HireFriday: A Culture. A Community.

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I have a favorite saying: “culture and community go hand in hand.” Seeking community is really important to job seekers. TalentCulture is an ideal setting to share my thoughts on this topic.

The culture of Twitter is fleeting, and swift. Some might argue that Twitter is the short attention span theater for recruiters and job seekers alike. I didn’t take me long to spot a gap. There are numerous Twitter streams for jobs, but I was concerned job seekers were falling between the cracks.

People ask me all the time, why did I create #HireFriday? I thought FollowFriday outlived its usefulness. I realized it would be better to take the time and energy we invest in promoting our gainfully employed friends, and put that energy into helping an unemployed person instead.

What started out as a lonely tweet: “Instead of FollowFriday, let’s tweet HireFriday and put our friends and family members back to work”; has mushroomed into a movement that now spans the globe.

On Tuesday, I wrote a post “HireFriday Is Recruiting In Reverse!” It is there that I articulate some of the lessons learned as this community has blossomed.

Job seekers, HR Pros, and companies love it. Recruiters also appreciate the ability to watch candidates in the stream. #HireFriday is a stream of active candidates, engaged and ready to work. They are not job beggars, losers or less talented than the so-called passive candidates. They happen to be actively seeking a position, that is all. Recently, there was an article published in the Huffington Post that exposed employers for posting jobs that stated “We are only hiring people who are currently employed.”

From a cultural view point what does that tell us. It says, “job seekers, you are recyclable, and unattractive.” As a fierce advocate for job seekers everywhere, I protest the short-sightedness of this cultural mindset. Yes, it is a cultural impediment.

I started HireFriday in February of this year to extol the virtues, talents, and strengths of job seekers around the world. Within 3 weeks, HireFriday expanded to The United Kingdom, and now it’s thriving in Canada. I created guidelines for HireFriday to offer suggestions and guidance to recruiters and job seekers alike.

When Chris Brogan was on Compassionate HR, we discussed FollowFriday, and how HireFriday is a much better alternative. Brogan said, “There was a time when FollowFriday had some traction, in it’s early inception, people paid attention to the stream, and followed others based the recommendations of trusted friends.” But, in my eyes, it just looks like clutter.

I remember thinking to myself, “there has to be a better way to promote people we care about, people who really need our help.” As much as I like Chris Brogan, he really doesn’t need another follower, but a job seeker who’s short on hope sure does.

HireFriday isn’t just the retweeting of people’s credentials. HireFriday reminds people in career transition that they are not alone, or forgotten.

In the beginning, I tweet a job seeker’s @name/jobtite/industry/location/ keywords. Then I realized people would be better served to post a link to their linkedin profile so that people could check out their credentials and get in touch with them. As this grew more and more popular, I encouraged people to tweet for themselves, because I couldn’t handle the onslaught of requests. I couldn’t do it without volunteers. Kimberly Roden, and Lou Bonica stepped up to the plate, and became HireFriday evangelists. Other job seekers jumped in as well, and before you know it everyone’s tweeting and retweeting for one another.

Now if you think about this from a mathematical standpoint, some people have a few hundred followers, some people have several thousand. With each retweet, the job seekers receive exposure to a vast number of contacts. We we offer is access to our networks. There’s power in numbers, and even more power in giving people an opportunity to be visible to those who can help them.

The most beautiful part of this groundswell movement is that we have built a caring, supportive for job seekers, and it makes my heart glad to see so many people joining in to give a hand. Companies like Monster.com and TalentCulture tweet my resumes have been instrumental in sharing resources, articles and opportunities with our community.

Culture and community go hand in hand. HireFriday fits in the Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn communities. It’s unique, special, and I’m proud to be a part of it.

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  • Thank you for energizing this important community Margo. We appreciate all that you do + your consistent energy. Let’s create a Culture of Talent 🙂 that is inclusive.

  • When I found myself unemployed in Oct 2009 once of the first things I did was start to follow and engage with the HR, resume writers, and career coaches community. Their support has been great. But the other side of the equation has been missing. I wanted to connect with others like me that were unemployed. Now I have the opportunity since I have stumbled into the #hirefriday stream.

    I need and want to be supported in two ways. First, is to be supported by those reaching out and offering advice and guidance. Second, is to be supported by those that are going through what I am going through.

    Thank you Margo for offering that.

  • Jite

    Great article! Thank you for creating HireFriday. As a not-too-long-ago job seeker, I know how important it is to feel that someone understands the pain of the job search and is in your corner.

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