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Tag Archives: recruitment

 

Although I think that the discussion here is a little exaggerated (some businesses have asked me to help recruit graduates without feeling the need for such things as a position description, selection criteria and pay rates…), clearly some innovative businesses are exploring new ways of signalling their style to attract the right candidates…

 

that the discussion of the

For proof that recruiting has entered a new era, one need look no further than an exceptionally novel internship application submitted this summer by Shawn McTigue. This playful 2:50 video by Shawn was a response to Mastercard’s call for applicants to creatively promote the benefits of a “cashless society.” It was his take on the “something creative” all interns were required to link to as part of the application. The rest of the process involved engaging on MasterCard‘s Facebook page, uploading a resume via LinkedIn, and following MasterCard on Twitter for further directions. The campaign represents the future of recruiting, where the process demands that applicants showcase their skills –and in the process makes them stronger candidates.

Forget the resume; today, employers pay more attention to candidates’ web presence, like their top Google search results, their Klout scores, their number of Twitter followers or the number and quality of recommendations they have on LinkedIn. Companies are looking at how individuals build their personal brand and contribute to that brand on a daily basis. And when it comes to job candidates, the ability to leverage YouTube and Twitter is just the beginning. Applicants are increasingly required to demonstrate creativity and innovation while addressing a company’s business challenge posed during the recruiting process.

Today, most companies have managed to integrate social media into their recruiting function. A recent survey conducted by recruiting platform Jobvite found that 92 percent of U.S. companies are using social networks and media to find new talent in 2012. But this has become the bare minimum expectation for competitive employers. To stand out, recruiters and Chief Human Resource Officers must go beyond simply leveraging social media to recruit talent; they must build a process that creates a more professional candidate; a process where candidates have an opportunity to showcase their innovation and creativity.

In considering the best ways to re-imagine recruiting, I used Spigit’s new crowdsourcing innovation platform, ICON, to do some crowdsourcing of my own. I asked users how they thought companies should build innovation into the recruiting process. Many responses suggested posing business challenges to candidates and asking them to compete on finding solutions.

So how can your company re-invent recruiting in a way that demonstrates openness, transparency, fun, collaboration and innovation?

1. Democratize the talent pool
Use contests and games to allow applicants to set themselves apart by way of their ideas and contributions rather than the standard, one-dimensional credentials presented on a resume. Performance in these contests reveals aptitude rather than education or experience, and that’s where the job market is going. After all, as profiled in my book, The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop & Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today, a study by University of California at Berkeley estimates that knowledge doubles every two years and in some fields every six months.

Contest-driven hiring makes for smarter candidates, not only because the brightest applicants will come out on top. Just as importantly, those applicants will have received an education in the company’s priorities, goals, and mission during the recruiting process.

2. Run Time-Bound Business Challenges
MasterCard’s “Cashless Society” campaign yielded over 350 qualified applicants this year, compared to the 20-30 applications the company has traditionally received upon advertising a job.

Applicants were asked to use a third party social media site to explain what a “cashless society,” meant to them, and given four weeks to complete this challenge. Some, like Shawn, created videos; one successful campaign came in the form of a Tumblr blog, called “Cashless ’til May.”

The application process itself is becoming part of the interview as forward-looking companies see the opportunity of creating a more professional candidate. Social recruiting is now morphing into social interviewing, as companies require candidates to showcase their skills, knowledge and competencies in a public manner.

3. Recruit for Impact
In addition to cultivating a workplace family, companies must build a strong employer brand that resonates with potential employees. In the same way that social media now throws a spotlight on candidates’ personal brands, it forces companies to be vigilant about developing their employer brand as a way to attract top talent. They must use social media not only to gain and maintain a following, but also to cultivate a brand that resonates with what young workers (Millennials and beyond) are looking for in an employer.

