My LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook feeds are full of articles about social recruiting. Anything from trying to convince recruiters that using social media is the way to go, to advice on how to use it for recruitment purposes. And it has been full of them for years, ever since I started in recruitment. I can only imagine it wasn’t too different before – I just wasn’t yet a part of it yet.
If nothing has changed, it’s probably because of two main reasons. The first one is that recruiters are busy, way too busy to add more activities to their daily agenda. They’re busy writing (or copying) ineffective job ads that fail to attract relevant applications, they’re busy running that same old search on LinkedIn and sending out the exact same message to all of their potential candidates. All too often that’s what they’re expected to do and, as scary as it seems, a lot of recruiters are perfectly happy with it.
The second reason is that a lot of advice you can find online is hard to put in practice. It’s either very specific but irrelevant or not specific at all. In that first category, you’ll find articles about how to build a great employer brand for your company by creating online company profiles or about how to recruit like Google. Recruiters (in bigger organisations at least) are rarely the decision makers when it comes to marketing activities, so even if it’s the best idea in the world, it’s not one they can act on. And in the second case – well, just because something worked for someone else doesn’t mean it will for you. That’s if it even worked for them (ever wondered how much work has to go into reviewing all of the irrelevant applications Google must be receiving on a daily basis?).
The second category features advice such as “be human” and “have conversations”. That’s my personal favourite. No one even bothers explaining how just chatting to people leads to you filling your roles. Yes I would talk to people when I was sourcing and yes, I was filling my roles, but that doesn’t prove they’re directly related. And even if they weres, how does it work exactly? Who should you be having conversations with? What about? It’s not exactly clear…
I’ve written before about how social recruiting doesn’t work. What I actually meant was social media recruitment and I still insist on differentiating between the two. What will follow here is a couple of ideas on how to be more social as a recruiter, but if you’re looking for tips on using different social platforms, let me warn you right now, that’s not the main focus. The mechanisms I’ll want to cover can, I imagine, be applied to recruitment wherever you happen to be doing it. I’ll share some of what I’ve used as well as ideas shared with me by other recruiters. If you have a cool idea to share, you can do so in the comment section or just get in touch, tell me about it, and I’ll try to write it up 🙂
I’ll be starting next week with a blog post about the importance of an introduction. When I first started sourcing, I was told never to waste valuable time and space to introduce myself, because it takes a minute to google me and see who I am – and I’m now giving the exact opposite advice to others. If you’re wondering why you would want to do it or how exactly you could be introducing yourself to your candidates, come back next week 🙂