Last Tuesday I gatecrashed a training seminar for recruiters run by Social Talent. I now have a Blue Belt in Internet Recruitment and I’m still reeling from the experience. It could well have been the single best seminar I’ve ever attended.
If you’re a recruiter who is considering taking the course, you might find the first three points useful, the same goes for anyone who wants to know the difference between great and awful seminars. For anyone who isn’t a recruiter, but wishes that recruiters would pounce on them via social media, you could skip to point four.
Four reasons why the Blue Belt in Internet Recruiting is worth every penny of the £395 price tag:
1) It had great, useful content
Let’s look at what they offer:
Upon completion of this one day module attendees will have a solid understanding of Boolean operators, modifiers and commands and will be able to find 100% of LinkedIn profiles using only a free account, find candidates on Twitter, Blogs, Google Plus, Video Sites, Blogs, Staff Directories and much more. Most importantly attendees will be able to provide their expert recruitment knowledge in building search strings and following “rabbit holes” to produce candidates that other recruiters will not find.
It’s no exaggeration to say that’s what I got. The tricks like ‘x-ray searches’ and ‘rabbit holes’ certainly produced a lot of wow moments, but the less glamorous insights were also eye-opening. We learned what will help web pages shoot up in search result rankings, and what will make them plummet out of sight. How Bing and Google differ. How browsers differ. Which Chrome apps save you time and effort. Which websites do all the work for you.
2) I learned something, no homework required
And let’s look at the first line again:
Upon completion of this one day module attendees will have a solid understanding of… and will be able to….
This is the crunch. It’s a familiar sentence, but few courses actually deliver anything above and beyond what you could gain from reading the presentation slides.
All the participants were provided with a computer and we were constantly doing things and comparing results. The tasks were a mix of cleverly orchestrated tasks and real-life tasks provided by the participants, providing an authentic learning experience.
The session closed with an online timed test. Despite assurances that we could have a second stab at it if we failed to get the pass mark, it was challenging. I have to say I did really break a sweat. But I did pass, and getting over that hurdle brought a great sense of achievement.
3) It was engaging
And, dare I say it, fun. How many seminars have you sat through where someone drones on while you sit passively, your mind wandering towards more interesting matters, like what you’ll have for dinner or the colour of the presenter’s socks? All the hands-on learning meant the participants kept focused and on-task, and the time flew by.
Jonathan Campbell was a great presenter, and that’s important. I firmly believe that all training seminars should be led by charismatic and funny presenters. People pay good money to attend, and if no one in the company has a spark of charm some of that cash should go towards hiring and training someone who fits the bill. Fortunately for Social Talent, Jonathan is the CEO, so everyone is happy.
4) I got an invaluable insight into the murky world of recruitment
I’m not a recruiter, and I don’t really know any. Recruiters, headhunters – they sound like those strange renegades you find skulking around the jungles in untouristy parts of Southeast Asia. And they’re a mysterious shadowy presence – In a world of recruiters, why is it so hard for people to find jobs? Who are these slippery creatures?
Actually they seemed like a terribly normal bunch of folk just getting on with their work, and facing the challenges of finding people with the right skills for the job. That’s the crux of it; the right skills. You’re most likely only going to get hunted out if you have a formidable skill set and level of experience that pretty much ensures you’re already happily employed.
It turns out that most of their database of candidates lies untouched, and with such a vast dead weight, the power of social recruiting can enable them to make the whole of the online world into their database.
Still, social media isn’t just a one-way street for the benefit of the recruiters. Candidates can also leverage a number of channels and techniques to gain more visibility and showcase their skills. You can get insider know-how on pimping your Linkedin Profile, how to get hired using social media, and a whole lot more on Social Talent’s Youtube channel.
I would love to recommend the Blue Belt in Internet Recruitment to absolutely everyone, but it is designed for actual recruiters who are looking to do the social side well and to really get beneath the skin of LinkedIn, but I don’t think Social Talent would be very happy if droves of jilted ex’s with questionable motives turned up to learn about boolean searches. Let’s just leave it to the recruiters, and remember to thank Social Talent when one of them pops up on your twitter feed with the dream job offer you’ve always wanted.
The Blue Belt in Internet Recruiting is part Social Talent’s Black Belt in Internet Recruiting qualification. Click for details.