I've had a couple people contact me recently to ask about Jobster. I think that in the recruiting space, we are so accustomed to companies rolling out a "tool" and then telling us it does X and this is exactly how you use it. For better or worse, Jobster didn't do that. For me, it's been an experiment to determine how *I* want to use Jobster. I know that different companies use it different ways. I have pretty strong feelings about things like employee referrals, so, of course I've developed my own user scenarios for Jobster. Instead of having the same conversation over with a bunch of people, and because I have a tendency to spill my guts anyway, I'll share here how I am currently using Jobster:

Campaign tool for lead identification: recruiter finds a name of leads online, figures out the e-mail addresses (not that hard) and then plugs them into the tool with a targeted job campaign, inviting the leads to engage. They can opt in or out.

Campaign tool for prospect relationship management: recruiter speaks with a candidate but does not have an open position for them right now. Candidate is interested in hearing about opportunities in the future; recruiter invites the candidate to join her/his talent network. Again, candidate can opt in or out and get campaigns from other recruiters at that company.

Extended social network engagement: recruiter speaks with a candidate that is part of a talent pool. For example, an MBA alumn(i/a/ae/us...I don't know/care) that shares an e-mail alias with the rest of the pool (for example, MBAAlumni02<at>b-school<dot>com). By engaging with the one person via Jobster, the campaign can potentially reach the extended talent pool. When the connection, MBA alumni, company alumni, user group, suggests quality similar to the initial candidate, it's a great way to tap in. This is the scenario that I really geek out over...still working on perfecting and leveraging to it's fullest extent.

Publicizing events-can use the campaign to generate interest for an event. Ours are geographically and functionally based so I'm not sure I have enough critical mass yet to make this very valuable but then, we are going to experiment with some different type of media in this area. Don't want to give away all my secrets.

In general, I use it to engage and maintain relationships with people who I know primarily online (which is a big part of my job, but my role is kind of unique). I manage relationships with people internally here at Microsoft (that would refer people to me) separately, because I want to nurture and build the relationship and have promised more extensive follow-up (which is one of the reasons you should always try to be referred into a company if possible).

Anyway, I am still exploring how I am going to be using Jobster moving forward. Starting to think about it as it related to our response to other company lay-offs, different kinds of campaigns, etc. Some other recruiters out there may want to share what they are doing. Guess I am kind of posting this so when someone asks me how I am using Jobster, I can point here.

Kind of liking the "what is it and how do I use it?" theme though...you might see more of this in the future here...I love figuring stuff out.