Help! I’m Being Replaced By Pinterest!

Social Media is the NEXT BIG THING in recruiting. Don’t believe me? Ask anyone who sells social media services…

We had a real treat on the Recruiting Animal Show this week. The guest was Jason Ginsberg of Brandemix. Animal started the show by questioning the guest’s previous claim that LinkedIn was going to be destroyed by Facebook. Then we got into recruiting on Pinterest. Things went pretty much downhill from there.

I love Pinterest for recipes, cute pictures of babies, workout quotes… but I don’t recruit on it. I might be crazy. I may look back some years from now and regret being behind the curve on this one (I doubt it). I made a comment of referring to someone’s “little Pinterest page” (Find it around the 50 minute mark, after being told I must be afraid of innovation). A few tweets back and forth between my personal account and this company handle, and next thing you know, I see this in the organization’s timeline.

I “mocked” Pinterest, by saying I don’t personally use it for recruiting? So apparently my point was completely missed. I LOVE SOCIAL MEDIA. I think it’s great to provide a snapshot of a company’s culture, what we do and how we do it. I appreciate the EXCELLENT job my employer does on Social Media. Yes, even Pinterest. I made the comment multiple times that I think social media branding CAN BE A GOOD THING. I was the only recruiter on the show (not including Animal) who saw some value in what Brandemix was offering. Unfortunately anything positive I could have found here was overshadowed by the company’s inaccurate and inflammatory tweet.

Employment branding is wonderful. But without recruiters to facilitate the process, how does it get people hired?

I love this stuff as content to share with potential hires. I think it’s a great way, especially for large companies, to appear more “human”. Our content on Pinterest is FUN – it gives some idea of what a good time we really do have here at my company. I think employer branding is also huge for staying top of mind. I think it’s even beneficial for smaller companies who don’t have the benefit of a large, well established brand.

But the idea that it will replace recruiters? I don’t think so.

I know some folks will disagree with me, maybe even people in my own company (there’s nearly 100K of us…) I can only assume this sort of tweet represents Brandemix’s viewpoint. And that’s unfortunate. See, I work for Microsoft, but AlaRecruiter and all related rants belong solely to Amy L. Ala. I wasn’t tweeting, or even speaking on behalf of my company. It’s really hard to separate our personal and professional opinions from our work personas, and I’m not sure we should. Because I claimed that social media (even Pinterest) was a tool that could supplement recruiting, Brandemix decided to twist my words and drag my company’s Twitter into it. It’s unfortunate that the company or their representative couldn’t have the discussion with me directly and felt the need to make a false claim of my “mockery”. But hey, if someone can’t form a VALID argument because they keep confusing social media branding / advertising with the act of recruiting, I’ll weather the resulting temper tantrum.

Views: 1269

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on August 22, 2013 at 12:33pm

Jason THANK YOU. That was exactly my point. There was no "mocking", as you said it was one person's opinion about what he calls "recruiting" on Pinterest. Now he's trying to be the mouse that roared at Microsoft and it makes him look like a chump. He got really offended at my "little Pinterest page" comment, which is just goofy. Animal should know by now that I love a good debate, but these childish shenanigans and trying to make me a target because I'm associated with a huge brand is poor marketing on the part of Brandemix. Sadly I've probably given them the biggest social media boost they've ever seen, which I guess they consider to be successful.

Comment by Jason Ginsburg on August 22, 2013 at 1:32pm

Hello. I'm Jason Ginsburg. You may have heard of me.

Sorry about the profile icon; I only joined RecruitingBlogs to respond to the many statements made about me and my agency -- some from people who may have not listened to yesterday's Animal show or visited the Brandemix website or read the actual tweets. However, this site looks to be a very useful resource so I may very well stick around.

I would like to set the record straight and respond to some inaccurate portrayals of my views those of the agency I represent. 

First, I stand by the tweet in question. Both sentences are accurate: A Microsoft recruiter belittled the idea of recruiting on Pinterest on the Animal show, the after-show, and on Twitter later that day. My tweet had no names, nothing personal, and no sweeping generalizations.

But, I do not think, nor have I ever said, that any social network such as Pinterest -- or even all social networks taken together -- can, will, or should replace recruiters. Many connections in my online community are recruiters and I believe they play a valuable role in the talent acquisition process.  

