Social Recruiting: The Replacement for Cold Calling

By Justin Miller

Article Originally Posted on

A Blog that Caters to the Marketing Aspect of Recruiting

I think it goes without saying that probably the hardest part of the job for recruiters is making cold calls.

Having to make hundreds of calls a day can be a bit daunting on people, especially when only a handful are willing to let you get passed a sentence, and only a handful of those people are willing to work with you on a contingency basis.

It’s a main reason why the turn-over rate is so high amongst recruiting firms; young people with little patience and thin skin. But the cool thing that Biz Stone(Founder of Twitter) Reid
Hoffman (Co-Founder of LinkedIn) and “The King” Mark Zuckerberg (Founder of Facebook) has brought us are avenues in which we can rely less on cold calling, and more on pressure-free conversation.

Sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are quickly over-taking job boards as places where candidates are going to find their next job opportunity. I get the sentiment that candidates now feel sending their resumes to places like Monster and CareerBuilder is akin to sending it into a black hole, often times never even getting emails back to let them know their information was received.

Why is there a growing trend of candidates on social sites?

Quite frankly, it’s not as if candidates joined these sites to begin their job hunt, they were already members to begin with.

Now as opposed to just interacting with family and friends on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn they are able to engage companies they are interested in working for. Yet for whatever reason, a lot of recruiters seem unaware that sites like these are crucial for the direction their business is moving towards. As more and more things like televisions, smart phones,
and tablets include social applications in their design features, so too must our industry.

Social sites encourage conversation and interaction, this can help recruiters avoid cold calls and embrace joining in on the dialogue. Depending on what each recruiter’s specialty may be there is a group on Facebook for it, or a list on Twitter that applies. Being present online and having exposure can benefit recruiters to the point where people will now come to YOU (what a thought!). But it’s important to not just overwhelm people with job ads and constant pitches. Become a trusted source for a topic, gain a reputation as someone who knows what their talking about and I guarantee you will find success.

Quality over Quantity.

Do you currently use social media for recruiting purposes? Does it work?

Comment Below

Views: 542

Comment by Sandra McCartt on December 1, 2010 at 2:07am
You misunderstand young friend. I didn't say it was a fad, i said, "fortunately new things come along all the time, pieces and parts become part of the process others fall by the wayside."

Translation: social media is not the holy grail of recruiting. Parts of it are and can be an intregal part of the process. A database does not a recruiter make, nor does a computer or a job board or social media. They are all pieces and parts not to be condemned but to be evaluated and used as needed in whatever manner works for each individual.

But trust me on this one, you made an uninformed assumption. I was sending emails before it was fashionable, i had the first mobile car phone that cost almost a grand and several hundred dollars a month to use. I was more than delighted when cell phones became portable even though they were like carrying a weird shaped suitcase and would not fit in an attache case much less one's pocket. I currently use two iphones, an ipad and four networked computers that no one else uses. I check on the well being of my horses in a barn located 15 miles from my house via security cameras that are transmitting real time to an internet site. I embraced evolution when you were still in corderoy overalls. I am on linkedin, facebook, twitter and fourteen other internet sites. And for the record i was shopping on ebay before most people even knew what the hell it was.

As to the thought leader comment. I was not referring to you. Those who have been in this industry for decades know exactly who i was referring to. The term "thought leader" has been discussed with disdain by recruiters for eons. Not bitter at all just an observer of the absurdity that happens in this industry. As you evolve in this industry you will be able to identify them. ( The idiots to whom i refer).

My prediction that there will be some fall out in the recruiting ranks due to those who believe that social media is the ultimate solution to recruiting unless it becomes one of the pieces and parts of the process is based on my years of observing the fall out in the recruiting ranks of many who hung their hat and their financial success on becoming obsessed with only one of the many pieces and parts of a somewhat complex industry. Recruting appears on the surface to be so easy that all one has to do is send an email, post a job, dig through a database, gather up followers on linkedin, facebook , twitter or just talk about how great they are and network. That is just the first small piece of the process.

It certainly does not make you a jerk if you write daily, people read what you write and agree.
What will make you a jerk is if you jump out there and make assumptions about those who read what you write and don't totally agree with you. Or assume that people who do not share your obsession with social media are by definition bitter old dinosaurs who didn't evolve in a very tough industry. Evolution is a given in this and any industry if one is to survive and prosper.

By the way, i haven't bought a stamp in over ten years , i don't accept faxed resumes and i don't remember the last cold call i made, if i ever made one at all. You may now step down off your high horse before that critter takes you down another wrong path. :)
Comment by Justin Miller on December 1, 2010 at 9:55am
The only reason I'm on a high horse is so you can hear me from your even higher horse.

The one thing you don't seem to be picking up from the article and the idea of social media not being a replacement for the phone but an enhancement. The article is titled Social Recruiting: The REPLACEMENT FOR COLD CALLING not the replacement for the phone.

These avenues allow you to get a short introduction to a person to the point where you can pick up a phone knowing they are expecting you to call.

If you read what I wrote again you wont ever find a line that talks about how old school recruiting standards are outdated or antiquated, just that what I sense from recruiters is the hardest part about the job is cold calling, and with social media there are ways you can avoid calling cold.

