Top 25 Online Influencers in Recruiting v5

Published January 11, 2012 by
Online Influence in Recruiting v5 2012

Bodega Bay, California January 11, 2012

Fifth publication of recruiting online infleuncer list adds industry context to influencer conversation.

HR Examiner Top 25 Online Influencers in Recruiting 2012 v5

Here we go again.

There are a ton of ways to think about influence and how it operates. When we publish a Top 25 list, the idea is that the list should represent the most important voices on the topic at the moment the list is published. In that way, we get at the fact that influence is volatile and that social media is unforgivingly focused on what you’ve done lately.

There’s no future in social media and precious little past. You are exactly what you’ve done recently. It’s faster paced and higher pressured than the old world where one could rest on one’s laurels.

This time around, we’ve started using SocialEars, a new service from the folks at HRMarketer. SocialEars is a database of content from people and publications in the industry. The material is scraped and mapped. The mapping process is interesting because it allows social ears to recognize content related to various key words.

A search in SocialEars is done by keyword. The results display scores from Klout and Peerindex along with a relevance and importance ranking from SocialEars.

Source data provided by

SocialEars is designed for use by marketers who are trying to get their message to the HR community.

The world has changed dramatically in just a few years. Where it used to be simple to tell who could reach the HR audience (they were all journalists who worked for very specific outlets), the game has become more of a free for all. The point of the SocialEArs service is to help marketers figure out exactly who the right people to talk to are.

That process isn’t exactly a question of which person is at the top of the list. Rather, it’s a question of what is the right group to build relations with. The flaw in most media relations plans is the human temptation to place all of one’s eggs in one basket.

The SocialEars database contains Tweets, Articles, Blog Posts and some LinkedIn data. We liked it because it left the question of relative importance of a topic to us. (Other services prioritize clusters of keywords).

What makes SocialEars different is its inherently limited view of the world. Recruiting, for example, is done for sports, fraternities, gangs, and multilevel marketing schemes. By keeping the engine focused on the HR universe, SocialEars drowns out the noise that limits the effectiveness of other services.

The results were somewhat surprising. Here’s the overall scoring list. From now on, we are going to try to make the process as transparent as possible and this list takes us the next step of the way.

The SocialEars approach really emphasizes how powerful Twitter has become as an influence. Each tweet and retweet act like transmitters of a core idea and give that idea validation in search engines.

Scoring Process

SocialEars tracks the movement of ideas around our industry. Rather than trying to focus on hard to define categories (like the standard HR Silos), SocialEars tries to keep a comprehensive view of the industry. Where most ‘credibility trackers’ boil the ocean with their comprehensive search of all industries, SocialEars starts with a defined universe.

In other words, the SocialEars difference is context. There is not much chance that searches for payroll will turn up articles about payroll loans. That’s because the voices that SocialEars tracks are all from the industry.

It’s not a small group.

With over 1,000 primary voices (and an additional 4,000 voices who have been referred to), the SocialEars database contains one million distinct pieces of content. Links included in tweets are brought into the database and scoured for relevance.

  1. In order to use SocialEars for this iteration, we did eleven keyword searches (see the bottom of the page for those key words). Each search gave us a list of ‘voices’ ranked by score.
  2. We took the top 25 from each list and placed them in a spreadsheet
  3. The total list contained 125 names.
  4. We weighted each score. In each category, Number 1 got 25 points and number 25 got one point.
  5. We then added each persons scores across all categories.
  6. The list was sorted so that people were ranked by score.

You can see the entire scoring list here. Each keyword search is a column. The list is ranked by cumulative score.

Each keyword is treated equally in this particular analysis.


Measuring influence is still in its infancy. It’s not clear whether the field will even refer to the idea of influence in its final form. But, for now, measuring influence and talking about it is the best way to try to navigate the huge flow of data we swim in.

Keywords Used in this Analysis:

Employment Brand, Hiring Interview, Job Board, Social Recruiting, Sourcing, Staffing, Recruiting, Recruitment Advertising, Talent Acquisition, Talent Community

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