Ask not what social networking can do for you...

…but rather what you can do with Social Networking...

Very simple and straight forward isn’t it?

A lot of time as a sourcer OR a recruiter, you wonder how best any specific tool or website can help you. I think it is about your approach and mindset as a sourcer that decides the outcome. Many times we wonder about what the particular tool can provide us and usually it is one-sided approach. You register for and then download a particular tool and expect a genie coming out of bottle to help you. Well, what is so wrong in that? We register and pay for a specific tool or portal to get best out of it.

I say that it’s a difference of our attitude and mindset. More so for your social recruiting efforts.
I do get lot of responses and comments on social networking that say, “I have not got a single response from social networking,” “No one replied to me on Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn,” and so forth. I also hear the timeless “Social Recruiting is a fad and it does not work.”

I believe all these above people are trying to see what social networking delivers to their inboxes. They should be asking themselves whether they are doing something to make it work. Can you just post a Twitter / Facebook / LinkedIn status and pray for someone to fall in your inbox? This is what I call a typical “Inbox Recruiter.” The issue is that these Inbox Recruiters are now claiming to use social networks but with the same mindset.

I think the single most important question you should be asking while using Social Networking is – what are you doing to make social networking work?

•Is your social networking presence professionally furnished enough to attract future candidates?
•Are you making targeted efforts to reach to your audience and keep them engaged?
•Are you proactively digging through your social networks and reaching prospective candidates? Or are you simply waiting for CVs to fall into your lap?
•Are you following or speaking with industry experts and exchanging views and news?
•Does your social networking presence provide a “reason” (carrot) for external candidates to follow, spread the word on, and continually interact with your accounts?
•Are your social media accounts robots or humans? Remember – robots sends automatic messages and humans respond and engage. Recruitment is still and will continue to be a people-centric business.
•Are you taking enough efforts to include your social media presence in your normal communication?
In short – what is it that you are giving to social media to make it work for yourself?

Social media is not a job board and will never become one. Yes – like job boards, social media do have a lot of people participating; however the intent and mechanism are different. “Social media,” as the phrase suggests, is and will continue to be about society and people. It is more important to become part of and engage in this community and have gaining a recruitment advantage be a secondary result.

So – next time you are complaining about Social Media not working, ask some questions to yourself to find out exactly why. It takes some time, effort, and engagement for this medium to work. It will not work on its own — it is YOU who will make it work most effectively.

Views: 817

Comment by Tracy Adlington on June 15, 2011 at 10:14am

Love this post, I know soooo many "inbox recruiters"

Comment by Carolyn Marotta on June 15, 2011 at 12:59pm

Thanks for your ideas and tips, very helpful and gets me thinking...


The one part of this that is outside of my comfort zone at this time is exchanging views with industry experts.  I just started a new job and one type of position I recruit for now is chemical engineers - I am in no way an expert in any facet of chemical engineering AND I am new to the industry.  I am taking my time getting to know the markets, the key words, hot topics, etc.  But how do I engage with an industry expert without sounding like I'm full of it or I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about (which I don't...yet)?  I think its about being open, honest and asking questions.  What do you think?

Comment by Sandra McCartt on June 15, 2011 at 1:17pm
It has been my experience each time I have moved into a new vertical that if I am honest with a candidate as well as a hiring manager that I do not have a clue about the details of their profession they are more than happy to educate a dedicated recruiter. Don't try and "bull" your way through. Ask if a candidate fits your job description then ask them to tell you why. If they say no, ask them to tell you why. Most people like to talk about what they do. What makes a person outstanding in their field and which companies hire the best.

Do your own research on industry terms, buzz words etc. I think you will be better received than the recruiter trying to recruit ChemE's who is not one but try to pretend they know everything they do by throwing buzz
words around. Learning a new vertical takes a lot of listening , just ask for input.
Comment by Vasti van Rooyen on June 15, 2011 at 4:19pm

Hi Carolyn, 


Thank you for reading my blog. I always like to think of when I first started recruiting within the ICT niche. It was a complete other language and on top of it, I did not understand the culture of the environment, what kind of animal is an ICT individual and I did not now much about the industry in general.  So how did I overcome these obstacles? Well firstly I think i possibly signed up to  every ICT information site I could find, I google  a lot. I googled competitors, I read job specs and googled every word ans sentence. Research = Knowledge. Remember it is so crucial to listen as Sandra mentioned. In this day and age it is important to listen first and then sell. Remember that when you get a job description from your client, break it down, find out what are the "nice to haves" and the "have to haves", ask your clients what will this candidate be doing in their 8 hour day,  what is the culture in the department, who will this candidate report into? Tell me about the line managers personality etc Where you have found your most successful candidates coming from? Stress to your clients that the better you understand the culture or the company / department / manager the better your chances are of successfully filling the vacancy. I still do this everyday and slowly but surely you will find your knowledge growing. Remeber google is your friend and there are a lot of us willing to assist.  Never hesitate to ask and never assume you know everything. 


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