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 Timothy Yandel on December 1, 2010 at 2:32pm
Good blogging though - I'm taking notes on this because I generally don't get as many comments on the stuff I post.

One thing that wasn't said was the element of style in recruiting. I've worked with many recruiters in my day and everyone of them has a different style that defines them every day. Some more drastic than others, but Social Media either gets embraced or shunned based on who you're talking to. Experience in recruiting is great, but I like to stay young in my approach by working with young recruiters like Justin that offer a fresh new perspective on frankly, a pretty boring industry when it's just "bang the phones".
Comment by Justin Miller on December 1, 2010 at 2:36pm
That reminds me...Tim writes a great blog called Hiring Juice which y'all should check out.

My actual blog is Recruiting Reach which takes more of an approach to the world of recruiting through the eyes of marketing.
Comment by Pamela Bovaird on December 1, 2010 at 2:57pm
Well I have been both: a successful recruiter from cold calling, and a business owner who got a website ranked at the top of Google Search receiving emails from hiring managers I did not even know and making thousands of dollars as a result. I made money both ways and found candidates both ways. My last candidate who I made a $24,000 fee came to my website via Google Search.

I have also worked for SEO firms and spent a lot of time on talking to unqualified people who will never purchase anything and qualified people who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, none of them who knew about my company without finding us online.

I have to agree with Justin. You are leaving money on the table if you are not advertising yourself online. And, Jerry and Sandra. You are also losing money if you are not calling and speaking to qualified prospects and candidates.

Justin is the winner, however. Because he gets it. You have to be doing both if you do not want to leave money (hiring managers and qualified candidates) on the table for someone else to pick up
Comment by Pamela Bovaird on December 1, 2010 at 2:59pm
The ideal world is only speaking to qualified candidates and you cannot do either exclusively with cold calling or online advertising. It is the combination that makes the difference here.
Comment by Justin Miller on December 1, 2010 at 3:02pm
That's a great point Pamela...I didn't even think of that, through this discussion, people arguing against social media made it seem like cold calling is the thing that has worked in the past and will continue to work, no one ever mentioned the fact that out of 100 cold calls recruiters make a day, only a handful (if that) take time to talk and only a handful of those actually require your services.
Comment by Jerry Albright on December 1, 2010 at 3:20pm
Pamela - congrats on your success. The recruiting world is a gift given to each of us.

But mind if I ask what, exactly, Justin wins here? I'm the first to try most things that come along and am smart enough to decide which of those ideas suit my purpose. No amount of hype or thought leadership can convince me to spend my time in places I am not convinced are a fit for me.

His original premise was the cold calling is being replaced by Social Media. Anyone who comes here with these outlandish/sweeping statements only "win" the honor of sounding somewhat foolish as the thread unfolds through conversation.

For the most part I find the task of identifying candidates rather easy. A few keywords here or there and whamo! -- you're connected. I've got thousands in my database when I need to dig that deep.

What I find rather naive in this particular viewpoint is that somehow this "younger" crowd has found a way to avoid the tough part of this job. It just isn't so. Believe me - I am all about making this as easy as it can be. Unfortunately there has been no magic bullet for the marketplace I call home.

Can you find a wealth of college grads looking for any work - anywhere? I'm sure you can. I bet Twitter is great for that.

Can you put together a short list of Power Electronics Engineers with subfractional horsepower motor design (BLDC only) ready for a change? I'm not even going to say you can't......eventually......somehow......

I'll take a quote from Justin's post last week: "To say I’m an outsider to the recruiting industry is very much an understatement"

We're all hear to learn. I learn as much as I can and see how it fits my strategy. But coming here and letting us old people know we're headed for the scrap heap is simply ill-advised.....
Comment by Justin Miller on December 1, 2010 at 3:44pm
I am an outsider, but why is that such a bad thing? Why can't fresh approaches not necessarily be a bad thing. And yes, cold calling can be replaced by social recruiting because cold calling implies that without notice or opting in, people are receiving calls from recruiters about new jobs. How do you replace that? Starting up conversation online, introducing yourself, making yourself connected now turns that cold call into just a call. You can still cold call as I'm sure recruiters will continue to do, but it doesn't mean that there aren't other solutions out there. Pamela is right, cold calling is far from full-proof in fact it can be considered less targeted than social media sites. And my "original premise" is not that social media IS replacing cold calls...but it CAN help replace them in a lot of cases. No where does it say in my article that you should stop making cold calls, what it does talk about is how as recruiters that have a hard time with cold calling have other options out there that invite less aggressive dialogue which can be a win win for both parties.

And as I've said like 100 times now, if you dont want to do one is telling you to. When you say stuff like "No amount of hype or thought leadership can convince me to spend my time in places I am not convinced are a fit for me." then I respect that, and no where did I say you were wrong or stupid for feeling that way. What I said is, it's not the case for everyone and you as an individual cant go on blog posts and say that it doesn't work in general because it didn't work for you, that's irresponsible as someone who undoubtedly is training a new incoming generation of recruiters. If you want to say you tried it but you didnt get enough of an ROI that's fine. But when you come on here and say "many of us SHOULD ignore the whole social cabal. It's a pipe dream for many who chase it." then that's where my beef comes in.
Comment by Sandra McCartt on December 1, 2010 at 4:06pm
I just noticed Justin's tweet as to "notice the age of the abrasive comments".

Let me point out Justin that it might just be perceived as an abrasive comment when you suggest that we were probably the same people who thought that the internet was a fad, email was a fad, thought land lines were never going to be replaced by cells.

It might be considered an abrasive comment when Jerry indicates that he has used social media properly and you immediately in all your infinite wisdom and years of experience in the recruiting industry inform him that obviously he has not used it properly.

It might be considered an abrasive comment when you wonder why people like yours truly can not evolve.

Trust me puppy, the point both of us and several others are trying to make with you is social media has a place in recruiting as one of the pieces and parts of the process. It will not replace cold calls anymore than phone telemarketers will replace a face to face sales call.
There is a reason why every company in America has a sales force on the street instead of a bunch of kids tweeting and ton of telemarketers calling their customers. It takes all of the pieces to make a whole. There are lot of us who have been smart enough to be early adapters of every new thing that came down the pike. Took a look, tried it and kept the parts that worked and discarded the parts that didn't.

I was recruiting in MSN chat rooms set up by IT folks before you could spell social media. If you find that abrasive i would suggest that it is no less abrasive than your smart ass comment to Jerry, "Good Luck with your Landscaping"

I will go back to my original comment on this goofy thread. "Fortunately new things come along all the time." None of them replace the ones that work, pieces and parts are added.

Not only ill-advised but abrasive on more levels than i can count in my ever evolving world.
Justin wins the award of the week for another one of those "everything but what i do is dead".
Comment by Justin Miller on December 1, 2010 at 4:25pm
It seems like I've struck a nerve... and thanks for the award it looks like I've won two things in this thread, the argument according to Pamela and the award of the week for the illustrious "everything but what i do is dead" award. I'd like to thank my parents, my co-workers and all those recruiters before me who were recruiting in MSN chat rooms before I could spell social guys are the real heroes!
Comment by Timothy Yandel on December 1, 2010 at 4:25pm
Just to chime in, while you all are arguing on this thread and getting your feelings hurt about how much or little experience someone has, I've been cold calling, tweeting and doing business the right way - by working hard.

I'm astounded at how personal this is getting and belittling it's become when the original intent is to inform and learn from each other. If someone wants to go to war and use a sword that's their choice - I'll give you some advice that you should probably use something else but it's your battle not mine.


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