Will social media recruitment beat traditional recruitment?
August 16, 2014
Avuteq "Friday Insights" series features recruitment experts and technical talent sharing their thoughts and experiences of recruitment along with their passion for both - the recruiting industry and the tech world.
We kick off our "Friday Insights" with Katrina Collier - social recruiting specialist who talks about how technology revolutionized the way people are connecting, communicating and rethinking traditional recruitment.
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself? What is your favorite career topic to discuss?
I’m the founder of Winning Impression and a Social Recruiting Specialist. I consult and train to companies on the effective use of a wide range of social media sites for recruitment, and I’m a regular HR & Recruitment conference and Job Search event speaker.
Favourite topic? Well anything to do with social media and its use for recruitment and job search; I write avidly about this on my blog.
2. How did you begin your career in social media recruiting?
Like most recruiters, I started on LinkedIn and have been using it for over 8 years to connect with candidates and recruit. When the recession hit, I realised that there was an opportunity to take my knowledge of successfully recruiting on LinkedIn, and now Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and many more, to companies so they could improve their recruitment. I do this and help job seekers connect to hidden job opportunities through effective social networking.
3. Do you think social media recruiting is replacing the basic skills needed for professional recruiters?
Recruiters have many ways that they can reach candidates, from the phone, to email, to advertising, to referrals, and so on. Social media is just another channel to use but, and it’s a big but, the way you use it is fundamentally different.
Under pressure to fill the role, recruiters need quick results. But this directness doesn’t work on social networks. LinkedIn users are sick of irrelevant messages and unexplained connection requests, and I regularly hear of users paring back their profiles to avoid the noise. So a recruiter’s basic skills need to evolve if they want to succeed on social media.
Successful social recruiting is a careful balance of social sourcing, socializing your employer brand and relevant content, and sharing your jobs. Social media is not a place to broadcast or just dump job posts, doing that gets you muted or un-followed, and simply doesn’t work.
The key is to remember it’s a social space. Pay it forward. Use manners. Be valuable.
4. What are the latest and most interesting trends in social media recruiting according to you?
To me there are two main trends; the first is the evolution of the social job seeker. These job seekers check companies and recruiters out before they’ll make an approach or reply to a message. Companies without a social presence could be missing out on making excellent hires because they are perceived as out dated.
I’m hearing of incidents of job seekers taking print outs of reviews, from sites like Glassdoor, into their interviews and asking for comment. Though Glassdoor isn’t a social site, it does give ex-employees a voice that is reaching job seekers; companies should pay attention.
Job seekers want to see into the company and hear first hand what it’s like to work there; using video, images and social channels is a great way to do this. They want a person-to-person connection not polished PR management speak and communication with a nameless logo.
Social recruiting is now proven and tools are appearing every day that makes it very easy to find and contact people but as people become unresponsive, like they have on email, a new skill set is required. The second big trend I see is the evolution of the successful social recruiter; a rare breed. They understand how to build an engaged following through correct social media etiquette, and the sharing of valuable content, insights and help. They play for the long game not a short-term quick fix.
5. Is there any downside of social media recruitment that you think is harming the industry?
Yes, irrelevant messages and spammy job posts. Sadly, too few understand how to use social media as a social channel, thinking that it’s a job board. As we’re seeing with increased unresponsiveness on LinkedIn, this kind of behaviour is disliked and ineffective. Used correctly it delivers the results; it’s important to learn how.
6. Social media recruitment is definitely shaping the future of hiring practises. What would be your best advice to utilize it?
Just because one network has incredibly persuasive marketers telling you that they are the answer to your prayers, doesn’t mean that they are. Look at who you need to recruit and find out where they hangout. Ask the hiring manager or the team, where they talk online. It’s likely to be somewhere you least expect.
Once you know which site is the right site to attract the right people, learn how to use it properly. If you are unsure what to do, call in an expert for some guidance, or ask for help from other users on the site. But whatever you do, remember the social job seekers, and don’t ignore social media hoping it will go away. People, whether they are candidates, clients, colleagues, ex-colleagues, competitors or friends, are already talking about you. It’s best you find out what’s being said and join the conversation.
Remember the social job seekers, and don’t ignore social media hoping it will go away. People, whether they are candidates, clients, colleagues, ex-colleagues, competitors or friends, are already talking about you. It’s best you find out what’s being said and join the conversation.