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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Poll: Social Networks Help Your Biz

In a recent, unofficial poll posted by a member on the Plaxo network, the following results illustrate which social networks are being used by companies to grow their businesses.

The query was posted as "Which networking [site] has been more useful in improving your Biz?" Out of 320 votes,
LinkedIn came out on top with 67% (215 votes)!

Here's the entire list of responses:

Linkedin - 67% at 215 votes
Plaxo - 13% at 42 votes
None - 7 % at 23 votes
Xing - 5% at 16 votes

All Others ....specified below... were 3% at 12 votes
Myspace - 2% at 7 votes
Facebook - 1% at 4 votes
Marzar - 0% at 1 vote

This poll confirms what I had suspected, that LinkedIn is more widely embraced by professionals for business reasons, while networks like Myspace and Facebook are more for the casual user for personal reasons.

While I think that these "casual networks" can be leveraged to market your product or service, I feel that many of the stories of companies successfully doing so may be hyped up. Still, viral marketing is a real technique that would behove any entrepreneur to try and exploit using a social network.

JM Kelly, The IT Entrepreneur

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

How to Choose a Great Recruiter


When choosing a recruiter or "agent" to represent you to prospective employers, be sure to be selective and perform a little due diligence. Often, a referral from someone who has used the recruiter/agent is the best place to start.

Some companies have a preferred vendor list that they utilize when posting job requirements ("reqs") and the recruiting firms on this list will have exclusive rights to get you into that company.

Other companies will post reqs to the major job boards (Monster, Career Builder, etc.) and if you are listed with these job boards (and your qualifications match), you will begin to get bombarded by recruiters trying to place for the same position. If you are looking for work, this is not necessarily a bad position to be in. :-)

The professional recruiter will try to match you to positions that you are qualified for, that you are interested in, and that are logistically possible for you to fill. He or she may try to be a little persuasive. This is okay; after all, placements are how a recruiter gets paid and most people are resistant to change.
But if you are adamant that it's not a good fit, a great recruiter knows to continue searching and let you pass on the opportunity. After all, you may use him in the future or refer someone else who will. A great recruiter will pay you for referring a friend, too.

By the way, only deal with a recruiter who charges the employer, not you (the resource). Typically, the employer gets billed a percentage of one years' salary for a permanent placement, or an on-going percentage of the billable hours for a contract. This is a great bargaining chip for you, as you can negotiate a higher rate for yourself that comes out of the markup.

A recruiter acting as your professional agent is a great resource for finding work, be it contract or permanent. Find a good one, be respectful of his/her time and efforts, and you will have a profitable, symbiotic relationship.
JM Kelly, The IT Entrepreneur

Friday, January 11, 2008

Headhunter or Recruiter? Some are a dime a dozen.

Headhunter, recruiter, agent, middle-man, whatever you call them, these professionals provide valuable services in every business sector. Whether in IT, engineering, pro football or waste management, you will find people who connect resources (people) with job requirements or contract work.





Unfortunately, some recruiters are "bottom feeders" whose only concern is putting two and two together for a quick buck. I have been burned by this in the past, trusting recruiters who falsely represented the work requirements to me or my skill set to the employer. Why one would do this is a mystery to me, as it only weakens their credibility on both sides.





Over the years, I've forged relationships with some really good folks, agents who will look out for my interest as well as their clients'. If you work in IT, email me and I'll gladly provide you a free list. If you know a reputable recruiter, I would welcome you to share who they are with me.


In my next post, I'll list the dos and don'ts when dealing with a recruiter.



JM Kelly, The IT Entrepreneur

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