IT360: Web 2.0 – Now and its future for business

Mike Fox of Brightlights, a recruiter serving small and medium-sized software companies, is giving a talk on Web 2.0 and business; I started out unsure of why a recruiter is talking to us about Web 2.0, and ended up pretty much of the same mind.

He started with some very basic concepts, like the original Web 2.0 meme map and the themes it contains, and discussed some well-known (and well-worn) Web 2.0 case studies, such as Proctor&Gamble’s crowdsourcing of research, and Barack Obama’s online campaign presence. He asked questions like "has anyone heard of the $100 laptop?", "have you ever seen Slideshare?" and "has anyone heard of the ‘long tail’?", which I think you’d have to have been living under a rock not to know about, but maybe I’ve been drinking too much of the Koolaid.

He moved on to talk about Web 2.0 in the recruiting world, including the use of information aggregation tools such as ZoomInfo. He spent some time talking about using LinkedIn as both a recruiting tool and a job search tool, although I tend to think that this audience is probably pretty aware of what LinkedIn does. He mentioned some other recruitment-focused search sites like Jigsaw, and then stepped us through how to use Google Advanced Search for finding more information about companies and individuals — again, a bit basic, particularly (I think) for this audience.

He went through how to apply Web 2.0 thinking to business, based on the different goals and expectations for different generations of workers. He’s definitely been reading too much Tapscott. He did look at how to apply Web 2.0 to some fundamentals of adding value to a business, such as SaaS as both a cost reduction technique and a channel for offering products to customers.

He considers sending a monthly PDF newsletter by email and using Skype for long distance to be part of how he incorporates Web 2.0 into his business, which is a bit sad, although he does use a SaaS recruitment management system. There’s so much more that could be done with Web 2.0 in recruitment for a small recruiter like him: collaboration on resumes and job postings via Google Docs; blogging to show thought leadership in recruitment and engage the audience instead of a static monthly newsletter in PDF; publishing job postings listed on his site via RSS; hosting a discussion forum for job applicants.

That’s it for my coverage of IT360; I have to get back to some real work for the rest of the day. The Google talk was definitely the highlight for me, although I did really enjoy making the Director General of Industry Canada squirm yesterday, too.

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