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Blogs IV: Why Write

(August 09, 2001)
On Friday, we offered a deeper than usual dissection of the types of Recruiting blogs. The obvious implication of the exercise was that different kinds of blogs are meant for different audiences. Whether or not the development of a blog is useful for you or your organization is a function of the type you want to write.

Blogs that actually do some form of recruiting are still a rare breed. The explosion in Recruiting related blogs comes from the "blogging about recruiting or the recruiting marketplace" and the employment or online job hunting advice and services sector. The echo-chamber quality of the current "Recruiting Blogosphere", while not unexpected, leaves many potential readers and new bloggers a little cold. The self-congratulatory tone and limited exploration of new ideas and products (or old ideas, for that matter) is a cause of concern for the critical thinkers who look through the material.

If you are an executive who works for a vendor in the Recruiting industry, it's worth taking the time to consider the use of a blog. Although the exercise is far from a sure thing, there are some interesting examples to follow. There is still a void in the overall conversation.

Colin Kingsbury is the COO of a company called HRM Direct. His blog routinely explores challenging topics that are of interest to his customers. He believes (and demonstrates through his actions) that the market is a conversation. Courageously, he tackles issues like the question of whether or not customers are capable of driving a design process:

Why did GM continue to crank out gas-guzzling SUVs throughout 2004 and 2005? Because customers kept on buying them. As I wrote in When Bad Features Feel Good, customers often say they want a bigger salad bar but order the spaghetti carbonara.

Yankee Group analyst Jason Corsello writes about a conversation with a CEO who said, "you aren't a SaaS vendor unless you require zero training." Jason commented that "at least in today's enterprise environment, his statement is more utopia than reality" and went on to say that,

Recruitment-centric (otherwise known as ATS) vendors, in particular, have struggled with this concept in that most of e-recruitment/ATS products today have been over-engineered and continue to struggle with enterprise use and adoption.

This statement is factually correct as far as it goes but it leaves out the primary cause of the problem: customers keep on asking vendors to build SUV-style applications. (What the Customer Wants?)

Well conceived conversation starters like this are helping to fuel HRM Direct's reputation for thought leadership and market responsiveness. Colin follows the comings and goings in his corner of the universe and is quick to congratulate and criticize. There is no question in any reader's mind about either his biases or his passion. Colin provides both role model and rationale for generating a blog.

The marketplace is a conversation and the winners will be those who participate in it.

There's a good deal more to be said on this subject. Tomorrow's installment will be on Jason Davis' most excellent Recruiting.com as our contribution to the blogswap.

John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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