Radical Quebec: Newbies to Recruiting:
This is a copy of the presentation I recently gave at Radical Quebec. I chose to use it as my blog as I believe many of the points used, should be reviewed by others. Enjoy the read. Dan
What is Recruiting? To me recruiting is the ability to fill a need or an opening with someone qualified to fulfill on said need or opening. It’s looking into your rolodex of contacts and matching column A (the person) with column B (the opening) or if you are unable to fill said opening; then to give the opening to someone else who has the ability today to accomplish the task. Although recruiting is very much a clandestine combat sport; sometimes having a reliable network is good for the personal reputation or brand.
Reputation or Brand: The aura or mystique around which you base your actions. This is the noise heard round the world whenever your name is mentioned. This can be assumed two ways, positive or negative. Reputation is very much based in “What have you done well lately?” or “Is this the individual I wish to be seen doing business with?”
Rules to Live by: At the beginning of the ride, when you decide that this is the path you wish to travel on, and you have surrounded yourself with good people, Set up your own personal mission statement. This will guide you and act as your sheet of ethics on how you will act professionally, and what steps you will take to “do the deed”. This exercise is more for setting a moral compass and allowing you to set the parameters which you will work under: A line in the sand, if you will.
Now is the time to start establishing yourself within the company. If you are fortunate enough to make the connection with an established company (i.e. Radical Events), you want to take the time to listen then act on instructions given. Remember you are the newbie and it is up to you to prove that the alliance between you and the established partner is time well spent, and that you will prove to be a vital asset in the days to come. No one wants to find out that you cannot perform a task because you are too scared to ask for help, or ask how the task could be done on time and on budget. Your team leader should be willing to offer the guidance needed, so listen (there’s that word again) and ask questions to clear up all the doubt, and proceed.
You need to establish connections between yourself and the company; and between yourself and others in the industry. You never know when you may need assistance from another person in a different city to fill a promised need. This is where your personal branding and reputation will be the ultimate key to your survival as a recruiter.
This is best achieved by gaining knowledge in Social Networking and starting to market yourself as a member of the brand you represent. Please bear in mind that at the end of the day, that brand is you. While you may be sub-contracted to a larger company, you have to take responsibility for your image, the same as you will be held accountable for your future actions.
The very first thing you need to do is establish your brand. I suggest setting up your own domain for the little money it will cost you, and set up a professional sounding e-mail address which will be the hub where all your future growth will be based; Its portable, costs very little, and will allow you to set up once a focal point for your work life which you can take with you to the next engagement. It will allow you to hit the ground running that much faster than if you have to set up all the basics time and time again.
Linked-In, Facebook, Twitter, Social Oomph, 140, the personal blog, and many others will soon become your best friends; and the means by which you will do your best work. Take your time with these steps as you really only want to establish yourself once. This can be both the scariest and the most exciting time of your new career, as you go from digital ghost to being digitally distinct. Everyone in this room has a personal/professional reputation that sets us apart from each other, and if I was to ask this room what the most important form of social media is to you, I would probably receive as many answers as there are people. No two of us go about the business in the same fashion; yet we all consider ourselves peers in a common industry, and each one of us contributes what we feel is the best option to a given opportunity.
Linked-In is probably where you wish to start the trip. This is a fairly heavy program, which requires you to take your time and fill in as many of the spaces as you possibly can, because this will be the basis of your network. I have seen a lot of profiles that are incomplete, missing vital information like an e-mail address or a company phone number, or have photos that look like one out of the family album- I know, because in that instance, I was one of them.
A proper Linked-In profile should reflect you as a person and a professional, and should be treated with the same care you give your resume. You will never hand out a resume and forget to put your name on it, or forget your current contact information; Heaven forbid you get the position and then promptly lose it because you had either an old phone number or no phone number at all. Each stage of the Linked-In profile is equally important, and should be given the same attention to detail.
The first step is name and current position. When you change responsibilities, or companies- update it.
Next, the top 3 past positions you held are listed. This is where people get to see where the experience you claim to have, came from, and how much of an asset in the rough you are, or how much more seasoning the steak needs to really sizzle.
Education comes next. How have you prepared yourself for your vocation; or are you like me, a journeyman with a lot of experience and education in many things, rather than a lot of knowledge in one area.
Recommendations should be ignored at this point, unless someone from your past life can assist you with a good word; all they can accomplish now is what a great person and how well liked you are. This is an area that is best covered when you have taken the time to establish yourself, and you have done impressive work in the industry to warrant the extra notice from a peer.
