Social Recruiting: You’re Doing It Wrong

Dan Rosenblum Leave a comment

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen social recruiting everywhere. Trade shows, blog posts, webinars, emails, etc. There is this idea that if you aren’t socially recruiting then you aren’t attracting and engaging with as many good candidates or clients as you could be.  There is also a faction of people in the industry that are anti-social recruiting, saying it is a waste of time and money. So, what gives?

A lot of the arguments against social recruiting revolve around the large time investment to social strategy and the skepticism of whether or not those hours invested pay off. These arguments also tend to focus solely on social employment branding efforts, like setting up career pages and company accounts across the different social platforms, and tend to leave out the direct recruiting or social sourcing aspect. You will also come across more snarky opinions than actual statistics in these arguments.

Social Sourcing

We’ve all heard the stats. There are approximately 1.39B monthly active users on Facebook, 288 million on Twitter and 187 million on LinkedIn. Granted, that proves very little in terms of how that could positively impact recruiting efforts and more about sheer numbers.  When it comes to sourcing, it’s not surprising that LinkedIn is the number one source for time spent by recruiters finding candidates.  According to a presentation by ERE Media at SourceCon, recruiters spend 26.34% of their time sourcing in LinkedIn. Additionally, according to LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends Report, social professional networks were the second best source for quantity as well as quality of hires in the US (behind job boards), clearly showing that direct recruiting in social media is advantageous. So, what about platforms outside of social professional networks? According to Michele Fincher, the Chief Influencing Agent of Social-Engineer, Inc., 86% of LinkedIn users are on Facebook. So, while Facebook may not be widely used in social recruiting currently, it presents a big opportunity as an additional source for recruiters to engage with candidates.

You’re Doing It Wrong

“But we’ve been using LinkedIn for recruiting since the mid 2000’s. When I say social recruiting, I’m referring to those worthless career pages on social media.”

Those guys.

There are two common themes you see when looking at complaints of the social employment branding side of social recruiting. Humans crave instant gratification and pumping out content (jobs and industry related articles) usually takes time to reap the benefits. Also, you notice a lot of focus on people doing it the wrong way and then shouting from the rooftops that social recruiting doesn’t work. Don’t get me wrong, this is an investment. It takes time and money, but when done correctly it can be a beautiful thing. An example of this is the approach they take over at Haley Marketing. They develop a content strategy for their staffing firm clients and surround clients/candidates with a particular message on multiple mediums. “We have a client located in Dallas/Ft. Worth,” explained Brad Smith of Haley Marketing, “they compete against a lot of other firms and have had a hard time cracking the incumbents in the market.” For this client they produced content, shared on social sites, tied in strong calls-to-action and mixed in a bit of paid Facebook promotion. The results? I’ll spare you all the percentage increases in website traffic, website users and pageviews, and tell you stats that matter. In the first three months of implementation (Q1 2015) compared to the previous three months, they increased their contacts by 40% and from a direct recruiting standpoint, traffic to their jobs increased 27.41%.

When done correctly, social recruiting will have a positive impact on any company’s recruitment process. Does this mean it’s the only strategy you should use? That’s rhetorical. You should also leverage referrals (internal and external) and existing networks, but a sound social recruiting strategy can be extremely effective.

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