When I was out in Melbourne at #TruAus, I got to spend some time with Paul Jacobs, @pauljacobs4real, who I have followed and communicated with for some time. I would put Paul in my personal top 3 influencers in social recruiting. He has a great approach that is often fresh and unique. I recommend you follow him if you don’t already.

Over a few beers we came to a discussion about where the inspiration and ideas come from. When your doing innovative work and trying to do things differently, then it’s not always case studies or other peoples work that you want to follow. If you want to change things, you need a source of inspiration, and you can usually find it outside of recruiting. We quite often pat ourselves on the back for being clever and innovative in the recruiting sector, but to turn out the best work, you need to look at who uses the internet best. How do they use it and how do they make it work for them? If we can get our heads around what works, then we can make it work for us in recruiting.

Fuelled by a few shandy s, we concurred that the really successful Internet businesses were in the porn, sex and dating industries. They have been the first ones to adopt new technologies to their advantage, build communities around areas of interest and turn content viral. Concepts like live video streaming and one to one video booths have been in chat rooms for years, long before Google+ and hang outs. On line dating sites like match.com have been using profiling and matching technology for many years, turning it in to an art form that judging by the stats brings great success. This matching technology could be applied effectively to recruiting. New concepts like video interviewing and selection are old concepts in the dating industry.

The conversation with Paul might sound a bit crazy, but the more you think about it and make comparisons, the easier it is to see how far behind these sectors social recruiting is. Now that the basics match, what coming next, based on what we see from these sectors. (and I don’t venture too far inside even for research.) I’m told by a contact I have who works on adult websites that the big thing now is confidential content delivery and predictive content. Being able to deliver content across a variety of mediums, in particular mobile, and matching content, dates, profiles, video, whatever it is, that matches the viewers needs based on their past behaviour. These are the same things I know we are going to be talking about as the hot topics at #trulondon. Is dating and matching really that different? Think about what we can take from these sectors, and how we can apply them, just don’t expect to be able to expense the research!

Bill

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Paul Jacobs