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Hire Better: Recruiting 2.0 How entrepreneurs are using social networking, blogging and other internet tools to hire the best employees

By Mark Henricks

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

While searching Twitter for comments about his clients, San Francisco PR entrepreneur Jason Throckmorton noticed a post from a University of Oregon undergraduate. Searching further, he found a blog from the same student discussing how the PR industry was evolving. "We said, 'This is the kind of person we're interested in,'" says Throckmorton, 34. The co-founder of $5 million LaunchSquad contacted the student, invited her to visit and wound up adding her to his staff of 35.

Throckmorton isn't the only entrepreneur using social networking, blogging and other Web 2.0 tools to recruit employees. Ben Swartz, co-founder and president of Chicago-based interactive marketing advisory firm Marcel Media, estimates he's hired three-quarters of his 21-person staff using Web 2.0 resources. Swartz, 34, is particularly enthusiastic about using LinkedIn and Facebook to learn about candidates in depth. "In a typical resume, you might get a line on interests," he says. "On LinkedIn, you can find out who they associate with. On Facebook, you might find some groups and associations and even pictures. It gives us more dimensions than a static resume can offer."

In addition to these well-established general-purpose services, the staffing industry is beginning to offer Web 2.0-style functionality for staffing-specific websites. Inc.'s job site Jobirn ( hooks up candidates, employers and recruiters via IM rather than conventional but slower e-mail. "A lot of deals should be done interactively," says Bruce Ge, founder and CEO of the company. "Instead of sending e-mails, they should send instant messages."

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