When I began building a digital network of real estate professionals five years ago, I had no idea just how thoroughly it would transform my recruiting practice. That network is on track to reach 300,000 members at the end of 2014, and it’s allowed me to find and match some of the best people in the business with leading companies worthy of their talent. Along the way, I’ve taken note of a few themes in online recruitment that might prove useful to job seekers and hiring managers alike:
Reaching Far but Looking Close
There’s an old New Yorker cartoon with a picture of a golden retriever using a computer. It’s captioned, “On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog.” On many online forums for job candidates, no one really knows if you’re a vice president or what that actually means. I frequently encounter professional profiles that list work experience aligning with the professional qualifications I’m searching for. Yet on closer inspection, the descriptions of job titles are too vague to offer any clues into the critical competencies and knowledge demanded by a given position. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: Be specific. Give examples. “Vice president” tells me a lot less than “vice president of sales and marketing for the Northeast region.” A closer look should reveal how many people you’ve managed, for how long, and the highlights of what that team achieved under your leadership. Even if 500 hiring managers view your profile, they won’t get in touch if they don’t find the information they need to make an informed hiring decision.
First Impressions Count
And this day and age, it’s impossible to know where that first impression might occur. It could be in person, on LinkedIn or even via the photos from a conference your company posted to its blog. At the very least, dress for the job you want in the picture you use for social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+. Likewise, be sure to proofread every public profile accessible to potential employers, and refrain from packing your email signature with dated logos and unnecessary text. Life isn’t a press conference, and no one expects job candidates to look 100 percent professional in every picture floating around on the Internet. But on career-specific websites, it’s important to devote as much attention to thoughtfulness and professionalism as you would meeting someone for the first time.
Of course, none of this is to give the impression that digital tools haven’t revolutionized the process of connecting people to the companies where they can best reach their potential. Technology’s positive effects for job seekers are well-documented, but it’s also had tremendous benefits for the companies doing the hiring. At Christopher Frederick, I’ve been able to add seven people to my team in recent years as a direct result of my approach that combines one-on-one recruiting with the resources of our exclusive digital network. We’re often able to find qualified candidates in a matter of days, where a similar search would have taken weeks under our old approach. Most importantly, we’ve emerged from the recession filling more executive positions and satisfying more clients every year. Our experience proves that time invested in digital networking doesn’t just pay off for job seekers, it is also critical for companies competing for talent in today’s job market.
For more than 20 years, Christopher Frederick has helped match the skills of high-value executives with leading companies in real estate. Visit our website at www.chrisfred.com where you can find exclusive job listings for real estate professionals and read more about our one-of-a-kind approach to executive recruitment.