We fill a particular need for our clients as well. Brandemix specializes in employer branding, social recruiting, internal communications, and other HR branding initiatives. Helping companies promote their employer branding and employer value proposition only serves to create additional candidate interest when recruiters call on passive candidates.

In addition, I do think, and many studies bear this out, that social media is not only an effective trend in recruiting but will play a larger role in the future. 

As for pitching Microsoft any time soon, of course we would love to work with such a great company. But, as their recruiting boards on Pinterest show, they're already doing an amazing job in their social talent acquisition. 

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on August 22, 2013 at 2:01pm

If anyone cares to listen to the exact exchange, again it's around the 50 minute mark. We clearly have a misunderstanding on exactly what recruiting is, and how one goes about it.

Comment by Jason Webster on August 22, 2013 at 2:37pm

@Jason Ginsburg....3 things:

1) Your headline was "Microsoft Recruiter Mocks Pinterest Recruiting". That sounds general to me.

2) The link you provide to the studies points to a Jobvite page where I have to download reports that I'll have to parse through (and gives Jobvite me as a lead). Again, you're generalizing. The reason people are up in arms is you don't provide your own data to back up your Pinterest or Social Media claims. I do agree with you that Social Media can play a positive role in the recruiting process. Tell us more about your own data and learnings.

3) I ran the conversion numbers from our own Pinterest page. We have 50 boards with 415 pins (most of which are centered on recruiting). It's a small sample size, but here's the numbers. 617 people have clicked to our website from Pinterest, and 6 clicked apply on a job page. The majority of the 617 people gravitated to a blog article about an Infographic Resume. Recruiters should not be putting time into building a Pinterest page. If Marketing wants to do it, so be it. It is more of a nice to have.

I'm saying all of this, and I'm in Recruiting Technology/Marketing as well. My view of technology's role in recruiting is that it is a vehicle for optimizing a recruiter's effectiveness. Top recruiters need to spend their time attracting and closing top candidates. Technology can help build inbound interest, streamline candidate communication, and tell a story that will make attracting and closing candidates easier. It's not an either/or relationship in my mind. It's a partnership. 

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on August 22, 2013 at 2:43pm

I second what Jason Webster said here. It's a wonderful tool, and as I tweeted yesterday I'm happy that my company does such a great job with online branding. It provides me some awesome content to share with people I want to recruit. Thanks Webster for being a class act both on your appearance last week and during the course of this discussion.

Comment by Derdiver on August 22, 2013 at 3:24pm

I have said and posted what I wanted on twitter.  My take is simple on "branding" and "brandy the brander" who started this mess. 

1) Branding is for companies that know one knows and they need to get the name or product out there.

2) Branding is for companies that SUCK, everyone knows it so they change the name and go for a repackage. IE Comcast=Infinity. 

I don't see any other use for it.  What Brandy did was stupid.  OWN IT!!!  Suck it up apologize instead of trying to justify. Trust me, YOU and YOUR company look stupid.  YOU should know that being in marketing.  Not all press is good, especially when the product you are trying to sell is one of the two cases above. Period. 

See you in the funny papers!

Comment by Recruiting Animal on August 22, 2013 at 5:49pm

Jason Webster, take another look at that Twitter posting. It meant that Amy was mocking Pinterest when in fact her employer uses it.

She claims on that they don't really use it that much for recruiting but I think Brandemix made a fair point -- that I would have made myself.

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on August 22, 2013 at 6:32pm

You would still be wrong, Animal. First of all I was not "mocking" - that's inflammatory. Secondly, the bulk of Microsoft's content is brand building, product awareness, culture, etc. There's only one "jobs" page I could find. Is all the other content considered "recruiting"?

It's ok to be wrong, Animal. You usually are when we disagree. But I love you anyway. :)

Comment by Sandra McCartt on August 22, 2013 at 7:25pm
And the headline reads...


What would one expect from someone who predicted two years ago that Facebook would eliminate LinkedIn by now. So he owns a cat who has it's own twitter account and utube channel. Just exactly the profile of whom I want to handle my corporate communications, professional branding and advertising. Maybe the cat fired the cheap shot, cats do that sort of thing, doncha know, cause cats is catty little critters. Lots of cat pics on pinterest so I been told.
Comment by Derdiver on August 22, 2013 at 7:54pm

TY Sandra. I love the knickers shout out. I am sure young Brandy will have to look that one up. I feel for him though, 12 year old's need a great deal of attention. You are as always awesome. 


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