Top 25 Online Influencers in Recruiting v3

Today, HRExaminer introduces the third edition of the Top 25 Online Influencers in Recruiting.
Top 25 Online Influencers in Recruiting v3


Top 25 Online Influencers in Recruiting v3.0

April 27, 2011 – Social media creates an echo chamber. The walls reverberate with repeated memes that have a short acoustic half-life. Like Warhol’s vision of celebrity, social media personas burn bright and then burn out.

There’s an intensity and focus required to sustain a social media presence. It is particularly hard to maintain in the presence of the high volumes of work that result from it. What we’re starting to see is a rhythm to the rise and fall of players on our Top 25 lists. Visibility creates workload, workload diminishes visibility. Players peak and find homes.

That’s a key principle in the answer to the question, “How does industry influence work?” Influence is, more or less, held by people who have the time and resources to be influential. While they may not frame it as wanting to be on a list of who is or isn’t influential, there is a whole industry devoted to making some people look like thought leaders. That is, it’s good for business to be seen as influential.


We’re noticing that some people are sprinters and some people are long distance runners. A good celebrity ecosystem contains plenty of both. The sprinters move between paying gigs while the marathoners are after institutional levels of influence.

Then, of course, there are those who show up for a single race. These seem to be well intentioned PR campaigns from bootstrappy entrepreneurs who are looking to make a walloping impact from their social media activities.

Staying the course in social media, which means writing, rewriting and continuously publishing is exhausting. In some ways. it’s best understood as a long job application process. Very few people have the discipline to routinely publish across media over extended periods of time.

I spoke at some length with a well known social media celebrity in the HR-Recruiting space. She talked about the fact that big companies are tuning in to the social media question. “They want to know what to do in social media”, she said. I asked if that was really true. I don’t see any VPs of HR putting any effort into the whole social media thing. Rather, I see them staying away in droves.

That means that the people who are influential in social media are influential among themselves. That’s not that different from other trend setting demographics. The trendsetters are always trendier amongst themselves than they are with the public at large. That’s why they are trendsetters.

Still, the question remains, “Is there real utility for a company to have some or all of its HR present visible in social media?” The jury is still out.

Meanwhile, a nice woman came up to me at a meeting today and thanked me for publishing the Top 25 lists. “The HRExaminer is helping us understand who we need to talk to and who makes things tick in HR.” While I’m less sure, it’s nice that people are finding value here.

There are some big questions remaining to be asked. An important part of this experiment is the creation of real work that causes conversations about those questions.

Our lists are compiled with the least amount of human intervention possible. Determinations of influence are made through automated measures. In this edition, my name was pulled out of the list.

The method involves a dramatic (very large) spidering of the web for content related to Recruiting. All of the material that includes prioritized key words (see the image on this page for the keywords) are collected in a single database. It is then compared and contrasted with the data in the social graph.

In order to really quantify the dimensions of online influence, we measure three key variables:

  • Reach: A measure of the audience size (number of eyeballs) for each individual. Traffic.
  • Relevance: The degree to which content associated with the individual matches a cloud of keywords prepared for the analysis
  • Resonance: The number of mentions, inbound links and participation found for each individual.