Recruiter’s Digital Secrets – Exposed 2 Comments

According to an article written by Selena Dehne of Jist Publishing 83% of recruiters leverage search engines to uncover information about potential candidates. But, did you know that these same candidates are conducting the same type of research on you?

Unfortunately there are a lot of people out there that feel recruiters have a bad reputation in fact; in the world of job searching recruiters are often called “the necessary evil”

The old saying “perception is reality” is pretty much true when it comes to the information found online. A recruiter’s time and reputation are their most valuable commodities, are you doing all you can do to protect your own personal brand?

Online Reputation Management Basics

Online reputation management is a process of managing how you /your organization is perceived online by monitoring & responding to the conversations that occur around your brand. Be knowledgeable about what information people will find about you in the search engines by regularly doing searches for yourself. You might be surprised at what you find.

5 Tips to Keep your Integrity Intact

  • Subscribe to Google Alerts – Probably one of the easiest tools for tracking what search engines know about you is through alerts. Subscribe to a Google Alert for free and receive an email as soon as your search phrase (like your name or company) enters the search engines index. The result emailed to you is just a snipplet (below). I recommend clicking on each of your results to ensure its positive buzz you’re receiving. Tip: Choose the “comprehensive” option to get the most coverage. Comprehensive covers news, blogs, web, video and groups”

  • Sign up for Naymz – Naymz is one of my favorite free online reputation management tools. Start by building your professional profile by adding a bio, photo, employment and contact information. You’re also given the ability to publish a directory of links and feeds to your company website, personal blogs, social networks, online photo albums and any other items that define you. Naymz gives you the ability to control what potential candidates, employers and friends find about you in the search engines. When someone Google’s your name, your Naymz profile will be displayed in search results.

  • Online Community Participation – Most professional and social profiles have great search engine visibility. Creating profiles on Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn and Zoom Info allow you to control even further the information that people can find about you. Remember to keep your profiles G-rated though.
  • Leverage Flickr – Sign up for Flickr and upload pictures you’ve taken from events and conferences.
  • Register your domain name – For under $10 bucks a year, you can register your personal domain name through Godaddy. If you’re not skilled at website design, don’t worry. You can use the blogger platform and set up your personal domain name to redirect to your blogger blog –just like magic, you have a website presence.

Defend When Necessary

The web empowers people to share their opinions and write reviews. Anybody can write anything in the world, whether it’s true or not it is affecting your business. A survey completed by Deloitte said that 99% of internet users deem consumer generated reviews as creditable – Yikes!

Sites like Indeed offer forums that help people make employment decisions based on others feedback; this is a great tool but can have negative impact to those not actively managing what is being said.

In the below example, you’ll see that “Robert Half” is being described in this forum as: “A waste of time” “a joke” “liars” “cheats” and “unprofessional”.


Granted, you don’t want to add fuel to the fire, but you should respond to negative remarks, a blemish is much more manageable then an outbreak of bad information. Keep in mind an appropriate response is not one size fits all; they must be tailored to the particular situation.

A Tool to Your Defense

Reputation Defender is a great tool to have at your finger tips. For $9.95 per month. They will attempt to remove inaccurate, inappropriate and slanderous information about you.

Look Out for Identity Theft

Be cautious with what information you’re willing to post online. Once something is indexed and available in search results, it can be there forever.

Personal data can be an open invitation to identity theft. In some countries all you need is a name, address and date of birth to open a bank account, take out loans, request credit cards, buy a vehicle or even create a false passport.

That said you can protect yourself by following two very simple rules when creating online profiles.

Rule number 1: Never post your home address. Using your work address is always a safer way to go if you must use one.

Rule number 2: Never post your date of birth on the Internet. Even if a site says you can make it private, there’s always a risk. If the date-of-birth- field is mandatory, use a fake one.

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There you have it, online reputation management in a nutshell. Preserve your recruiting credibility and start working towards better buzz today!

Submitted by Nicole Bodem for the August 2008 Talent Buzz blog contest.

About Jason Buss

Talent HQ’s creator and editor is Recruiting & Diversity Leader, Jason Buss. Talent HQ is a premier online news and information channel for the Recruiting and Human Resources community.

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  • Posted on: Monday, August 25th, 2008