Connections are important, because they show others how much you are vested in future success, by taking the time to get to know and connect with other people in the industry. Try not to go for statistics, rather add people who will be meaningful for you down the road. A solid network of go-to allies is far better than having a lot of contacts from every corner of the world with whom you will have little or no contact or industrial interest.
Now the fun stuff starts. How many of you have filled out the section marked “websites” and left the results with the generic “company website” or “personal blog”? Did you know that these features can be edited to give your profile more of a personal touch?
The more you can customize your profile to paint the masterpiece you wish to achieve, the better chance you have of connecting with the right people, who wish to get to know you, not just your cv. You are allowed 3 websites, so include those which will make the best impression. In this digital age, information can be rather easy to find, if you know where to look, so it is better to offer it up now and prevent the inevitable search, which may turn up stuff you wish would remain hidden.
Twitter allows people to follow your tweets and once they find you, it gives them an idea of how your mind works by the comments you make or conversations you sit in on. Not a bad thing to set up the twitter account- but your comments become gospel according to you, so keep the words short and sweet, you may have to eat them someday.
The public profile is where people on Linked-In can find you. Again there is a little editing which is allowed to make your profile unique, and easy to remember for people looking for someone of your obvious talents.
Using myself as an example, I’m known as The Daniel J. Smith and I have been known by many things in the past, most notably The Sourcers’ Apprentice, during my intern phase in this industry. It allowed me to establish my own corner of the internet and create something that will follow me hopefully as a legacy to other new recruits, rather than an example on how to do everything in completely the wrong fashion. Google me sometime, The Daniel J. Smith- all one word- and you will see that growth is possible and impact doesn’t take long if you work hard enough at it. The ideal situation is to have people calling you with opportunities and job offers, rather than pounding the pavement looking for that next big challenge.
This brings us to the Summary. Summarize your skills and abilities, and give the one-two punch on why you are the candidate your client has been looking for, and that you will accomplish in spades good results for their bottom line. Oh yeah, this is the absolute best place to put all your contact information, so that you may be reached. Too many people set up the profile and forget the picture, forget to customize their websites, forget to include contact information. A colleague in Toronto, tweeted Friday that he had seen the ideal profile for a search he was conducting, and the candidate lost out on the opportunity by not leaving any contact information on the profile. See the earlier point- If you don’t take the steps to promote yourself and your abilities, how is anyone going to learn how totally awesome you are? My summary has every possible website where you can contact me. I accept most invitations on Linked In, am always accepting Facebook friends in the industry, to help me learn new techniques; or check out my fan-page for blogs and opinions I have on events occurring in the chosen profession.
Specialties are the area where you will put your best assets, or what people will want to know you for.
It can be as simple as being a thorough thinker, or an expert in people and interpersonal skills, helping others is that much better for knowing you.
The rest of the profile is just like the resume, that is Where, When, for how long and what were your responsibilities. How has this experience added value to your next place of employment? Never be afraid to put down all the relevant information on each employer; when people have learned enough, they will simply stop reading and reach out to you via phone, Skype or e-mail.
The same can be said for education. Personally, I have a lot of life experience that wasn’t taught in school, so people who want the journeyman or everyday people person with better than common ideas call me. The ones who want University degrees have to look elsewhere. In this industry, I would rather be in the company of laypeople who are heavy on street smarts and know how to do the job efficiently, rather than someone who owns a textbook on how to do the job.
We mentioned Recommendations. You will know when the time is right to ask a colleague for one; usually after some awesome project where you exceeded all expectations. It’s good to have good press, and everyone enjoys receiving a pat on the back for a job well done- ASK. You earned the right.
Once you have taken the time to set all the information up on your profile correctly, and it can stand on its own, then and only then should you start to establish your network. Pick a group to join that interests you-Canadian Recruiting Community is a good choice, and start by adding people that interest you or shares similar thoughts to you. Before long, if you have gone through all the steps in order and completely, you may find people wanting to add you to their networks. This is when Linked In becomes totally awesome and you start to make some really useful contacts.
Although it was mentioned before- Include contact information so people know where to find you. My address book is full of initials, first names, last names (different people) all suffering for the lack of phone numbers or an e-mail address. I may be able to contact you through Linked-In, but chances are I need the opinion or have the opportunity now, and you were the go-to person so I have to look elsewhere. Not good when the business depends on filling needs with reliable people. The Headshot is also good to maintain that professional appearance. One time cost, priceless return on the investment.
This headshot can also be used at all other points of media contact on the web, so you have consistent presence across the board, and if someone is looking at something accredited to you, chances are better that it’s yours.
If any of this information is useful to even one person, then that’s one more who will get more from Linked In
Have a Fantastic DayDaniel J. Smith
Community Manager of Social Media Initiatives
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