The research on this may surprise you. In a survey of 1,726 college students conducted by the firm Net Impact, researchers found that 58% of the student population would take a 15% pay cut to work for a organization whose values matched my own

This is giving more organizations the incentive to build their commitment to corporate social responsibility into the recruiting process.

4. Make innovation a requirement
In a business environment fraught with uncertainty, a survey of 1,500 chief executives conducted by IBM‘s Institute for Business Value (IBM), identified “creativity” and “innovation” as critical leadership competencies for the enterprise of the future.

But companies are not waiting until an employee’s start date to begin training for innovation. Instead, they are building innovation aptitude into the recruiting process.

Increasingly we will see companies during the recruiting process ask applicants to solve a business challenge, provide input design on a new product or service, pitch an idea, or defend their analysis of an obstacle the company faces. These types of challenges are created to identify candidates who can demonstrate both innovative thinking, as well as T shaped skills, meaning a depth of knowledge in one area combined with as the ability to collaborate across disciplines.

For Shawn McTigue, Mastercard’s #InternsWanted challenge was the motivation he needed to get the creative juices flowing. “It told me that MasterCard was not looking for the same old thing,” Shawn said. “They were looking for exactly what they asked for, which was creativity and someone that would go outside the boundaries.” As a result of the contest, MasterCard selected Shawn for an in-person interview – however, he had in the meantime landed a full-time summer job elsewhere.

5. Build Gamification Into The Recruiting
Professional service firms like Deloitte, Accenture and PwC are the earliest adopters to re-thinking recruiting, and PwC is now building competitive games into the recruiting process in order to train applicants in critical thinking, teamwork and communication – key skills needed for success at the firm. The company’s platform, xTREME Games, is designed to build a range of business skills needed for success among undergraduate accounting students.

So readers, what are you experimenting with in your company to source talent in new and innovative ways?

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From: Herald Sun
  • May 12, 2012 12:00AM

 

  • Web job ads specifying smokers need not apply
  • Job advertisements, however, “must not discriminate”
  • The ads have sparked debate about personal choice

No smoking

The online job market just got a little smaller. Picture: file Source: Supplied 

Related Coverage

JOB chances for cigarette lovers may go up in smoke with online job ads specifying they need not apply.

The ads have sparked debate about personal choice, discrimination and protecting workers health and productivity, says the Herald Sun.

Jobs published online requesting non-smoking candidates range from drivers to personal trainers, publishers, disability workers and receptionists.

The move has met with mixed reactions, with anti-smoking groups saying employers, especially hospitals and health organisations, had the right not to employ smokers.

Acting Victorian Equal Opportunity Commissioner Karen Toohey said job advertisements must not discriminate.

“Stipulating smokers need not apply for a job may be against the law. Employers should not seek to exclude smokers from applying for a position, unless the need not to smoke is an inherent requirement of the role,” she told the paper.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/business/worklife/smokers-job-chances-go-up-in-smoke-online/story-e6frfm9r-1226352606173#ixzz1uVoCN0UG

Leon Gettner
June 30, 2010

Lying about careers is common. Two years ago, I did a blog entry looking at how more people were now lying on the CVs, making up stories about their academic background and achievements.

But then, embellishing the truth a little might be part of human nature, something I examined here. That suggests there are plenty around who bend the truth about their career. How far do people go? When do white lies become a problem?

According to Forbes, the most common porkies on people’s CVs are about academic qualifications, playing with dates, inflating your previous salary, making up job titles you never had, lying about technical abilities, claiming language fluency, providing a fake address and inflating your academic performance.

Of course, there are many who say you shouldn’t do it. For example, this piece from The Wall Street Journal warns that honesty is the best policy and you’ll be found out anyway.

