Is social recruiting a symptom – or a solution?

Is social recruiting a symptom of larger problems in the world of recruitment – or is it a solution to recruitment woes? Let me argue both sides of this question:

Symptom: def. “something that indicates the existence of something else”

Argument #1 – It’s a symptom: The #1 complaint about job sites in my recent survey of job seekers was lack of response from employers. Candidates want to interact with potential employers – and the most recent crop came of age with Facebook and related social media platforms. So it’s only natural that they would expect the same spill-your-guts exposure from employers – and that they’d be unhappy if they didn’t get it.

It’s also why recruiters and companies savvy enough to actually interact with candidates would see better results. These early adopters stuck their necks out – and (allegedly) reaped the rewards.

But in reality, was social recruiting the solution? Not really – the real problem was lack of communication between employers and candidates. Social recruiting was merely a symptom of this deeper problem – the proverbial canary in the coal mine.

Solution: def. “the act of solving a problem, question”

Argument #2: It’s a solution: Social recruiting is an evolution in the way employers find candidates. Just as job boards replaced newspaper ads, so does social recruiting replace job boards. It’s a new paradigm – employers and candidates chatting back and forth, exposing information, getting fuller understandings of each other.

In this scenario, social recruiting is a solution to a basic change in employer and job seeker behavior: from one where employers held all the power and candidates meekly acquiesced, to one where candidates hold as much power as employers (and aren’t afraid to use it). Platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter enable employers and candidates to engage directly, without interference. The outcome? Better hires.

Which is it? Symptom or solution? Neither? Both? What do you think?

Views: 156

Comment by Daniel DeHaan on November 23, 2010 at 11:55am
Very interesting debate and there are some excellent points made. I think SM is both a symptom and a solution.

SM has drastically changed the landscape of recruiting, which is produce a large amount of new challenges for hiring companies and candidates. Information and opinions are spread easily and this will cause complications. As a person who hires, the first thing I do after an interview is search a candidate in facebook & twitter. Will you really invest time and money on a candidate who has pictures of themselves getting plastered in College??

Corporate culture will evolve as a result of SM. Now you're coworkers will have access to all sorts of personal information.

GREAT DISCUSSION. I mentioned a point on this on the latest article we posted

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