Six Key Elements of Social Recruiting

About 6 months ago I wrote a post on which was a first attempt to group together some of the key elements and themes of social recruiting. For my first post on UK Recruiting Blogs I thought it would
be worth revisiting them to see if they are still relevant and to see if
anything has changed. This is what I came up with last July -

Social Advertising

Often dismissed as not being “proper” social media marketing, there is no doubt that advertising in social channels is an important and effective tool. Highly
targeted and available across most social platforms (including LinkedIn),
social advertising is already delivering bottom line results in the recruitment

Portable Content

Increasingly, more companies aren’t just putting their content on their corporate recruitment sites they are letting the content go to their candidates and travel around
unhindered in the social space. Platforms such as YouTube and Facebook are
already being utilised to take key content (with video being one example)
beyond the traditional company web site

Referral Networks

Expect to see much talk of Social Graphs, Nodes and Ties in our space in coming years. Referrals and word of mouth have always been key in recruitment and technology is going
to turbo charge this as we move forward

Authentic Conversations

Profiles of current employees have been a big part of recruitment websites in the last ten years. Things are now moving towards more authentic real time
communication. Conversations between current / past employees and future hires
whether officially sanctioned or not are already becoming an important part of
the recruitment process

Reputation Management

A highly complex area in which no two situations or responses will be the same. The key thing here though is for companies is know what is being said about
them and where it’s being said

Social Sourcing

In areas where the best talent still remains difficult to recruit, social media is offering more and more ways for skilled recruiters to identify and engage with
top quality prospects. “Chatter Mining” will add a whole new dimension the
world of sourcing

Broadly speaking I don’t think I’d change any of these and I’m not sure if I’d add any addition ones at the moment either. We’re still short of case studies in the UK but I’m
starting to see more and more examples of these elements appearing elsewhere
round the world.

I deliberately didn’t mention specific sites, tools or channels when I wrote this as I wanted to focus on the bigger picture rather then get bogged down in the merits of specific companies. With Facebook,
Twitter and LinkedIn becoming more dominant by the day I wonder whether I’ll
feel the same way in another six months or whether they will just become even
more default and unchallenged in certain areas

So what do you think? Do these definitions still stand? Does anything need be change in the light of the last six months? Is there anything that I’m missing?
I’d very interested to hear some other opinions

Views: 110

Comment by Paul Alfred on March 2, 2010 at 10:22pm
Great Blog .. I think that LinkedIn has really grown in popularity amongst HR Corporate recruiters - to the point where Third Party Recruiters are in direct competition with their Counterparts/Clients (Internal HR Teams ) for the same talent the scary part is they are competition with the clients they were supposed to support. The next question is will Social Media help or hurt the Recruitment industry in the long run.
Comment by Jerry Albright on March 3, 2010 at 11:08am
Might I be so bold as to suggest a 7th element?

What about jobs? I see so much talk about how to reach people - yet - what is the point of reaching any candidate if at some point a presentation is not being made to them? Knowing where they are, what they're talking about and how the perceive you or your firm is one thing. But I highly doubt any reasonable percentage of people is looking to simply be "engaged" in "conversation" for long without something a little "meatier" coming along.

They don't want to be our fans. They aren't looking for us to add constant career tips. They (should) have a purpose - as we should also.

Trying to maintain this constant stream of "content", "authentic conversations" and "reputation management" is quite hollow indeed without a desination. What's the point in Social Recruiting without it?

Well - it's off to see a client who needs to hire a few "regular" guys/gals - who isn't so much concerned about their personal brand, Linkedin "headline" or Twitter expertise.

Enjoy the day all!
Comment by Matt Alder on March 3, 2010 at 11:48am
To me talking to people about jobs is implicit in all of the above elements otherwise I agree there is no point. So content about jobs, conversations about jobs etc etc Yes there is a branding element but everything has to be about quality hires
Comment by Jacco Valkenburg on March 3, 2010 at 2:16pm
Hi Matt, good list. I'd like to add 'building communities' to this.

By adding value to a specific target group and develop an active (online and offline) community, organisations are able to boost their employer brand, get (free) PR and engage directly with their audience.
Comment by aimee on March 3, 2010 at 5:53pm
Please don't take offense but I'm really tired of these big, vague social media strategies that give no clue about how they are being implemented and what purpose they serve. How are you using the social media space to recruit? Which sites and how? What value does each one deliver? What examples do you have of how you do what you are proposing? What levels of people do you find on social media sites? Do you join all the networks and just post? How do you recruit on them - what works and what doesn't? That would be much more helpful.
Comment by Matt Alder on March 3, 2010 at 6:27pm
@ Amiee I'm not taking offense, this was never intended to be a specific case study post. I'm running a series of those elsewhere at the moment and here is a link to one
Comment by Andy Young on March 4, 2010 at 3:05am
It seems to me that everyone has a valid point here. Matt has highlighted key trends that are happening RIGHT NOW, but by the same token Jerry and Aimee both make fair points that all of this ultimately has to be measured. However, even if social recruiting is crudely used by many recruiters in the early days, then so what? At least they are engaging where the candidates are and therefore more likely to build relationships. Yes, it IS ABOUT LANDING PEOPLE JOBS, but you're more likely to achieve this if you build relationships, rather than firing CVs to clients, left, right and centre.

Whilst observers of the mantra "they only want a job at the end of the process" are right, it also has to be about building dialogue and therefore trust. Social recruiting is one area that enables this to take place.

The biggest issue with all of this is that the tail is wagging the dog. Recruiters (and I include myself here to an extent) are following and not really leading the change. We've kind of stumbled upon it, rather than proactively changed an outdated and broken model, but at least things ARE changing. Now we have to embrace it. A combination of "ideas people" pushing the boundaries with others "sense checking" is a good thing.
Comment by Brenda on March 4, 2010 at 10:01am
Andy, I totally agree with you that most of us sort of stumble upon social media. I am new to recruitment, my background is in marketing and that space is no different. For the last few months most marketing agencies struggled to embrace social media but we all sort of jump in because clients and customers demand it.

Jerry and Aimee are correct as well. Some sort of measure is absolutely necessary. The good part about social media is that it yields to a fast learning curve. Another aspect of social media is that it opens the doors to collaboration. We are all new in this space. Even the most seasoned social marketers are only 18 months into practicing it.

As you suggested, we can jump in via blogging, twitter and LinkedIn and keep learning and tweaking. Social media has reached critical mass. No sector or industry can avoid plunging right in.

Remember how we all hated email when it first started (it disrupts my day, I rather talk to people on the phone etc.) But now we can't live without email. Same thing is going to happen to social media...very soon! It is becoming an integral part of how we do business.

Thank you for listening.

Comment by Rowena Simpson on March 5, 2010 at 6:40am
HI Matt, I've just joined up on this site and it looks good. I'm "embracing" social media as we speak (or should that be - as we Tweet?!) Can you clarify what Social Graphs, Nodes and Ties are?


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