How Blogging Helps Me Recruit

February 11, 2014 5:06 pm Published by Will Thomson

I had absolutely no idea how blogging would change my professional life. As I discussed in my last article for Work4, it was by complete happenstance that I got involved in blogging. At first, I did it because it was fun to have my information shared on the internet. I really never thought of it as something that could enhance my career. But as time went on, it became an outlet—therapy, even. And it was fun to share stories.  

Fast forward to 2014, I have had the opportunity to write for some of the most recognizable career websites and have even started building a following on my own website, Bulls Eye Recruiting

When I got started, I guess I really didn’t think about how quickly things could go viral. I remember like it was yesterday when my blog post “10 reasons Every Recruiter Should Start with an Agency” showed up on every newsfeed on Linkedin. I could hardly believe it. It wasn’t just my friends sharing: It was friends of friends, and their friends. The list went on and on. The blog wasn’t just seen in Austin, where I live; it was seen all over the United States—and the next thing I knew it went global—QUICK! How in the world did this happen?  

Blogging Key

I never realized how powerful the internet was until I started blogging. All of the sudden, I wasn’t just a federal sales recruiter that worked for Dell. I was now seen as an expert in the talent acquisition field. Recruiters from all over the globe began following me and asking me questions. That was just the beginning. Once the recruiters followed, it wasn’t long before candidates started taking notice also.

As a person who believes strongly in paying it forward, I never turned down (and still don’t turn down) the opportunity to connect with candidates. I personally may not have an opportunity for a candidate, but I may know someone that does. I understand that by helping them, they are likely to return the favor and help me in the future. 

The more visible I became on the internet and social media, the easier it has become to connect with candidates. My blogging has led me to become active on all social media platforms, and I am on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ every day. You don’t have to look very hard to find me on social media, and that’s no accident. If you find me, it’s because I planned it that way!

As a recruiter I love referrals. I love hiring people who have come to me from someone I know. Because of blogging and social media, and, because I realize I know someone who knows someone who can connect me to the right person, I am able to find candidates with the right skill set in a short amount of time. Blogging—and my social presence—have allowed me to live my philosophy of working “smarter, not harder.”

Recently, I had an opening in Washington DC for a sales engineer, and because of my blog, a great candidate reached out to me. Someone in his network had shared my blog. I didn’t know the person who had shared it with my candidate, but someone in my network had shared my post, which was then shared by people in that person’s network, who shared it with…well, you get the point.

This individual knew nothing about me or the company I worked for, but he liked what I wrote. He reached out to me to say that he had found my blog very helpful, and I responded back to him. He had no idea that I was looking for someone with his skill set, but I was. Our conversation went well, and I found out that he was currently employed but interested in hearing about another position—in other words, he was a passive candidate. I told him about the role, and I ended up hiring him.  

You see, this kind of stuff happens all the time. The more visible you are, the easier your job becomes, and the easier it is to recruit. I am so glad that I accidentally fell into blogging. Couple your blogging with a solid social presence and the sky is the limit: your job as a recruiter will get easier every day. The internet is an amazing thing, and if you use it properly, YOU can go viral along with your blog.

This post was written by Will Thomson

  • http://www.recruitinganimal.com RecruitingANIMAL

    Hi Will. You told one story in which you found one candidate via your blog. To claim that blogging about job hunting and recruiting has enhanced your ability to recruit you need more proof than that. Real numbers.

    I know that you, personally, have changed jobs since I”ve known you and I’m quite ready to believe that when someone is looking for a recruiter, a recruiting blog can help the author become more visible and attractive.

    And, if a recruiter writes a lot of posts for one industry or one profession it’s possible that people working in those areas will know him but unless he has a background in that profession himself that’s going to be hard to do. And I don’t know any such blogs.

    • Will Thomson

      Thanks Animal for responding. Blogging has helped me advance my career as a recruiter. If someone wants to know how I recruit or what I believe, they can just read my blogs. I don’t write strictly about recruiting though. I write about helping candidates. I know you want hard numbers. Percentages. I gave one example. Like Kelly’s response, the numbers may not be as transparent as one might think. It is a trickle down effect. It may have been a post I wrote a year ago that someone connected with me. Through that connection (that I may or may not interact with regularly) they may be able to help me connect the dots with a candidate for a position I am trying to recruit for TODAY. Like I said to Jerry, I don’t expect anything from blogging. I recruit just like everyone else does. It does help though with candidate introductions.

      • http://www.recruitinganimal.com RecruitingANIMAL

        I know you’re a man of faith Will so it’s natural that you have more faith in the invisible trickle-down effect than I do.

  • http://www.jerrytherecruiter.com/ Jerry Albright

    Anyone pressed for time – I’ll sum this up for you: Will made a placement.

    • Will Thomson

      Hey Jerry. Thanks for responding. Yes, I did make a placement from blogging. I am certain that it has helped me with my career and my visibility within the recruiting industry also. In the year and a half I have blogged, I have had countless candidates contact me. I don’t write or blog as a primary source to find candidates. I like you, recruit using the same tools you use. We have discussed them at length. I blog because I enjoy doing it. I expect nothing in return. I get referrals daily- mainly because of my blogging. People know that I am a recruiter. Candidates, not just recruiters. I know blogging has helped me with my career. As seen with Linkedin, someone knows someone who knows someone. If I get an introduction because of a blog, I have an indirect avenue to find someone.

  • http://www.talenttalks.com/ TalentTalks

    Interesting example, Will. While I’m not currently in a situation to be actively recruiting anyone, I have had some unexpected feedback and results from various sources about some of my own online activity. Even though I am minimally visible and don’t have nearly the following or reach as a typical industry blogger, I do see the potential for what you described. The main outcome that I’ve noticed is that due to my connectivity within the recruiting/HR world I often learn of available opportunities which I attempt to pass along within my network or refer someone to another person that might be a good connection for them. At a social event several months ago there were several people that I’ve known for years, yet have minimal direct interaction with on a regular basis. At least four different people make comments and/or asked questions related to my blogging and other online activity. I’ve even had people that I don’t know at all or barely know mention that they like my blog and bring it up when introducing me to another person. As in: “Kelly has a great blog.” It always catches me by surprise since most of the time I get the impression no one sees or reads any of my stuff. Anyway, while I have not officially made any placements myself because of any of this long-time ongoing online activity, on several occasions I have facilitated matches between different people and positions and/or made referrals that resulted in (at least a couple times) a hire being made. ~KB @TalentTalks

    • Will Thomson

      Thank you Kelly for responding! You aren’t giving yourself enough credit. 🙂 You are way more than minimally visible. Your blogs are insightful and are shared all over. Your blogs help others connect the dots and that is the point I was trying to make. Directly or indirectly, blogging helps increase your visibility which in turn is enhancing your career. By paying it forward with your introductions, your job will become easier. Thanks again!