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The social recruit

Posted: 19 November 2010

Hands up who remembers the days when there was no twitter (August 2006)?  Hands up if you’re pre-facebook (Feb 2004)?..Ok not bad, what about the stone age, pre-LinkedIn (May 2003), now you’re really showing your age!

So what have all of these social network tools given us in terms of recruiting and finding talent, how do we find that social recruit and how do you keep them?

As a Digital Company you need to be visual in these spaces and have a good presence online, but you knew that already.  Having this should naturally attract some candidates that are actively looking.   A candidate see’s a positive article, maybe follows you on twitter, you update a vacancy on Twitter, they send a CV and you’ve got the dream, someone that wants to work for you and you’ll keep the FD happy as he hasn’t got to dig in to the company coffers to pay someone like me.

The trouble is if they are actively looking for work they have probably done this with 4/5 other companies, and anyway how often does that happen?

It’s the passive candidate that we need to impress and get interested through our social network.

As a company you need to spend the time to follow, like, connect, friend request and get to know your online passive candidates.  It’s a big job considering the take up rates, for every 20/30 candidates you connect with you will probably end up having meaningful dialogue with 1 or 2.  That’s a lot of liking for little reward.

Setting up a dedicated online recruitment profile may help.  The more targeted and focused your group the more uptake you will have, but don’t let it become a stagnant database of candidates who hear nothing from you unless you want something i.e. them!

Where are you looking for your “Social Recruit”?

  • Facebook – well it’s a bit personal, often people keep FB and work separate but if you’re asking employees for referrals then you coulod get some joy. Twitter has more going for it on the recruitment front.  You can hit a bigger audience and you are more likely to have more people following you and word will get around quicker.
  • LinkedIn – if you have for the time and inclination this is the standout recruitment tool.  Essentially online CV’s are ready and waiting for you, however you could feasibly spend all day on LinkedIn and not find the right candidate or if you do then they may not be interested.

So all in all it’s a tough game getting the social recruit interested and in the door.  Ultimately these tools are something to add to your recruitment game and you can’t beat a good old fashioned phone call, although as initial introductions go and finding good candidates it is now invaluable to a companies and recruiters alike.

These are my social network recruiting rules:

  • Have a dedicated recruitment space and profile
  • Add to your network at all times, not just when you need to
  • Post your company interests and results up to gain interest
  • Don’t rely purely on your social network

But it’s not all sunshine and lollipops in the world of social recruiting.  Whatever social recruiting you’re doing, your competitors should, and probably are, doing the same.  Your employees will be getting alluring messages tempting them away on a weekly basis.  There’s not a lot you can do about it but regular reviews on salary and satisfaction are important. Keeping a watching eye on their social profiles is advised,  stalking is a no-no, but just an eye should serve you well.