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Blogumulus by Roy Tanck and Amanda Fazani

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Millennials, Web 2.0...Recruiting Challenges In The Brave Flat World

The world of recruiting is experiencing a transformation and keeping up with the shifting trends requires a great deal of fortitude and education. The baby boomers of the fifties and sixties are starting to leave the work force in record numbers, making room for the up and coming Generation X. The fifty one million Gen’xers, those workers born between 1965 and 1976, appear to be accepting the mantle of leadership with some deference. The real paradox of employment as the world continues to flatten and more boomers retire is the future of the workforce and the emergence of the new Generation Y “Millennials.” Much has been written about the seventy five million Millennials who are entering our employment world with their independence, idealism and view of what a career in today’s labor market means to them.

The expansive growth of international workforces in India, China, Eastern Europe, Chile, Russia and the entrance of the Millennials to the workforce create a rather new set of challenges for Recruiters. These factors combined with Web 2.0 and the advances in technology are requiring a fundamental shift in how we go about identifying, recruiting and attracting employees in this Brave Flat World.

Recruiting in the Baby Boomer years consisted of running advertising in the classifieds section of local and national newspapers, putting help wanted signs on the front lawn, and attending career fairs in hotels to attract top talent to our organizations. Our CRM systems consisted of a Rolodex (card browser) or 3X5 index cards. Today’s recruiter must be much more technically savvy, surfing the web is ethereal, and today to identify top talent one needs to be familiar with Web 2.0, social networking, blogging and host of other new evolving technologies to keep up with the trends of how the new generation explore career changes. The profiles, interests and how candidates go about considering a new career has changed with the convergence of the latest technology and the emergence of the Millennials.

As the terms and conditions of the new work force continue to evolve, the fundamentals of a successful Recruiter are transforming as well. The telephone remains a staple of the trade and yet the tools and technology have really started to morph at light speed. How strong is your network has always been essential to a Recruiters success, but with today’s six degrees of separation and the internet, it is not as much about who you know, but who do they know and how fast can we get to all the folks they know, that really changes the paradigm in today’s Web 2.0 universe.

Recruiters in today’s world need to be Social Networking guru’s and connect to folks through any number of the tools that are permeating the Web. Using the likes of Linkedin (30 Million) is becoming almost passé with tech savvy Recruiters looking to tap into the likes of Myspace (110 Million active users each month), Facebook (120 Million), Orkut, Bebo, Plaxo and a host of other new sights that sprout up seemingly out of nowhere and then become the latest rage. Still others are connecting to folks using the ever-popular Twitter (Do you Tweet?) while others explore more exotic sites like Second Life. Learning how to use these tools effectively and implementing them for successful networking is one of the most difficult challenges that Recruiters are facing today.

The work force may shift to other parts of the planet but as Thomas Freidman has poignantly demonstrated the world it is getting flatter and how we identify and recruit employees to our workforce remains pretty similar across our regions. These tools are catching on no matter where you live and candidates are very technologically savvy with the Millennials almost demanding that Recruiters keep up with the times to reach out to them. You can follow someone in Twitter across the globe and reach out to social networked candidates from anywhere, and thus the transformation has begun and keeping pace is now the ultimate challenge. There is no Huxley like soma chemical out there to make it all align perfectly, the real quest for Recruiters, today and in the future, is the ability to harness the technology, understand this new generation and educate our management teams about The Brave New Flat World so we can continue to attract the best and brightest here to Oracle.

The author of this article is Jan Ackerman who has been in IT Recruitment for 20+ years is Vice President of Oracle's APAC Recruitment Team.


  1. Dear Author,
    Its a nice blog about Millennials ( I am one of them :-) ) cant agree more on how tough it is to find the right talent.. But I really cant imagine sending my job reqs via Twitter :-) (or may be I should just get used to that idea )

  2. Hi Srini, I am finding tools like Twitter are increasingly being used to connect with potential candidates not only about open roles, but also to share ideas, stories, referrals and to look at future opportunties together.

    I think Recruiters need to shift from a traditional "Job Req + Candidate = Placement" mentality and engage with the greater pool of candidates out there. Conversations about hiring companies are happening on sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc... every day.

    If you have a look at my Twitter profile ( you will see over the course of my daily conversations I also post "job reqs" and engage in general conversation.

    Hope this helps and look forward to talking on Twitter :)

    David Talamelli


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