparency and credibility into how a company is perceived. Participating in social networking sites, such as LinkedIn and Facebook allow employers to communicate with talent where they are ALREADY spending their time. Want a live example? Check out this Facebook group that was just started by my Twitter bud, Chris Brogan, called Grasshoppers. The description of this group:
Grasshoppers are motivated, talented people with a shared belief that helping others comes back in good ways to everyone involved. From friendsourcing (finding help with business or personal projects through friends) to building a network of colleagues for future collaboration, Grasshoppers is a group that hopes to answer the question, “How can I help?”
Talent sourcing is becoming intertwined with “Friendsourcing”. In a way, this is no different that how it has ALWAYS been. Referrals have ALWAYS been the number one source of hire – now we are just making our friends and networking differently. What’s new here is that we’re using the network effect of the Internet so your message is amplified a thousand times over and can reach the furthest reaches of the world, or right next door where your hidden candidates live, as in within a 20 mile radius of your headquarters. The latter is often overlooked due to the vast reach of the Internet – we forget that the Internet is one of the most efficient self-selecting people connectors ever seen. People self-select around interests, passions AND LOCATION. What’s better, an online Ducati motorcycle group or an online Ducati motorcycle group that’s based in your area where you can meet up for group rides? (Yes, Julian and I are going to get a Ducati, and yes I am going to take riding lessons). Chris distributed a message to all of the Grasshopper group’s member asking them Go to the Discussion Board for the Group and post Job Wanted or Job Opening threads, and start populating them.Top companies understand that and will create a “recruiting culture”, ensuring that their recruiters and hiring managers spend their time building relationships where candidates already live – not the other way around. So often in life, we are just going through the motions instead of really driving our reality, driving our business, really engaging with real people, with real talent. I can name only a handful of companies that are overtly using social media for the purposes of connecting to and engaging talent in their employer brand and yet we are witnessing the development of ‘Un-Careers Sites’ – as employer brands and messaging can now be easily found, aggregated, but not controlled on dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of sites across the web. Aggregating that content for easy consumption for interested individual, and becoming an active participant in the creation of that content, is the key to engaging the Career Prosumer and understanding C2.0.