Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess

It’s Personal
December 16, 2007, 9:00 pm
Filed under: Blogging, Thoughts

Recently I felt compelled to revisit a post I did almost a year ago on why I blog. I looked at some of the items I listed under things I like to write about and saw of course research and social networking which are my favorite topics, but I also saw ‘personal agenda’. For a blog that is geared toward reaching a professional audience, one might mistakenly think that this would be inappropriate material to include. After all, how dare someone who is writing a blog (commonly defined as a publication of personal thoughts, experiences, and web links) post things about themselves! For shame…

Then, I started thinking about the nature of what I do as a researcher in the recruiting world. Now, you can define research or sourcing however you please, but I think a good way to describe what I do, regardless of how it is labeled, is initiating and facilitating relationships. I look at different public relations resources, scan them for potential contacts, and tap those people to see if they’d like to check out my company. I have found that when I do this, it is most effective when I personalize my approach because people will be more compelled to listen to me when they feel some warm-fuzzies rather than if I just rattle off some boring note on how I ‘came across their information this morning’ and that I want to talk to them about this awesome job I have.
Case in point: remember that post I did awhile ago on my trip to San Francisco? Some of you may have groaned over that post about how I just talked about my ‘vacation’ and the tourist stuff that I did and how that simply had nothing to do with research. But what you don’t know is that the 19 people I got contact information from at the ATA conference I attended got an email from me upon my return. I told them my story about how I had come to be in attendance at their conference and why I was reaching out to them in search of a Translation Manager. Out of those 19 emails sent, I received 19 responses (that’s a 100% response rate for you math majors) – most of which contained some variation of ‘Wow, that’s really neat how you came to be at our conference’. By sharing a neat story, it created a connection, and thus a greater willingness to help me in my search. We currently have two of those individuals interviewing for the position.

How does this apply to my blog, and to a lot of the recruiting and research bloggers in general? Simple: I’ll bet you’re more interested in reading what we have to say when you feel a little more connected to us. Look at Joel Cheesman for example – he’s always putting his personality into his blog; whether it’s ripping Jason Goldberg a new one, impersonating K-Fed, or showing off the cat on video for Cheezhead Fridays, we feel like we know the guy a little on a personal level. Or take a look at Paul DeBettignies. What person who reads his blog wasn’t a little concerned about him when that bridge collapsed in Minnesota? We become more interested in people, and what they write, when we feel some level of personal connection with them.

We do of course write about things that are relevant to our industries, but every so often, we’ll throw in something that shows off our personality – call it a ‘piece of flair’, to reference one of the most awesome movies ever made, Office Space. We put pieces of flair on our blogs to express ourselves and frankly, to make you chuckle, gasp, and cry, because you’ll keep coming back in anticipation of what’s going to get posted next.

I’m not a ‘shock jock’ blogger like the Recruiting Animal, or Penelope Trunk, but I like to put stuff up that’s fun for the people who read my blog. So yeah, once in awhile I’ll put up a dumb video, or a survey to help me pick a good picture, or something about the Florida Gators, or reference the fact that I can bake a gingerbread cake (why I am still single is beyond me…I mean, I can COOK for goodness’ sake). However, I will ALWAYS, ALWAYS post things about internet research, social media, cool recruiting technology, etc. first and foremost because that’s the purpose of my blog. But my writing style is conversational, and I think that’s part of why you enjoy reading what I write. I’m not trying to be something I’m not, and in being real I think I get my thoughts across more effectively.

I know there are some out there who think I only write about myself. I know this because someone actually told me that. It stung a little, so out of curiosity I went back and counted up the number of posts on my blog that had no relevance whatsoever to research, recruiting or networking, and I only found 13 out of 166. That’s about 8% of all my posts. And by the way, three of those posts were birthday wishes to other researchers, but I counted them as irrelevant posts.

In the words of Golden Girl Bette Davis, “If everybody likes you, you’re doing your job wrong!” So, I will continue to bore you with my travel tales, my cooking experiences, and my stupid videos because it seems like I meet interesting people and have cool stuff happen to me everywhere I go, and if I learn something new about networking or research along the way and share it here, and one person gets a nugget out of it, then I’ve done something worthwhile in my book. If you don’t like my writing style, then you don’t have to read my blog. That’s your choice and you are more than entitled to it. There are plenty of folks who like my style, as evidenced by the fact that my blog has been nominated for two different award categories on the 2007 Best Recruiting Blog Awards. I don’t think that would have happened unless there were some people out there who like the personal touch I put on the things I write. So thanks for the love, and I’m glad I can make you smile!


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