Unique Online Tools Help Recruiters Mine for Talent

By Rita Zeidner Mar 21, 2008

R​ecruiters have been shopping the Internet for job candidates for years. But creative use of data mining tools and other online resources can go a long way toward increasing returns, according to veteran recruiter Peter Weddle.

Weddle heads up the International Association of Employment Web Sites and can be downright evangelical on the topic of online recruiting. But when it comes to identifying the best and the brightest talent—and convincing those workers to leave their current jobs for a "devil they don't know"—savvy recruiters may have to dig a bit deeper, he told his audience during a March 2008 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) webcast. (Click ​ HERE to access the full webcast and print materials.)

Weddle argued that job sites can go only so far to draw in workers with experience; other lesser-known tools can also be useful for garnering recruitment leads.

Cautioning recruiters against spending too much time tracking down needles in the cyberspace haystack, he urges seeking for talent in "clusters." He singled out the free search engine Gigablast (www.gigablast.com) as a tool that would help recruiters to identify top talent based on their experience speaking at conferences.

He also recommended using the ubiquitous search engine Google to mine for specific types of files, such as Excel spreadsheets of attendees at conferences. Who knew?

Weddle challenged recruiters to think beyond the traditional job board that merely lists job openings. Many job seekers, he said rely on the web for a sense of community. The sites that tend to draw passive job candidates—often prime recruiting material—are ones that provide other kinds of content, including listservs, training materials and career advice.

He recommended that employers and recruiters capitalize on newer technologies including "really simply syndication" (RSS) to push job leads out to potential recruits.

And while he doubted the potential of video to catch on as a resume tool, he said recruitment videos, which employers are using increasingly for brand enhancement, are the "wave of the future."

Rita Zeidner is manager of the SHRM Online HR Technology Focus Area.


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