At a recent conference, a group was standing around and someone (who shall remain anonymous) bravely spoke up and stated a fact many of us have been feeling, thinking, and trying to figure out.  "I really am tired of this whole social media thing."  There was a bit of silence, but the nodding heads proved that many of us were in agreement.

 

I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that most of us in this space, RBC frequenters, unConference or Social Recruiting Conference attendees have been tackling Social Media - going at it - for quite a while now.  Many for three years or longer. And the surprise is always there when a session is filled with many that have never even logged onto a social media site, let alone dig the Twitter scene.

 

 

It hasn't been easy, as a matter of fact, almost weekly the rules change.  LinkedIn has started to look an awful lot like Facebook and the home page of Facebook looks like a Twitter stream and Plaxo lurks in the corner like some creepy cross breed of Facebook and LinkedIn.  And the "keep up" is exhausting, a concerted effort to stay active and keep up with the changes is a must or is it?

 

 

I used to spend a couple hours a day cruising through Twitter and other sites, worried I might miss the next big announcement or an opportunity to respond to something hi-larious or off-the-charts.  But something amazing started to happen about six months ago.  Work got busy, then it got busier.  And one might theorize that because I was keeping up, because I was aware of what was going on, surely this is why I became so busy.  Perhaps, but the busy began to limit my social media time spend.  And it was a good thing, I have learned how to quickly skim the sites for anything of interest or that might affect me or my job / company.

 

 

Effective time spend must be budgeted, just like effective money spend.  If you don't measure the give / loss, how can you possibly understand the gain?  Measuring the ROI of social media time spend is next to impossible for its reach is really unknowable.  The only thing you can really measure is the time spent engaging, thus the time NOT spent doing something else, perhaps something more effective like talking to potential clients / customers face-to-face. Novel concept. 

 

 


Social media is a great icebreaker, but it isn't the party.  That's not always so easy to remember.

 

 

 

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Frank, exactly (well partly).

Frank Zupan said:
Unfortunately, it's unlikely that the conversation (or results) will be moved forward until the self-appointed "experts" and "gurus" that have so quickly entrenchenched themselves into positions of supposed wisdom find a new shiny object to chase after. FZ

Rayanne,

So I wrote about this topic kinda without referencing our conversation yesterday. For me it isn't always about the money or the fame. It's about getting someone to make that leap into the world of social media and test the waters.

Thanks for the good stuff. I miss ya!

Jessica

Rayanne said:
Yes, Jessica, you were part of the actual conversation. ;-)

And we did discuss saying the same thing over and over again... It sometimes feels like, because we are saying it so often and so loud, that no one is listening and that may be the frustrating part. Especially when you look back and realize how much effort, you - yourself - have had to put into learning the SM space. The finesse required, the flexibility that is requisite, the necessary attention that NO ONE wants to pay to their online reputation or the multiple ways to drive SEO, not just paying someone else to do it...

I guess the conversation feels old because it is. Refining - redefining is good though, shortening the schpeel and increasing comprehension are the good results of us old fogeys having been here and done that, already.

A conversation worth having.



Jessica Miller-Merrell said:
Rayanne,

I believe I was part of this live actual conversation, and I'm glad you choose to post about it. Looks like it was worthwhile to go out on the ledge and write about it. Sometimes I feel like I am having the same conversation with those new to social media at a conference or consultation. Given that this exactly what I do every day, I don't know if I am tired of it but it seems like GroundHog Day in a way. I have the same exact conversation multiple times.

I'm happy to help people dive in and discuss the ins and outs with the right way in mind. Those of us have learned a lot both good and bad along the way. The good news is that since I have the same discussion I am able to really refine and polish my conversation just as a professional speaker would giving the same keynote over and over again.

Good stuff!!

Jessica

@blogging4jobs
Just what is this message we're all supposed to be getting, and passing along?

Is there some obligation on our part to encourage others to join? Does their joining then help us feel better about the time wasted there? If we're all doing it - it's OK, then. Right?

The message I've been sharing is what I have found in my own reality. The more time spent on SM - the less time you are spending making real presentations to your clients and candidates. SM not only does NOT produce an increase in one's ability to move people forward in a your day - it eats away at your ability to do so.

That's my message and I'm sticking with it.