Similarly, academics from the Wharton Business School in the United States warn that it’s dangerous. “Embellishment is part of human nature, experts say, and almost everyone is guilty of it at one time or another. Left unchecked, however, exaggerations that seemed innocuous at first could result in serious, potentially career-ending consequences … In today’s work environment, where no one comes in for a job interview without being Googled first — and where small talk in the elevator or comments made at a staff meeting are just a Twitter post away from reaching a global audience — it’s easier than ever to get caught in an exaggeration”

But others take a more nuanced view. Kelly Magowan in the Six Figures blog asks, for example, whether it’s actually lying if we gild the lily a little to make the CV look more interesting. “A bit of embellishment and ‘white lying’ make it far more interesting for the reader and more likely to get you the job. Let’s face it – we all lie. Albeit, the frequency and degree to which we all lie may vary.”

Writing in the Financial Times, columnist Lucy Kellaway says embellishing the truth comes naturally for many. “Lying is surely caused as much by pragmatism as fear. In my experience, it can be jolly useful. And tests have shown that it doesn’t always catch up with you at al.” Kellaway says comoulsive truth tellers don’t last very long in any office. Sooner or later, they are forced out because no one can work with them. “Offices are glued together with lies. We pretend to like people we work with. We must pretend to be satisfied with our jobs. We must pretend to think our company is better than the competition. By accepting a place in any hierarchy, you are bending yourself out of shape.”

At the same time, you would have to say that that in today’s work environment where there is so much pressure to perform, the temptation to bend the truth has never been greater.

So what would you do if there is an inconvenient truth in your past? Do you gloss over it, make something up or come clean? What do you think about bending the truth on a CV? Is it ok, or unacceptable? Do you know of anyone who has? Or have you done it? What did you say?

02 July 2009 6:40am

Forget social networking and blogging, video interviewing will have the biggest impact on recruitment of any new technology, argues leading international HR consultant Dr John Sullivan.

Sullivan says the move to video interviewing is finally becoming widespread in the US and Europe and is starting to be seen as a necessity rather than a “nice to have” by leading employers.

Not only is video interviewing a major cost saver, says Sullivan, it speeds up time to fill, reduces interview drop out rates and vastly improves the candidate experience. As well, the “interview from anywhere” concept opens the possibility that recruitment companies and employers may decide to outsource the entire shortlisting process to lower-cost offshore locations.

The trend to video interviewing takes advantage of widespread broadband internet access and inexpensive webcams, two factors that severely restricted videoconferencing as a feasible alternative to face-to-face interviews a decade ago.

The quality of the video has improved significantly with broadband and the latest generation of webcams, adds Sullivan.

“Unlike telephone interviews, facial expressions and body language can be readily seen, something that hiring managers rate as a “must-have” feature,” he says.

Sullivan says hundreds of major employers including HP, Google, Rio Tinto, E*Trade, Whirlpool and Pepsico are now using video interviewing, and usage patterns are climbing at a significant pace.

“I predict that within a few years the ‘interview from anywhere’ approach will become the standard practice for all but final hiring interviews,” Sullivan says in a recent article.

Besides being cheaper, faster and more efficient, Sullivan argues that video interviewing broadens the potential candidate pool by making it possible to easily interview candidates from outside a company’s local area. It also improves candidate availability by enabling candidates to do an interview without spending a day or half day out of their office.

Offering this approach to interviews will help employers and recruiters to be seen as cutting-edge in their field and improve their employer brand.

“By showing respect both for the candidate’s time and the needs of their current firm, you may also build goodwill in your image,” he says.

Australia yet to embrace video interviews
Very few recruiters are using video interviews in Australia at present, according to Tom Culver, national sales manager of video solutions company Vipepower.

Culver argued that video interviews are only practical for the preliminary stages of interviews for executive level jobs. He said one of the biggest hurdles for widespread use of live video interviews is that many companies’ IT firewalls prevent the use of Skype and other video programs.

There is also currently little demand from Australian employers to have the ability to manage video interviews in their applicant tracking systems, according to Adam Whitelaw, product director of recruitment and talent management systems company NGA.NET.

