When I asked Fishdogs about influence, he said, “The only place influence matters is within your own network.”
It’s been a long time since someone made me think when I asked the question. At this point, I’ve asked about 1100 people about influence. Fishdogs surprised me. It isn’t the first time.
Fishdogs, a nickname Craig Fisher acquired in college, came in handy a dozen years ago when the craigfisher.com domain was already taken. Originally a site devoted to Craig’s work, his dogs and job postings, Fishdogs has come a long way. He says,
“I live at the intersection of marketing and recruiting. I help people and businesses leverage social media, mobile, and other new communication tools to get matched with the *right* customers, the *right* talent, and the *right* jobs. As VP Sales for Ajax Social Media, I handle sales and training for the 1st Linkedin-Certified training company in North America. I work with sales and recruiting teams around the globe to implement social media and mobile strategies for both business and career development.”
That doesn’t begin to tell you how influential he is. Or why. The bottom line is that he combines a love of the details of recruiting , a ceaseless curiosity about new technologies and a desire to teach.
Craig Fisher works like a dog. That’s probably the origin of the nickname. During college, he held as many as five simultaneous gigs. His favorite was selling ads for the college spoof newspaper (The Greek Inquirer)
He rolled out of school into a stint in the medical device sales world. He was such a hot shot sales guy that the company got him to move into training and developing new sales people. It was a short step to recruiting from there.
Craig did an interesting thing. In order to find the candidates he was looking for, he went to school on the job hunting process. His notion was that finding the right candidates was going to be easier if you understood their experience and psychology. The move paid off in big ways.
He moved quickly into Physician Recruiting with Matrix Resources. That was the start of a 20 year love affair with Recruiting. he spent a solid fifteen years in the trenches and management of a range of staffing and recruiting companies.
As social media, beginning with a very early blog at Fishdogs.com, caught his eye, Craig began his conversion to social media evangelist and experimenter.
These days, Craig has a portfolio of businesses, all interlocking and driving each other. He’s the VP of Ajax Social Media, the first certified LinkedIn training company. He runs the notorious TNL (Talent Net Live), a series of small unconferences focused on Social Media and Recruiting Effectiveness. He’s widely sought as a consultant on employment branding projects.
Mostly, he’s at the heart of the explosion of the next generation of leadership in HR and Recruiting.
There are two kinds of businesses emerging on the scene today. One, blessed with resources from investors, is heavily oriented towards tool creation in social technology. The other, personified by Craig, is being built by people with substantial time in the trenches.
These players (among them Geoff Webb, Jessica Miller Merrell and Bill Boorman) come at social technology with a deep understanding of the problem to be solved. Each of the four come at the problem with a unique perspective and a deep commitment to moving the technology forward. Each, in one form or another offer training and insight as a a part of their work.
The basic freedom from investors approach to business development can be vastly more opportunistic and creates businesses that are less structured that typical MBA driven operations.They win hearts and minds faster than the more well endowed crowd.
Craig sits at the center of a cyclone from which he has a very clear picture of the real practical truths of social recruiting. Be sure to catch him at one of the many places he turns up for a conference or a conversation. He’s changing the world.