I've been part of the conversation - and it's the same old thing. I much prefer conversations with interested clients and candidates.
Social Media and recruiting is a good tool but once again, it must be used as a tool in your toolbox. Face to face contact, picking up the phone and calling are all old, traditional methods in sales but they still work! I use social media to keep in contact with some of my past clients that I havent talked to in years.. At least, it brings my name up and whenever they want something, they can contact me....
I do sometimes get the impression that some people are trying to re-invent the wheel, but not necessarily a better wheel than the ones that are already out there. Social media is great for promoting my business, I cannot deny that, but would I use it as a recruitment tool? Right now, no. Why? Because there is too much doubt and risk attached to it.

Say I wanted to recruit someone, let's say a mid level administrative person for my offices in London. I know that if I put an ad out on social networks I would get bombarded with response from far and wide, most of it irrelevant and poor quality. I would probably even win a Nigerian lottery I never even bought a ticket for. And, because of the mammoth response i would end up being unable to reply in person to each and every applicant and would thus get a black mark against my name as a potential employer. Were I to go certain routes via social networks I may even get accused of spamming and being an unwelcome and unsolicited intrusion.

Too many people have been convinced (wrongly in my opinion) that social media is some kind of recruitment holy grail. That it makes the press and job boards superfluous. That there is no need to pick up a phone, just put your job out there and woo hoo! here come the candidates from that global pool. All perfect, all relevant and in manageable numbers. Heaven on earth in fact. And don't forget, because it can be done for free in some instances, there;s no ROI to worry about!

If only! Fact is I have worked with some of the best recruiters over the years. Some are still clients of mine some 15 years since we first did business together. Why? Business relationships, regular communication. No false promises. The best recruiters see their candidates not as one off transactions but as people they can maybe help throughout their career. They keep in regular contact. They get referred. They build up a network of contacts. In some instances those candidates eventually become clients. That's the old (and seemingly not good enough) school way which seems to have been superseded by the modern way which is a wham bam thank you ma'am one of transaction with very little proper communication or follow up. No wonder so many candidates are disillusioned and employers swamped with response they don't want or need.

In short, the whole social recruiting band wagon is moving at a pace, but the trouble is those reinvented wheels aren't yet solid or tried and tested enough to sustain. Candidates want communication, opportunity and hope. Employers want relevant, geographically convenient staff. Social recruiting is at it stands no guarantee of either.

That's all folks!
Someone at TRU Manchester here in the UK just tweeted "Social media is like a free gift we have been give to reach the masses" - What? Cheap, tacky, tends to break quite easily? :-)
I am not a marketing major, but I’m sure there is some kind of grid that represents the stages of a marketing plan; having some kind of internet presence beyond the company website should be stage one. With that in mind, I’m in favor of using every media, medium that is available to me to get the message out that my company is here, and it’s great and we are hiring! I think people get “tired of it” when there is nothing going on; but social media activity has a life cycle like anything else, so if you’re tired of it, don’t’ worry. It will spark up again.

I also think that each (FaceBook, Twitter) has a separate demographic, and audience that works well for social media. So for larger companies, with jobs throughout the country, and globally, the social media is an excellent and inexpensive way of getting the message out about your firm, what it has to offer, and draw in interested candidates from a wide range of experience and locations. The ROI on having a social media presence when compared to the cost of TV advertising, newspaper ads, I think is invaluable. Also, with most of the media sites, you have the ability to upload videos, have interactive chats, and serve as the “informational interview” for not one or two potential candidates, but thousands.

For smaller companies, it really works well to show that even though you are small, you still keep up with what is going on in the world around you, especially in the area of technology. Few companies today are not affected in some way by what goes on in the area of technology. Also, due to the low/no overhead, the small companies can compete for candidates just as well as the big ones.

I’ll even go so far as to say that in the long run, having a social media presence will be the same as having a listed phone number, or business address; someone will get the idea to make the FaceBook/Twitter, etc a required part of the package of articles of incorporation, that comes with a certificate, license, (i.e. you’re not really in business without them).

Finally, I'm predicting (She dons a black pointed hat) that the Twitter technology will be added to FaceBook (I think it kind of is already) and Twitter will go away; MySpace will merge with Face Book and be free for individuals, but charge a scaled rate for corporate accounts, (with the advent of cloud computing) which will include a dedicated webmaster, a certain number of pod casts, web meetings, e-mail accounts, and feeds, etc.

Great question and comments!

Allenda
Social Media, like any new toy deserves to be explored, played with then put down when it's time to go back to work. In my opinion it is one of the most over hyped new toys that has come along in a while. Millions of companies and people never heard of it , won't waste time with it other than a profile here and there.

