Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess

Recruiters Getting By-Passed By Companies Using Social Media
August 3, 2009, 8:00 am
Filed under: Networking/Social Media, Recruiting

cut out of the pictureI recently wrote an article for Ryan Leary‘s blog, CruiterTalk, with specific examples of people who found work through Twitter, which received an awful lot of attention. I will post the article here on my blog in the near future, but for now I wanted to address a little thing that I mentioned at the very end of my post:

“…the majority of the folks mentioned [in the article] who were monitoring, seeking, and reaching out to these qualified candidates via Twitter were in fact NOT RECRUITERS, but observant employees and either partners or owners in their companies. So… perhaps this is a rude wake-up call to recruiters: the more you resist and poo-poo using tools like Twitter to find, connect with, and develop relationships with people, the more beneficial it will be for the direct hiring authorities, since they’ve already seemed to embrace this method of search.”

I am not going to specifically call out Twitter here, but make mention of ALL social media. WAKE UP RECRUITING COMMUNITY…. while you’ve been sleeping, belly-aching about social media, and just blatantly ignoring its existence, companies themselves have discovered what valuable recruiting tools social media resources can be. And guess what – they’re going AROUND you – to get to the desired candidates. Don’t believe me? Check out all the companies that have Facebook Fan Pages dedicated specifically to filling their open positions. How about companies that have YouTubeVimeo, or CareerTV recruiting videos as well? Corporate recruiters, who are most likely monitoring these sites, are finding less and less need to use third-party agencies to assist. Still not convinced? Check out some of the other articles written on this very topic – here, here, here, and here (check out the list of companies with Twitter accounts dedicated to recruiting!) – and I know there are more.

Here are a couple of things that you, as a recruiter, can do to keep from being left completely in the dust as companies start using you less and less as they find more success for recruiting through social media:

  • Become an expert in your respective industries – be the go-to guy or gal online in your niche market. The catch here is to actually BE that person, not just SAY you are (BIG difference)
  • BUILD RELATIONSHIPS – gone are the days of turn-and-burn when it comes to candidates. Develop strong bonds with those you would place at your clients. I’m constantly amazed at the lack of relational skills that so many recruiters seem to have. And here’s a tip – the rules that apply to in-person relationship building ALSO APPLY to online relationship building. So spamming potential candidates with your ‘awesome’ jobs would be the equivalent of attending a party (that most like you weren’t invited to) and circulating the room only to hand out your card, then leaving. Don’t be that guy…
  • Give first. Give often. Ask for little in return – when you use social media to reach out to candidates, give them something of value  to them, and make it specific. And for Heaven’s sake, don’t make it ALWAYS about recruiting. Same goes when you reach out to prospective clients – don’t pidgeon-hole yourself into being that person who only knows recruiting. And please…. don’t take the fact that they handed you a business card as full permission to sign them up for your weekly e-newsletter.
  • Set up your own web presence, and don’t be cheesy about it. Be a real human being. Be professional of course, but remember that people make decisions based mostly on emotion. If they remember that you’re human, they might be more likely to work with you in some capacity.
  • Learn how you can be involved in social media from a recruitment capacity, and offer expertise to your clients. Be a value-add. Make sure you first know what you’re talking about though….and that’s a whole other post right there…

Look – social media remains a TOOL – not a strategy – to reach people. The strategy is in how you choose to leverage that tool. That being said, there are still TONS of people who will not be found on social networking sites. Yes, I realize this. All I’m saying is quit ignoring the elephant in the room – acknowledge its existence, and also take note of the fact that companies – YOUR CLIENTS – have acknowledged and embraced its existence and value in filling some of their recruiting needs.


1 Comment so far
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Yes, everyone’s a recruiter and a marketer when a company opens up their social media presence to each and every one of their employees. I see this as a terrific win for the staffing and marketing departments if handled well. That means the HR department has to make sure policy about social media is well written and well known among employees. It also means that rewards for help with hiring quality candiates and boosting branding are thought of, communicated and given out. It might help too if recruiters then see who the influencers are in their own companies and leverage them for those hard to fill positions with their social media presence. My position is that crowd-sourcing sounds good to me.

Comment by Dorothy Beach, CIR PHR

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