Whitelaw told Recruiter Daily NGA.NET’s software has the ability to work with embedded video links such as Google Videos and clients can also load video files into a file library and link to them from assessment screens or candidate files.

NGA.NET may consider integrating its software with the software of a client’s preferred video partner in the future if requested, he said.

Recruitment Directory’s Thomas Shaw said video interviews “certainly cut down resources if you’re interviewing remotely located staff or you have hiring managers in different locations”.

“[But] nothing still beats a one on one personal interview,” he added.

“You still need to meet the person and get a feel for them. Video interviews are a great introduction to the next step.”

http://www.recruiterdaily.com.au/nl06_news_selected.php?act=2&nav=1&selkey=39911

30 June 2009 6:49am

Social networking is an important part of a recruitment strategy but won’t take the place of “old fashioned” personal connections with talent and clients, according to Aquent CEO Greg Savage.

Savage says that when the internet and email first came along, it was widely believed they would “wipe traditional recruiters from the landscape”.

“And none of it came true. None of it,” he says. “The internet and email and job boards didn’t kill off recruiters. New technologies helped them to new heights and new riches.”

While he has embraced social networking, Savage says he does not believe it will inspire a new world of recruiting.

“The truth is that the recruiters who are doing the best now are those who are able to integrate the traditionally required skills with new technologies, and make one plus one equal three.”

Social networking is just a tool
In a recent blog, Savage says social networking is a communications channel recruiters must embrace, but stresses that it’s “not the Holy Grail”.

“It’s just a tool. An enabler, and it needs to be harnessed like all the other mechanisms we use to manage our relationships with clients and candidates,” he says.

He predicts a downturn in the use of social networking sites by recruiters, as the full reality of how hard it is to get a return on investment in that arena becomes clear.

Recruiting by Twitter is not targeted
Savage says that until a more structured and fruitful way to mine networking sites is developed, posting a job vacancy via Twitter is “even less targeted than the least targeted job board”.

“Of course, candidates and even clients, will originate from your social networking site on occasion,” he says.

“But I also pick up candidates and clients from amongst the parents on the sidelines of my son’s rugby matches! No one is really suggesting that as a targeted, sustainable way to re-invent recruiting are they?”

Nothing wrong with being “old-fashioned”
Savage says that just before the recruitment market crashed about 18 months ago, an exiting employee of his company commented, “Aquent is a great place and Greg a good enough guy, just too old-fashioned”.

“The departing employee who made that remark was going to a new staffing world of in-house café lattes, flexible work hours, torn-jeans dress code – and a talent management strategy based entirely on scanning Facebook all day,” he says.

“Sadly that business is gone, along with many of its ilk.”

Savage says it is the “old fashioned” recruiters who actually look to connect, personally, with talent and clients that will survive the current downturn and thrive in the inevitable upswing.

http://www.recruiterdaily.com.au/nl06_news_selected.php?act=2&nav=1&selkey=39889

Is it possible for non-local graduates to find HR jobs here in AUSTRALIA?
put visa-related matter aside, it seems that non-local HR graduates (including myself) are struggling to find a job that is HR related regardless our proven knowledge and abilities. from first hand experience, i know some companies are even willing to take on board someone with less qualification so long as he/she is local. maybe it has nothing to do with racism. maybe it’s just the way it is? so if that’s the case, can non-locals ever get a chance to proof his/herself, particularly in HR industry? please enlighten me on the issue. thanks…

(11 + comments at http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?viewQuestionAndAnswers=&discussionID=2501415&gid=1134437&trk=EML_anet_qa_ttle-cThOon0JumNFomgJt7dBpSBA)

Recruiters’ Inferences of Applicant Personality Based on Resume Screening: Do Paper People have a Personality?

