When hiring knowledge employees, like say high class engineers, business managers or an expert in quantitative modelling, I encounter a problem. Their resume.
A resume is written from the job seekers perspective. It is a marketing document and I cannot exactly determine how much – it at all – should I discount the contents. Yes, I can put him through tests, quizzes and ask him why manhole covers are round but that adds to my hiring cost. I want to have a way to surreptitiously watch a timeline view of this person’s expertise in action – like they do through a two-way mirror during police interrogation. And the web should be able to do it for me.
It is very likely that an ace developer would have participated in some forum discussions, provided solutions to problems that people put out. She would have commented on some blog or may run a topical blog herself. A financial engineer would most likely be an active member of the Wilmot forum if he is smart, inquisitive and forthcoming – all the right skills employers look for. Smart people are always looking to increase their social capital in the web 2.0 world and spread their smarts – and as an employer I want to know how well a candidate is doing in that effort..
This is where traditional jobsites have become vulnerable. They have merely electronized the brick-and-mortar form of hiring. It is virtually impossible for them now to become expert networks and allow a much effective method of specialized hiring. They are consigned to remain in the commodity by-the-headcount market and just hope they do not lose scale (A giant like LinkedIn attempted a break away strategy through LinkedIn Answers. But after the initial spurt, it has kind of waned out). On the other hand an expert network like Stack Overflow first built a community, established an user-generated intellectual hierarchy and now plans to extend that for careers. Brilliant strategy.
If your company has a blog, just mine the comments to find out the smart ones interested in your business. And stop your subscription to the job sites.
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