Social Recruiting…What’s in a Name?

Last week I took part in the latest episode of Voice America’s internet radio show HR Trends with Game-Changers Radio. I was joined by Will Staney from SAP in the US and fellow UK based social recruiting commentator and trainer Katrina Collier.

You can listen to the show by clicking on this image…

HR Trends with Game Changers Radio
It was an interesting conversation. I’ve been talking about the use of social media within the recruitment process for a few years now but here I was addressing an audience who may not have much knowledge of it. It’s often easy in the day to day Twitter echo chamber to assume that everyone knows this stuff, but even our host had checked out what Wikipedia had to say about the subject.

At the very end we had to offer a prediction on what we would say in 5 years time about social recruiting – would we still be talking about it or would we have shelved the concept in favour of a return to traditional recruiting.

Except, of course, traditional recruiting would probably mean advertising on job boards (or their 2020 equivalent) and searching CV databases – two things that 15 years ago were the future and were never expected to replace the phone, rolodex, fax and print media.

As a society we often get hung up on new technologies and try to see them as fads and fashions. Something that’s new unsettles us, makes us feel that we have to adapt to something out of our comfort zone – something that other people will do better than us and therefore may be more successful at. Which is why we focus on the methods and not the outcomes – hence social recruiting becomes about Twitter and Facebook and not recruiting. As I’ve said before, we no longer talk about internet recruitment or telephone recruitment.

Here are a few of the points I made:

  • Social recruiting is about the recruiting. It starts with a hiring need and a properly scoped job description. If you don’t get the recruitment process right then whichever platform you use will be immaterial.
  • Or put another way, if your recruiting processes suck they’ll suck louder and harder on social channels (I didn’t quite word it that way on the show)
  • It’s not about volume, be it noise or the amount of words, but about having the right conversation at the right time in the right place.
  • Put yourself in the job seekers’ shoes and ask why and how they are using those channels, and why they would reach out to you
  • You won’t successfully recruit someone through social channels if you’re not a social business. It’s not a trick to try out, it’s a window and spotlight on your culture.
  • Content should be about telling your story and giving people a compelling reason to want to be part of it. No-one is interested in how wonderful you think you are, nor how many awards you’ve won, unless said awards give a clear indication of the employee experience they can expect if they join you.
  • Manage everyone’s expectations as to what they can expect from the hiring process. If they are using public social channels to find you then they will almost certainly also use them to let everyone know how bad their experience was.
  • LinkedIn is not a social media channel. It’s a content sharing platform. Use it that way instead of as a direct access mechanism to someone you don’t know.

Katrina and Will said lots of interesting things too so make sure you listen to the show – you can even download it from iTunes and listen to it on your way to work!


2 thoughts on “Social Recruiting…What’s in a Name?

  1. Good words Merv, there’s too much guff spoken about social recruiting now – so it’s nice to read something affirming and relevant.

  2. Great thoughts – particularly like the first two bullets. The company which attracts great talent via social recruiting, but then takes 6 weeks to arrange a first interview or replaces the cool, hip, trendy attraction style with a paper based face to face competency-based interview in a stuffy London office, is shooting itself in the foot ! I think the second bullet should have been used on the radio show…….!

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