Journal of Business and Psychology, 24 (1), 2009 Volume 24, Number 1, March 2009

Michael S. Cole, Hubert S. Feild, William F. Giles and Stanley G. Harris
Published online: 28 November 2008

Abstract: Research shows recruiters infer dispositional characteristics from job applicants’ resumes and use these inferences in evaluating applicants’ employability. However, the reliability and validity of these inferences have not been empirically tested. Using data collected from 244 recruiters, we found low levels of estimated interrater reliability when they reviewed entry-level applicants’ resumes and made inferences regarding applicants’ personality traits. Moreover, when recruiters’ nferences of applicant personality were correlated with applicants’ actual Big Five personality scores, results indicated that recruiters’ inferences lacked validity, with the possible exceptions of extraversion and openness to experience. Finally, despite being largely unreliable and invalid, recruiters’ inferences of applicants’ extraversion, openness to experience, and conscientiousness predicted the recruiters’ subsequent employability assessments of the applicants.

Keywords Personnel selection, Resumes, Recruitment, Personality

Could HR practitioners be making bad decisions as well?
___________________________________________
07 April 2009 6:53am

No matter how bad the economy seems, it’s always a mistake to accept poor-quality clients, says business coach Ric Willmot.

Willmot, the CEO of Executive Wisdom Consulting Group, says some “really bad decisions” are being made in the corporate arena right now – particularly in the professional and personal services sectors.

The mistakes he has witnessed recently include:

reducing or discounting fees;

pressuring the staff left after redundancies to accept increased workloads;

adopting pricing tactics such as adding credit card service and administrative fees; and

sending reminder notices and payment demand letters – or making abrupt telephone calls chasing payment – within 14 days of an invoice being sent.

Businesses will continue to succeed if they can deliver their service to clients in a way that reaches their objectives, Willmot says. “Make the client significantly better because they have you.”

He says businesses should:

Rid themselves of non-quality clients. “I call them X-class clients; those clients who are low value to you and your business. They consume your corporate capacity. Capacity that will be much better served invested in A-class clients who do appreciate your value, and do good, regular business with you, and refer good people to you.”

Be prudent with the new clients they accept. “You do not have to accept every prospect who comes to your door. A poor prospect never makes a good client. It’s not about more business in this economy, it’s about better business. The litmus test: if the economy couldn’t get any better… would you still want them as a client?”

Understand the difference between revenue and profitability. “They are frequently confused.”

Avoid indiscriminate cost cutting. “Now is the time you should be increasing some expenditure, by investing in innovation, product and service development, human talent and retention of staff and customers.”

Re-tool. “This is a term from the days of Frederick Winslow Taylor referring to plant and machinery. I use the term specifically referring to people.”

Build relationships with their clients. “Strong relationships.”

In addition to the above, Willmot says, leaders should realise that procrastination poses a bigger threat to their success than the economic situation does.

To help build business, he says, managers should:
send letters not email if you really want your client to read your correspondence;

speak at business networking functions to expand your reach;

initiate some low-cost PR measures;

reach out laterally to your existing customers by providing additional products and services;

attend a seminar or training course;

write a press release for the local media; and

whether you are travelling across town or across the nation, leverage the trip and arrange to meet other people who haven’t bought from you yet.

http://www.recruiterdaily.com.au/nl06_news_selected.php?act=2&nav=1&selkey=39214&utm_source=daily+email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Daily+Email+Article+Link

20 March 2009 8:22am

Employers that enforce hiring freezes during a downturn run the risk of anarchic recruitment systems and their costs spiralling out of control, says HR expert Steven Dahl.

Dahl, the founder and managing director of HR solutions provider Onetest, says it’s a “myth” that recruitment freezes protect an organisation from escalating recruitment costs.

“We have to remember and be realistic that even in a recession, people get sick, they have to leave work, they move interstate… Even during a freeze, organisations will be recruiting. The volume of the recruitment might not be as high as it has been in past years, but the critical roles will still need to be re-hired.

“Turnover will still occur even in a recession. When recruitment processes are put on ice, recruitment becomes ad hoc and inconsistent, [leading to] ‘recruitment anarchy’.”