It's people like you and Jerry who bring up age and feel entitled because you've been doing the job for 20 years so you are an authority and the trends you've seen in the past will remain in the future. I didn't bring up age, you did and if you want to talk about what you were doing while I was in overalls that's fine and it shows your character as a person who cant have a reasonable discussion without trying to enter little digs. Well lets talk about now, now I'm not in I'm the Marketing Manager for 3 companies: an extremely successful RPO company, and 2 tech recruiting firms who are performing far and above projected expectations for the year. We have over 300 recruiters through all avenues, every day of which I get either emails or calls about how they met a candidate they placed on Twitter or went to a meetup group and placed someone they met that wasn't even looking for a job.

Tim, a few comments up put it best:
"It's not the tool but the carpenter; it's not the typewriter but the writer; and it's not social media but the recruiter that's going to make it effective."

If you're not having success with it...fine then don't do it...but it doesn't mean others aren't. So when you comment in here, don't speak in definitive, speak on your personal experience. You don't know, just like I don't know but at least I'm not counting it out. And again I'm still confused about the recruiters who condemn can only help.
Comment by Karen Harlan on December 1, 2010 at 12:07pm
I agree. Social Media is a great advertising tool that delivers brand awareness and information. However, like all marketing programs, it needs to be complimented with traditional sales and marketing efforts to be truly effective.
Comment by Sandra McCartt on December 1, 2010 at 12:18pm
Let me be definitive, many years experience doing anything gives folks not only the entitlement but the authority to speak from that experience about an industry that they have evolved in for 20 or 30 years. You have misread or have reacted negatively to those who disagree with your premise that Social Media will replace cold calling.

Nobody made the statement that social medai was a fad, the internet was a fad or anything else. Recruiters do not condemn social media they simply know that having explored it at some length, it is not going to replace anything. As i clearly stated, some of the pieces and parts can and will become part of what we do, others will fall by the wayside.

As someone who has only been in the industry for 5 months you can be forgiven for your excitement and your focus as a marketing manager is very different from that of a working recruiter who is in production. Your confusion is understandable.

For your edification it is my feeling that in the world of blogging and commenting, one good dig deserves another. It may speak to your character as a person that you assume that anyone who takes issue with social media being much different than any of the evolutions that have occured in this industry somehow still thinks "email or the internet was a fad , people would always shop in stores etc. etc."

To be my personal experience Linkedin has had some value. I am not counting out socila media just know that as many have stated, much of it is a time suck for working recruiters.
Comment by Justin Miller on December 1, 2010 at 1:31pm
Thanks for forgiving me.

and people in those post HAVE commented saying it was just a fad just look at Jerry's addition.

And no sorry, but I haven't reacted negatively to people who disagree with my premise about social media. What I have done is defended my statement to people like you who just outright claimed that you tried it, it didn't yield results so it's not worth recruiters time.

It just not worth YOUR time. I cant repeat myself enough, there are people who are seeing tangible results from it. If you don't agree, that's fine but disagree with the premise that it didn't work for YOU not for recruiters in general, that's where my frustration comes from.

We just keep going in circles, I'm not going to convince you, you certainly aren't convincing me. So let's just see where we're at in 5 years and catch up. I'll send you an outlook invite
Comment by Jerry Albright on December 1, 2010 at 1:37pm
Frankly - this is getting absurd.

Respectfully I would like to offer a synopsis of the thread. Justin, who with 5 months experience in our world, posted a topic suggesting Social Media is the replacement for cold calling.

A few of us who have tried (and most likely continue to investigate) various forms of social media disagreed.

It then went somewhat south. Professionally south. But still.

Can you dig a placement out of social media somehow? Sure. Knock yourself out.

Can you cut your lawn with a pair of scissors? Sure. Knock yourself out.
Comment by Justin Miller on December 1, 2010 at 1:45pm
You guys make it seem like my 5 months of experience is an argument against the issue. I may have been with the company for 5 months, but there are recruiters in this company who have been here for years who have and continue use social media to a great deal of success. Disagree with social media having a place in recruiting all you'd like, it's definitely up to personal preference but just know that there are others out there that use it efficiently, not to mention the thousands of recruiters and hiring managers who attended the Socialrecruiting summit in Seattle this past September.

And you're right, this is getting absurd. So why not agree to disagree.

Good luck with your landscaping
Comment by Sandra McCartt on December 1, 2010 at 2:17pm
Lord Love a Duck!

Comment by James Todd on December 1, 2010 at 2:24pm
This is an amazing thread as it really shows the tension between the old recruiters and the new marketeers. If I was going to score the debate between the social media proselytizers and the old school recruiters I would call it a tie. As soon as a single recruiter generates revenues that require two commas to describe using primarily social media this debate will end and I will jump on board the social media bandwagon with both feet. However, until that day arrives the recruiting world will continue to be divided between the luddites who make placements for a living and dreamers who make a living talking about tweeting and chatting and stuff.
Comment by Justin Miller on December 1, 2010 at 2:31pm

I would speak with Tim a few comments above. He's a Division Manager for Workbridge Associates here in Boston doing Tech Recruiting. He's a huge SM advocate and I know he's both gotten and sustained quite a few candidates using SM outlets, not to mention every recruiter in my company utilizes LinkedIn heavily and we're doing quite well. Twitter seems to be surging amongst recruiters here as well and Facebook presence in our company needs a little work but it's still generated new candidates before we even really officially rolled it out.


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