Getting it Right: Social Network Recruiting

I've been spending a lot of time working on some new products designed to help recruiters with social media recruiting. While we - and most sites- have many of the basic tools (Facebook Share, Auto-Twitter posts, etc), there is always something new to add or develop.

Part of the process includes research. And In spending a good deal of time looking at what other companies are doing with social network recruiting, I've made one simple conclusion: There are a lot of people selling you social network recruiting who simply don't know what they are talking about. (or at the very least leave you with the impression they don't have a grasp of the system they are selling)

Take, for example, "Company A": They refer to posting a "Status Update" on your Facebook page as "e-mailing". What?!? Maybe I'm hyper-sensitive to this because I've been using Facebook since it's inception in 2004. But there is a crevasse between what it means to post a "status update" and "e-mailing". In my mind, this company loses all credibility by pontificating about social networking when they don't even 'get it' themselves.

Then, take "Company B": Their entire marketing campaign around Facebook refers to the networking site as "FaceBook". This is a small thing - but it is being made by a big company. Again: If you are going to try to tell people how to use "social networking tools" - you should probably get the name of the big fish right. What if I tried telling you I was a guru on Twitter and then said you send "Tweats" rather than "Tweets"? You'd move along to another self-proclaimed 'guru'.

These are small things that, right now, are probably not making a huge difference. Many of the the people venturing into the "social networking" scene probably have a less-than-fine-tuned knowledge of how it all works. But beware: these little things will likely come back to haunt.

As more people become more "social-media-savvy", the margin for error grows exponentially smaller. Being extremely careful about what we can promise customers in the social media realm has become paramount. When doing the social media 'thing' - we want to make sure we get it right. Because little slip-ups can cost credibility.... especially in a social media-savvy world.

Read more on our blog

And now, your Moment of Zen:

Social Media FAIL (know your audience!):

Views: 73

Comment by Sean Ryan on May 25, 2010 at 2:45pm
Miles - thanks for the post.

However, I have to disagree with the main thrust of your point. To say social media/networking is not too different than the bulletin boards of old is akin to suggesting an old green-screen Macintosh is not too different than the internet. We're talking about two very different animals.

I agree - the core problem is the same (reach a lot of people in an efficient way), but the tools are drastically different.

Take my example: Early Macinstosh vs. The Internet
The green-screen Macintosh was a cool tool. It allowed to to word process, play games like "The Oregon Trail", even save information to a disk that would have taken up reams of paper. The problem was saving information and making our work easier.
The internet accomplished the same thing - but in a very different and much more productive way. It's the difference of the ability to play "Oregon Trail" - to the ability to compete with other players in another country. Key word: Interactivity.


In the same light, social network recruiting is a vastly different tool than the old online bulletin boards. To make the assumption that they are similar will set you on a path to failure with social networking. The level of interactivity and engagement you find in social networks far exceeds that on old bulletin boards.

To sum up: You're right - the problem you are trying to solve is no different. But you also have to understand that the tool you are trying to use to solve that problem is INCREDIBLY different.

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