In a webinar this week, he explained how during a time when HR teams might be downsizing or “busy trying to do more with less”, normal recruitment processes are put on ice. When a line manager needs to fill a business-critical role – quickly – they will bypass HR and send the job to an external agency rather than be “inundated” with applications, resulting in a cost between $10,000 and $15,000 (depending on the salary).

“Before too long other managers are following suit and… even though they were in the midst of a recruitment freeze designed to save money and cut costs, have ended up spending several hundred thousand dollars, just in replacement recruitment.”

Now is not the time to let recruitment systems and processes slip, Dahl says. “We know that ad hoc rec ultimately leads to higher costs and greater variability of people that we bring into the organisation.

“We also know from life experience that processes that are more consistent deliver results… And when processes aren’t clearly defined, and we have people who are busy, stressed or time-poor, they tend to do their own thing, and when they do their own thing they tend not to do it particularly well.”

An employer can “end up with as many different selection processes as they have line mangers recruiting, and this isn’t a good thing. If an organisation has right-sized or downsized or retrenched workers over the last six months, as we come out of this recession it has an enormous opportunity to actually recruit or refill its stocks of employees with more of the right people.”

Applications influx an opportunity, not a challenge
Dahl says that while some employers are now shutting down the recruitment pages of their websites due to overwhelming numbers of job applications, this is not the right strategy.

Instead, they should set up online systems to capture all the applications and create a “talent pool” for future recruitment needs.

“What we should be looking at doing is opening it up and getting as many applicants in as we possibly can, registering their interest for future job opportunities, and building that talent pool of five-, ten-, fifteen-thousand candidates which can be accessed for future recruitment needs.

“I can only stress too much to organisations that they don’t turn their back on collecting applications during what I know is a very tough time for business. Whilst you might not be recruiting as feverishly as you were in the last 12 months, you will need to recruit replacement roles; we will come out of the recession and when we do, and you need to recruit more people, this is a great low-cost way to tap in and get access to your very own ready-made talent pool.

“Building your talent pool is going to give you a huge commercial advantage over your competitors. It’s going to help you to fill roles faster, and significantly bring down your recruitment cost per hire.”

Keep the pool “warm”
Dahl warns that “talent pools do ‘go off'” so employers must ensure they stay in touch with the database on a regular basis.

“Send notifications about what’s happening in the organisation about new roles and opportunities that are coming up. You still need to communicate and engage with your talent pool to keep them interested, live and active. A good opportunity will always tempt or entice a jobseeker to take another look, so keep them warm and keep them engaged.”

http://www.hrdaily.com.au/nl06_news_selected.php?act=2&stream=All&selkey=1107&hlc=2&hlw=

Julianne Dowling | March 11, 2009 – 2:00PM

Corporate Australia needs to try harder when it comes to tapping into tools such as Twitter, Facebook, forums and LinkedIn, say online experts.

And they say deep pockets don’t always guarantee an edge.

Regard some of the mistakes made by the big end of town in terms of blasting corporate messages and clumsy YouTube uploads seeking to ‘engage and bond’.

However, internet business coaches such as Gihan Perera say the very attributes of small business (agile, creative and personal) really suit the social networking community.

“The secret is to choose (the tool) appropriately and who you will connect with,” he says.

Perera says business owners should stop being cynical and get on board with social media because of the benefits.

“Small business have innate advantages; they have trust,” Perera explained.

Jennifer McNamara, who runs the Art Est. Art School in Sydney’s inner-west, recently joined professionally networking site LinkedIn and intends to set up a portal on Facebook for her students, to save money on mailouts.

“People can more easily find out more information on art classes, art competitions and special offers through the internet,” she says.

“If I can entice would-be students to sign up, then I can contact them all at a push of a button. It’s a bit more instantaneous, and since we’re very grassroots, we need to be innovative in the way we communicate.”