My prediction is that the fall recruiting run is going to be stronger than we have seen this year. Yeppers, RA i think you are right on target. I'm sick of it. SM is going into my "social" stack. When, i want to take a break from the real world i'll log in and see what is playing on the soaps then check back out.

When i really realized how sick of it i really am is when some idiot was hyping finding out where some candidate was then showing up to stalk them at lunch or starbucks. I am truly tired of watching people walk into lamp posts and fall off curbs while they are shuffling along texting and checking their facebook friends. My thinks it's time to go back to work, look people in the eye and get away from some of this texting and typing.
Social Media make me want to plurk (apologies to plurk.com... but what where they thinking when they named that site?). The thing with social media, is that it's made out for more than it is. Social networking is in fact networking... no brainer... seriously.

I see a great future in internet recruiting, I don't see the future, per say, in technology that makes people more accessible. Why? recruiting is mostly an inherently negative function. You have sometimes 500 people all qualified to do your job, and you can only pick one person. Does that mean I need another 1000 people to communicate with? Or do I need the most desperate candidates to contact me - personally - in any way possible?

Being effective online means drawing boundaries. It's not about building a ever-increasing following of mediocre talent that suck up your time.

Is Social Media the cancer cell of recruiting? Maybe, because if you can't hire people in sufficient numbers, the effort will kill itself off.
"You have sometimes 500 people all qualified to do your job, and you can only pick one person. Does that mean I need another 1000 people to communicate with? Or do I need the most desperate candidates to contact me - personally - in any way possible?"

Very well put. All this talk about Facebook being a global marketplace with 500 million members does not help me reach any more mid career accountants in a particular geographical location. At least 499,999,900 of those members are totally irrelevant and just cloud the issue rather than clarify it.

Harold Ensley said:
Social Media make me want to plurk (apologies to plurk.com... but what where they thinking when they named that site?). The thing with social media, is that it's made out for more than it is. Social networking is in fact networking... no brainer... seriously.

I see a great future in internet recruiting, I don't see the future, per say, in technology that makes people more accessible. Why? recruiting is mostly an inherently negative function. You have sometimes 500 people all qualified to do your job, and you can only pick one person. Does that mean I need another 1000 people to communicate with? Or do I need the most desperate candidates to contact me - personally - in any way possible?

Being effective online means drawing boundaries. It's not about building a ever-increasing following of mediocre talent that suck up your time.

Is Social Media the cancer cell of recruiting? Maybe, because if you can't hire people in sufficient numbers, the effort will kill itself off.
Once upon a time (back in the 90s) AOL was the social media darling (though we didn't call it that - those of us who knew what a time suck it was called it AOHell) and look at it now: being evermore dissembled as we speak!

Robert, I'd like to hear more from you on that 50% figure you mentioned about SM info being outdated. I hadn't pegged it that high but taking into account the economic tsunami I can see that maybve being true...anyone else have an opinion on that?

Maybe we ought to view SM as a Trojan Horse, something that appears as beneficial but in reality facilitates all kinds of unexpected consequences?
Yes, it gives new meaning to "cloud computing", doesn't it?

Alasdair Murray said:
"You have sometimes 500 people all qualified to do your job, and you can only pick one person. Does that mean I need another 1000 people to communicate with? Or do I need the most desperate candidates to contact me - personally - in any way possible?"

Very well put. All this talk about Facebook being a global marketplace with 500 million members does not help me reach any more mid career accountants in a particular geographical location. At least 499,999,900 of those members are totally irrelevant and just cloud the issue rather than clarify it.

Harold Ensley said:
Social Media make me want to plurk (apologies to plurk.com... but what where they thinking when they named that site?). The thing with social media, is that it's made out for more than it is. Social networking is in fact networking... no brainer... seriously.

I see a great future in internet recruiting, I don't see the future, per say, in technology that makes people more accessible. Why? recruiting is mostly an inherently negative function. You have sometimes 500 people all qualified to do your job, and you can only pick one person. Does that mean I need another 1000 people to communicate with? Or do I need the most desperate candidates to contact me - personally - in any way possible?

Being effective online means drawing boundaries. It's not about building a ever-increasing following of mediocre talent that suck up your time.

Is Social Media the cancer cell of recruiting? Maybe, because if you can't hire people in sufficient numbers, the effort will kill itself off.

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