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: 535

Comment by Craig Silverman on December 2, 2010 at 1:43pm
There are lots of ways to communicate and many reasons why we reach out to others. My take is that some of the things we do contribute to what we want to accomplish in different ways.

Frequency can be reached through multiple touches. Posting a job and sharing it via Facebook, writing a blog entry, tweeting about an interesting article, and leaving a vmail for a hiring manager can all be good.

We can't ignore the move toward mobile applications, social networks, or video but let's not forget how we got here and what methods we use that can still work.
Comment by Justin Miller on December 2, 2010 at 2:09pm
I agree Craig, that's kind of the sentiment I was trying to get across, but it got bastardized as this debate went on. You can't ignore how big a role social sites and applications have impacted the world as of late, it's irresponsible to do so and not try to adapt in recruiting...but in no ways will traditional recruiting techniques fall by the wayside. If done right, these things can make your job as a recruitment much easier and more effective.
Comment by Pamela deForce on December 2, 2010 at 2:11pm
This so reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw once "Hire a teenager while they still know everything". Justin - You need to LISTEN to those who have been in this business for years and are wildly successful instead of being so defensive. But that will come with age my dear boy....
Comment by Jennifer on December 2, 2010 at 2:13pm
I tend to think there's a larger point that was missed on all fronts. Social media is another tool in our arsenal just as cold calling, job boards, networking, advertisements, and all the others are which are available to us. Cutting access to one tool is foolish. Relying on only one tool is foolish as well. What makes those of us who have been doing this for a while successful is the willingness to embrace new tools while still utilizing the old reliable methods which has worked in the past.
Comment by Justin Miller on December 2, 2010 at 2:26pm

That's the point I'm trying to make. If you guys read the article no where will you see that I think cold calling should be stricken from the tool belt of a recruiter. What you will see is the fact that you can help cut down on some of the awkward phone calls by simply reaching out through social media...then it becomes less of a "cold" call and more of just a "call."

People who have been in the industry on this blog can belittle me because of my age all you want, it's not about age or experience. It's about the willingness to expand your arsenal and if it doesn't work, fine. But doesn't mean it won't work for someone else. If you think calling me a boy or pup makes me upset, it doesn't it just makes me take you less serious. This didn't start out like an argument and if you read the first page you'll notice I responded to CC and Jerry's post not in a confrontational way but with point I felt backed up my argument. It wasn't until Jerry and then Sandra spoke in definitives that this got ugly, but I sure am not going to let 2 recruiters who I've never met or know anything about tell me that I'm just wrong because it didn't work for them. If you older recruiters want to continue to comment on here and lecture me that you've been in the industry for 20 years so I just should shut up, then I'd tell you to either don't bother commenting (no one is forcing you to comment) or write your own blog article. But if you want to talk about me being too immature I'll point the argument right back at you and bring up the fact the reason there are 30 comments for this article is because you are just as stubborn as I am, and age or experience doesn't always make you an authority on something...especially if it's as new as social media is.
Comment by Ron Kubitz on December 2, 2010 at 2:33pm
Wow getting a bit personal here aren't we? I have been a recruiter for close to twenty years with 16 being on the agency side and 4 years on the Corp side. I do not consider myself to be a "thought leader" and while I read blogs do not generally spend the time writing or contributing as frankly I am busy trying to fill job needs.

I respect those with a great deal of solid and successful industry experience (do not always agree with them) and also look to learn from those fresh in the business. The one thing I love aobut our industry is that in my opinion there are no hardfast right or wrong answers/strategies on most things. It is all about doing what works best for you and what makes you successful. It is about creativity, hard work, trial and error, networking, studying and coming up with what makes you a successful recruiter.

I am not one that desires to pay "thought leaders" thousands of dollar to blindly follow their teachings as they may not be right for me. I do not profess to know it all because what makes me click may be frowned on by others.

That being said in my world as I have evolved as a recruiter I make these personal assumptions:

1. The phone beats all in terms of building a relationship and solidifying a possible candidate.
2. Referrals are still your best source of finding quaity candidates
3. Networking and using Social Media to search for candidates is much more effective (and cost effective) than using the big job boards. I no longer utilize the big job boards and have replaced with Social Media and smaller targeted job boards. During this current year I have placed 8 individuals that I have found on Linkedin and subsequently contacted (phone) and successfully recruited. Could never say that for the big job boards. I consider myself a strong and important player on Linkedin and have the placements to prove it!
4. Posting jobs have become almost a waste of time due to the junk that you recieve. I have cut down on job posting by about 50% and focus on job aggregators and targeted sites.
5. Sourcing (Social Media and good old fashioned headhunting/cold-calling) has worked wonders, does work wonders and will continue to work wonders. On hard to find needs even on the CORP side I still call competitors for names, headhunt for that hard to find person just as I did in my younger days. I work on the CORP side but still maintain a headhunter alias that I use to recruiter from the competition (hope they are not reading this).

I could go on but I guess what I am saying is that nobody has the right to tell me what works and I do not have the right to make others do as I do. It is all a personal style learned through experience and what is good for the goose is not always good for the gander.

Always keep an open mind for learning and as my kids do utilize 20% of what is told to you and throw out the other 80%. Keep growing, stay fresh and keep making $$.

Happy Hunting!
Comment by Jennifer on December 2, 2010 at 2:34pm
Then perhaps you should have thought about the title of your article a little more because that sets the tone for the rest of it. And then you mention that "most recruiters are unaware that Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are crucial for the direction that their businesses are moving towards." Not that I'm speaking for either Jerry or Sandra but that is the part which set my teeth on edge a bit. It comes across as condescending. You're making a blanket statement which seems to me to say that you know the business better than I do. Do you? Do you really? There were other statements within the bulk of the post that were just as condescending.

I think your intentions were good but the execution was poor.
Comment by Justin Miller on December 2, 2010 at 2:41pm

I understand. But to my defense you will notice the line is "most recruiters are unaware that Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are crucial for the direction that their businesses are moving towards." is a link to an article of a study that has that as the topic. That article is actually the reason I thought to write the piece. So it's not so much a blanket statement as much as it is a reflection based on the data in that article.
Comment by Timothy Yandel on December 2, 2010 at 2:44pm
Some of these comments just make the old timers look like the immature ones. This is a blog about using social media more not about the author's age or your age or whatever you want to turn it to.

If I hear someone say that they have 20+ years as a recruiter again I'm going to shoot myself. Good for you - but in 20 years I don't want to be doing recruiting anymore... I want to either be retired or have people work for me doing the recruiting. Especially as it seems the more experience you get the more entitled you feel and belittling you become. Everyone starts somewhere and I bet the majority of the old timers ruffled a few feathers somewhere along the way to where you are today. It should be easier for you to relate to someone like Justin as opposed to demanding they relate to you.
Comment by Jerry Albright on December 2, 2010 at 2:47pm
I need to clarify one thing. Linkedin rocks! Any recruiter would do well to investigate it if they haven't already. I do not consider them in the same arena as what is commonly considered "social media" - it's more like a big resume database....

Carry on.


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