However business consultant Jennifer Dalitz, founder of online women’s network http://www.sphinxx.org, with almost 1,000 women members, is considering taking off the social network functionality after she found many senior women didn’t really use it.

“Sphinxx is about circulating information and support for working women with common challenges. A couple of years ago everyone believed online communities were the way to go but I don’t think it’s a meaningful way to connect for most women,” she says.

“Women like face-to-face contact with access to female role models; they almost prefer the off-line contact.

“A lot of men embrace online social networks because it appeals to their inner ego.

“But really, a lot of women just don’t have time once they come home to families.”

Dalitz say she often gets Facebook friend requests “from people I don’t even know” but her preferred network is LinkedIn, which is about her existing database.

“People just don’t want to be bombarded with requests. It’s not what busy women do,” she says.

“So that’s the limitation.”

With Facebook featuring over 175 million users and six million user groups, and Twitter revolutionising the idea of mass speak, Gihan Perera says the trick is to think about the commercial applications and make an effort to join the conversations.

His firm – http://www.gihanperara.com – advises entrepreneurs and internetpreneurs on better utilising the tools.

“There’s so much information around and your audience will rely on you, if you can interpret that. Your job is to lead a community that you are involved with; that applies to any business.

“So, it’s not just about giving new information but relevant information. No one can read everything, but business owners are experts in their field, and can share information out.”

One of Perera’s clients is rossclennett.com, which is set up for an online member community.

A HR recruitment trainer who runs an online subscriber-based service, Clennett’s site also makes use of LinkedIn.

Clennett has been writing a fortnightly newsletter for two years with a well-established following, so when he wanted members, they were ready to sign up.

“It worked because he had a two-year track record rather than just doing it cold. That’s the difference,” says Perera.

Perera’s advice is to start slowly, sign up to some networks, and get to know how they work.

“When a large organisation in say, the financial services sector, starts from scratch, they may be going against their current customer style, and so customers will be sceptical,” he says.

Indeed, many professionals are the trailblazers and larger companies, such as H&R Block in the US, already offer free tax advice on Second Life and tweet regularly on Twitter on the subject.

Futurecaster, author and professional speaker Craig Rispin, of http://www.futuretrendsgroup.com, says that while some entrepreneurs may be mentally blocked about social media tools, young staff or even work experience students can help get them started.

He often asks his audience to review his talks on Twitter or other social media as a way of getting the word out.

“Everything is being rated now,” he observed and it’s likely that all professions will be reviewed by the end users in future – see the US academic ratings by students in http://www.ratemyprofessors.com.

So how can medium-sized companies use this knowledge to increase their competitive position?

“The interesting thing is that many businesses, who find themselves squeezed by larger and smaller players, are downsizing and shedding their costs,” said Rispin.

“I think that’s a great opportunity.”

Of course, there’s still plenty of focus on the global financial crisis, but “you have to take the time out from the gloom and doom and look over the horizon.”

There are also countless examples of businesses which started in a recession and became raging successes.

Evan Williams is the guy behind Blogger, which started in the last tech crash in 2001, and now runs online messaging service Twitter.

Speaking at the TED.com (technology, entertainment, design) conference held in California last month, Williams told the audience he had learned to follow his hunches.

Twitter was one such hunch. The idea was to allow brief text-like messages of 140 characters or less, allowing people to connect instantly.

‘Tweet’ updates were used during events such as the San Diego fires and Barack Obama also harnessed this method (or at least, one of his staff members did) to post daily election campaign messages until he became president.

Of course, being pushy or selling something too hard isn’t the way to go, say these experts. Social media congregations are much more subtle.

Rispin says everyone should be future thinkers about their business and now, `rebooting’ your model is the name of the game.

“Technology is a great enabler; small business should stop and ask themselves what is it that they want?” he says.

“Those who are innovating and creating the future will boom.”

http://smallbusiness.theage.com.au/growing/technology/tapping-into-social-networking-616587378.html