Remember the first phase of the Social Web. During this time, anonymous comments with questionable intent and veracity were littered throughout the landscape of our Internet experience. In some cases, these comments cast enough doubt to prevent patronizing an establishment, purchasing a product, or applying for a job at a company. With the current evolution of the Social Web, comments are easily traceable to online profiles from Facebook, Twitter, Google, and LinkedIn. The ability to connect online commentary to an actual person at web scale is simply remarkable. This shift enables users to easily construct their own frame of reference for commentary; Does Google show this person often has negative things to say? or Were they really mistreated by the actions of your organization?

Despite all these changes at an individual level, by and large, many companies are still refusing to cast off their cloak of anonymity. Just like anonymity hindered the first phase of the Social Web, it will also limit the potential of Social Recruiting even if your company has a Facebook Fan page and Twitter account.

For companies focused on successfully recruiting best-in-class talent, the next phase of the Social Web offers an incredible opportunity to get the attention of prospective candidates regardless of employment brand, organization size, or geographic location. To effectively appeal to prospective candidates, companies will have to focus on humanizing their organization. This step will require an increased level of interaction with candidates throughout all phases of the recruiting process. The key to success during this next phase of the Social Web has a lot to do with how prospective candidates are treated by identifiable employees during sourcing, screening, and selection. Candidates will no longer be satisfied with spending hours applying to job postings on career sites or job boards and never hearing from anyone in your organization again.

If your organization does a good job throughout the recruiting process, even those candidates not invited for an interview or ultimately selected may positively review your company. Not only can they speak highly of your employment brand, but they can point to the specific member(s) of your organization responsible for their experience. This commentary creates a focal point that draws other candidates to your company. Just think how much power an endorsement from a candidate not selected will influence other prospective candidates. Ultimately, the same rules of offline engagement and interaction will apply online. If recruiting top talent is strategically important to the success of your organization, be real and authentic.

-Omowale Casselle


About the Author: Omowale Casselle is the co-founder and CEO of mySenSay, a social recruiting community that connects college students and corporations.

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