9 Comments

Porn, Sex, Dating And #SocialRecruiting


When I was out in Melbourne at #TruAus, I got to spend some time with Paul Jacobs, @pauljacobs4real, who I have followed and communicated with for some time. I would put Paul in my personal top 3 influencers in social recruiting. He has a great approach that is often fresh and unique. I recommend you follow him if you don’t already.

Over a few beers we came to a discussion about where the inspiration and ideas come from. When your doing innovative work and trying to do things differently, then it’s not always case studies or other peoples work that you want to follow. If you want to change things, you need a source of inspiration, and you can usually find it outside of recruiting. We quite often pat ourselves on the back for being clever and innovative in the recruiting sector, but to turn out the best work, you need to look at who uses the internet best. How do they use it and how do they make it work for them? If we can get our heads around what works, then we can make it work for us in recruiting.

Fuelled by a few shandy s, we concurred that the really successful Internet businesses were in the porn, sex and dating industries. They have been the first ones to adopt new technologies to their advantage, build communities around areas of interest and turn content viral. Concepts like live video streaming and one to one video booths have been in chat rooms for years, long before Google+ and hang outs. On line dating sites like match.com have been using profiling and matching technology for many years, turning it in to an art form that judging by the stats brings great success. This matching technology could be applied effectively to recruiting. New concepts like video interviewing and selection are old concepts in the dating industry.

The conversation with Paul might sound a bit crazy, but the more you think about it and make comparisons, the easier it is to see how far behind these sectors social recruiting is. Now that the basics match, what coming next, based on what we see from these sectors. (and I don’t venture too far inside even for research.) I’m told by a contact I have who works on adult websites that the big thing now is confidential content delivery and predictive content. Being able to deliver content across a variety of mediums, in particular mobile, and matching content, dates, profiles, video, whatever it is, that matches the viewers needs based on their past behaviour. These are the same things I know we are going to be talking about as the hot topics at #trulondon. Is dating and matching really that different? Think about what we can take from these sectors, and how we can apply them, just don’t expect to be able to expense the research!

Bill

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Paul Jacobs

 

9 comments on “Porn, Sex, Dating And #SocialRecruiting

  1. The biggest porn tech conferences are usually setup to coincide with the biggest computer games industry conferences like GDC. The porn industry tries to recruit talent from the games sector because they know that’s where the real talent and innovation is.

    It might be worth also looking to the games industry for inspiration and trends that will effect recruitment. Gamification is cute and buzzy, but watch what’s happening in games influence recruitment in much more profound ways.

    Free to play with upsell to time based subscriptions or ingame purchases have long been established in the games sector. Just this week we’ve seen similar models attract big VC funding in recruitment.

    World of Warcraft has been around since 1994. It’s got over 10 million paying monthly subscribers. There’s an early and successful SaaS model for ya.

    Social recruiting companies are infants compared their games cousins. Look at Zynga, the social games stalwart. Since 2007 they’ve got to 3,000 employees, $600m in turnover, and a billion dollar IPO. Sure it’s been wobbly but we’ve still a way to go in recruitment before we an equivalent.

    • John,
      That’s an interesting point relating to the games industry. With gamification features coming in to vogue in recruiting, it makes it even more valid. Any businesses you know moving from gaming to recruiting, or are the rewards too small?
      Bill

  2. How can I not reply to a post by Bill on Porn, Sex & Dating?? The porn, Dating and gambling industries are based on (excuse the pun)….. “satisfaction”

    So what does it take to “satisfy” or a term I keep hearing lately “delight” the user?

    Tech used by the sex industry has always been at the forefront of how the internet has developed and watching a recent documentary, a majority of technology passed on to the corporate industry has stemmed from the sex industry itself.

    I am really excited about how new technology is ramping up its game within Talent Attraction, onboarding, skills sharing, retention etc and how social is also being laced with platforms that are developing powerful recommendation engines, leveraging the open graph etc in order to deliver very relevant content to (me) the user.

    This should also put to bed some of the ongoing debates around the effectiveness of communities in the talent space as these advancements in tech are certainly a key ingredient that will drive those communities and allow them to thrive. The points you mention above Bill will keep me as a user “satisfied” as the content is always personal, relevant and engaging to me – all crucial in driving ongoing dialoge and interest… this will ultimately offer an employer a huge return within the business e.g Lower CPH, increased profits as a result of higher retention, more fluid internal collaboration which will increase efficiency etc…… I can go on….

    Yes, employers will need to be slick and adapt in the way they leverage this technology thats for sure – but I do now feel we are finally entering a new era.

    Looking forward to this debate at #trulondon ! Can we have some live case studies ?🙂

    • the point of user satisfaction is very relevent. Delivering the content the users want, when they want it, in the way they want it. I’m looking at adapting the tech used in private video chat rooms, in to virtual careers fair booths. The need is almost exactly the same. Be interested to hear more about how BNT are developing the community concept as “The Talented Community.”
      Bill

  3. There is actually little need to go as far as the porn industry in search of ways the recruitment world could be using the web better. Mainstream digital marketing is full of technologies and ways of working that make the recruitment industry look stone age in comparison.

    Recruitment is stuck circa 2002 when it comes to both digital technology and digital marketing. It is so bad it is depressing!!

    • Matt,
      Thanks for commenting. Hope the RAD’s last week gave you a few examples to give you a bit more optimism. Do you see this split applying to both the corporate and agency sector? I see the corporate sector being more open to change, although those examples are the exception.
      What do you think is holding things back?
      Bill

      • Nope no hope at all. Great on the social recruiting front and great to see Andsome winning however nothing to indicate modern digital marketing techniques and technology are anywhere near this industry. Corporates are actually worse than agencies to be honest, much worse. The only place you’ll see up to date digital techniques used in our industry is within the digital marketing teams at the likes of Jobsite and Monster

  4. To clarify the kind of things I’m talking about…here are some simple examples

    – A/B Testing
    – Landing Page optimisation
    – UX and IA
    – “Cart Abandonment” Email targeting
    – Universal Tag Management Systems

    etc etc etc etc

  5. I think there’s a little too much emphasis on technology and not enough on CONTENT. Yes, the porn (and gaming) industries make great use of technology, but I think most users would say the attraction is the content.

    Similarly, social recruiting isn’t only about the latest technology.

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