The Blog is the New… Reverse Talent Scout?

We all know that the blog is the new resume. Well, it should also be noted that these things work both ways. Prospective employees are connecting with bloggers that work at (or have worked at) companies they are interested in to find out about the place.

I have proof.

A while ago, I got an email from somebody interested in a position at Aptima, my former company. While Googling to find out more about Aptima, the candidate came across my blog. Below is an excerpt of an email to me:

… in the course of researching the company I ran across the posts on your blog about your work there. From your posts it sounds like you had a positive experience at Aptima. I was wondering if you have any advice for someone interested in joining the company. Did you find it to be a good place to work? How would you describe Aptima’s culture? Can you speak to particular characteristics and/or skills that Aptima values?

The happy former Aptimist in me saw this as a perfect opportunity to really talk up a great group of people. Luckily, the candidate (who I will call “the candidate”) seemed like a perfect match for Aptima based on past professional experience. I know what Aptima is. If the candidate was a hot shot Ruby on Rails developer, I would have said to move on. But the candidate’s background fit right in line with the company’s core work.

After a nice exchange with the candidate, I started thinking… wow. Holy paradigm shift. Your past employees could be telling prospective employees to not even give you the time of day before they even send you a resume. I left Aptima on very good terms. If I had not, a bit of power would have just fallen into my hands.

What is the lesson to take from this? Too many to list here. But not only should an employee leave on good terms (because you never know when you’ll run into a former colleague in a new position), but the employer could have a lot to lose in a messy breakup, too.

4 Comments

  1. On August 27th, 2007 at 9:50 pm Scott said:

    This feedback loop can also be found in LinkedIn. Friends of friends can check for people who have previously worked at company x, and dig in to see if they should take a pass or not.

    The real question is does Aptima pay you their usual referral bonus? ;)

  2. On August 27th, 2007 at 9:57 pm Adam Darowski said:

    Hey Scott…

    Hrm… I wonder if I should have pushed that issue. :)

  3. On August 29th, 2007 at 5:32 am Shawn Weil said:

    Adam: Google Alerts pointed me to you – I love reading your posts! We miss you here. Anyway, you are in luck. Aptima does have an “Recruitment Fee for External Referrals” policy!

  4. On August 29th, 2007 at 7:26 am mark said:

    Wow Adam,

    Bonus points for Shawn finding your mentions of Aptima – guess they are involved in monitoring of social media, as are many companies.

    You’ve hit upon another great example of people finding new ways to do old things. And your point on what might have happened if you didn’t think well of the company is right too. The blogosphere is resonates with the sound of thousands of axes being ground. With the increasing number of social networks, and people participating in them, where do you see the saturation tipping point? I think there will be one, a point at which there is just too much to keep up with, and the sheer volumes will begin to diminsh the power of the individual post. You may not share that theory, but I’m exploring it and based on upon feedback of people such as yourself, am refining it.