Apr 10, 2007

Blogging and careers

From the Wall Street Journal:
Ryan Loken, a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. recruitment manager, says he spends one to two hours a week searching through blogs for new talent or additional information about the candidates he has interviewed. "Blogs are a tool in the tool kit," he says. Since he joined the Bentonville, Ark., retail giant three years ago, Mr. Logen estimates that Web journals have helped him fill 125 corporate jobs. Most of the recruits were referred to him by bloggers and blog contributors, and some were the writers themselves.

The blogosphere has become a virtual career center for job hunters seeking advice. See what job seekers can gain from blogs about recruiting.In addition to blogs that focus on their industry or field of interest, recruiters say they check candidates' blogs about noncareer-related topics for evidence of writing skills and clues to how well rounded they are.

Some job seekers call recruiters' attention to their blogs as a way to boost their candidacy. In an interview for a public-relations job in late 2004, Kevin Dugan says he told recruiters at Cincinnati-based FRCH Design Worldwide that he had been writing a blog for two years. "Blogging was a way for me to build credibility," he says. "It was a way to show my writing skills pretty easily as well as my knowledge of blogging and the public-relations industry." Mr. Dugan, 36, got the job and continues to write his blog, which he says generates about one job lead a month.

Companies that allow their employees to continue to blog run the risk of having a competitor poach their talent. Mr. Balfour, who continued to blog after he joined Zoom, says he has been invited on several job interviews because of his blog, though he turned down the opportunities that were offered.

Some companies encourage employees to blog because they can use them to recruit others. When recruiter Harry Joiner was hired to fill two positions at Musician's Friend Inc. in November, he used an employee's personal blog to help sell his client's rural location of Medford, Ore., to job seekers. "Candidates were using Medford as a reason not to consider the jobs," he says. "As a marketer, I thought, if you can't change it, promote it."

The blog, by So Young Park, the company's director of e-commerce marketing and customer-relationship management, describes her move to the area a year ago from New York City. It includes details about her work, her experience owning a car for the first time, a bear sighting near her new home and related topics. While she started the blog to share information about her experiences with family and friends back East, she acknowledges that it has also been a good resource for attracting job hunters.

So there is more than one way in which blogs and bloggers can help organizations to recruit talent. However, in India there is not too much of blog searching that employers are doing to recruit talent at the moment. However as blogging is embraced by more and more business school and undergraduate students, when they move into hiring manager positions in a couple of years you can be sure that they will tap the blogosphere network for getting candidates who stand out.

Have you used blogs to hire people, or have you been hired by an employer because of your blog? Let me know, and I'll do an interview with you :-)