Just a year ago, there were fewer than a dozen blogs that related to recruiting or talent. Today there are probably over three dozen and more appear every day.
Gen Y recruiters regard them as mainstream and so do many Gen Xers and Boomers. Vendors of talent systems and services feel pressure to have a blog to showcase their awareness of the market and of the customer.
They are an inexpensive and fast way for an unknown recruiter or vendor to reach an audience. This, however, does not mean that blogs are well-written or even interesting. Some are just rants or raves and, unfortunately, most are not very good.
I define a good blog as having three characteristics:
- It must be concise and to the point. It should be something I can scan in two to three minutes and take away a nugget or two. I dislike long blogs, full of opinions without data or facts or links. If someone wants to write an essay, they should publish it as a white paper or an article. Blogs are for quick reading.
- It must offer fresh insight into a topic or take a current idea or trend and offer a different view. I don’t want to read blogs that are just a rehash of other people’s thoughts or diatribes about them.
- It should provide links to websites and other blogs where I can learn more about whatever the blogger is discussing. This is either to reinforce the content, validate it, or provide opposing thoughts. It should let me quickly determine through these links and references whether what is said is an opinion or a fact.
Most mornings I spend 30 minutes or so scanning the various blog entries that have come in overnight. Sometimes I miss a day or two, then have a bit of catching up to do, but the time spent usually pays off by making me aware of something new or by jolting me into thinking about an issue in a different way.
The blogosphere enriches and overwhelms. It is very hard to know whether what is written is a fact or an opinion. Ideas are thrown out without the oversight provided in more traditional media by a producer, editor, or director.
This requires that you read blogs written by reliable, trusted sources and that you calibrate what you read with your own experience.
Here is my incomplete and fairly short list of blogs that I like. All of these blogs relate to the world of talent: recruitment, human resources, or development. What I have tried to do is to compile a set of blogs that, taken together, give an overall picture of what is happening in the world of talent.
There is Gerry Crispin’s lively blog called the CareerXroadsAnnex annotating his talent-related journeys around the world and his activities in human resources. He writes about once a week and has a style that both entertains and informs. Gerry can always be counted on to discuss an issue from a little different perspective or chronicle an event in a memorable way.
And every few days, Todd Raphael of ERE keeps us up to date on current events and happenings in the recruiting space, reporting about people, vendors, and corporations. His blogs are short, filled with links and easy to read.
If you are focused on Asia, particularly China, there is no better source in English than Frank Mulligan. Frank is an Irishman who has lived for a decade or more in China and runs an RPO there. He is well connected and very aware of the issues organizations face as they try to find talent there.
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Some blogs are in area related to recruiting such as the future of work, the generations, or employee development.
Russ Eckel, a sociologist who researches the differences between the generations, discusses the values, beliefs, and work habits of the under-30 generation that is just now entering the workplace in large numbers.
Charlie Grantham, a professor at the University of San Francisco, writes a fascinating blog on the future of work. He covers topics from what work might look like down the road to what the workplace will even look like in a few years. The blog contains a rich set of links and great information for anyone in HR.
Several vendors contribute solid blogs and illuminate the technology space particularly well.
One of my favorite is by Alice Snell at Taleo, who covers a lot of territory in her blog commenting on everything from screening processes to hiring in Singapore.
Another blog, commenting more on employee performance than recruiting, but nonetheless very relevant to recruiters, is that by Success Factors. It’s called Performance and Talent Management.
While this is a very small list, it represents a cross-section of commentary and thoughtful practice from some very good people. From time to time I will present other blogs.
After all, they seem to spring up almost daily, but I encourage you to skim widely and wisely.