Last week, Ben Steverman, a reporter for Investor’s Business Daily, interviewed me for a story he was developing on the popular business networking web site, LinkedIn.com.
You may be wondering how this came about. It all started when a colleague at StarStyle, Alberto, forwarded me a link to a blog posting written by popular technology evangelist and motivational speaker, Guy Kawasaki, on the top ten ways to use LinkedIn.com. After reading the blog article, I posted a comment about how I used LinkedIn.com to connect with Entertainment Media Works CEO, Ashley Heather, which led to my current position at StarStyle.com. I added that I’d found one of our key biz dev consultants and a key employee on the site as well.
While researching for his story on LinkedIn.com story, Ben came across my comment, then contacted me for an interview about my experiences with the site.
To follow, I’ve posted a brief excerpt from from the interview, or you can follow this link for the full story.
Managing For Success
Social Web Sites Are Groovy Hiring Tools
BY BEN STEVERMAN
INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY
After almost 20 years as a professional dance music DJ and one decade working on dot-com startups, Tony Zeoli had lots of connections in the music industry and the Internet business.
But when it came time use those real-world contacts to find a new job, Zeoli went online. He turned to a social networking Web site called Linked-In.com.
Using the site, he approached the former owner of a Net startup where he had done some work. They met, and soon he was an executive at StarStyle.com, a site that lets visitors buy fashions they see in TV shows and music videos. In his new job, Zeoli then used LinkedIn to hire a key worker and to find a consultant to help make a key business deal.
Many business people, including managers, say social networking sites like LinkedIn are completely changing the way they find valuable contacts. It shows how online hangouts originally designed for social intercourse are morphing into effective managing tools.
Networking in an Internet age lets managers access gobs of data about a person or company in a few seconds. It also offers fast and easy ways to chat with job candidates.
Professionals, too, are increasingly using the Web to replace, or at least supplement, the sort of networking typically practiced at industry cocktail parties. This includes meeting potential employees and business partners, keeping track of rivals and former colleagues, and asking for advice.
Recruiters say technology gets more important as it gets harder to find employees with special skills. For some jobs, “There might only be 5,000 people in the country that are qualified,” said Jeremy Shapiro of the Bernard Hodes Group. “That’s where technology can help.”
The days of newspaper help-wanted ads are nearly gone, recruiters say. The Net job boards â€” Monster.com, (MNST) Hotjobs.com and others â€” are popular. But job listings tend to lure an avalanche of e-mailed resumes. Because it’s easy to apply, many applicants aren’t qualified or serious job seekers.
Hunting for top candidates, recruiters have become masters of the Internet search, learning all the tricks of Google.com. “There is such a plethora of information out there,” said Brian Drum, chief executive of Drum Associates, an executive search firm. “It takes more people to dissect that plethora of information.”
In this noisy environment, recruiters and hiring managers are re-emphasizing an old-fashioned way to find talent â€” through networking and personal relationships.
“It’s who you know,” Shapiro said. “Relationships are still important. What’s different now is the speed with which you can make relationships.”
This is where LinkedIn and its smaller rivals excel.
Guy also has a great book out, “The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything”, available at Amazon.com.