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: 1284

Comment by Stephen Nehez, Jr. on August 22, 2013 at 6:49am
Opening line to this is the the bomb.
Comment by Recruiting Animal on August 22, 2013 at 7:09am

I haven't listened to the recording but like, you know, I was there. And it's true. Amy and Jason did have a tussle but I didn't find him to be the hostile dummy she makes him out to be.  He works for an advertising company. So does Jason Webster who was also on the show.

Most people in most companies are not the kind they pay headhunters to go after so they depend on advertising and referrals to bring those people in. And that, I believe, is the focus of recruitment marketing firms. For the hard guys, they come to people like us.  That's why Amy's company has a Pinterest page and hires her as well.

I don't remember Jason saying that his ads are going to replace us -- but in fact they do act in our stead for a lot of jobs. As I recall it, Amy heard it differently. She thought that he said that Brandemix does our job better than we do and she laced into him for it.

I was very surprised but it made for entertaining radio and eventually led into a more detailed discussion of the role of recruitment marketers and the way they compare to recruiters that I found interesting.

 This really added some life to the show which I think I had kind of mismanaged up until then. But I don't think the basis of the argument - that Brandemix was an arrogant little nerd - was a real thing.

Also I encourage everyone to see these on air battles as fun. The Recruiting Animal Show is like the WWE. It's not a trial. No one is in danger when they are criticized on the first online call-in show in world history. And I work hard to make sure that guests realize that before they agree to come on the show.

Comment by Recruiting Animal on August 22, 2013 at 7:15am

Sorry, the first online call-in show about recruiting in world history. Mind you, it started soon after BlogTalkRadio did so we might almost have the original distinction as well.

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on August 22, 2013 at 9:08am
Animal I listened to the replay twice to be sure I wasn't saying anything inaccurate. I was perfectly happy to agree to disagree on this one. You know me and know I love a good debate. The organization (remember this was a Brandemix tweet, not a Ginsberg tweet) went too far when accusing me of "mockery" and referencing my employer that way. Hey it's a free country and he can say what he likes but IMO his conduct later in the show and some of the tweets made him look like a thin skinned little brat. The arrogance of youth perhaps.

Other than the false accusation, I had a great time. Too bad Ginsberg couldn't enjoy verbally wrestling with me. Sore loser I guess.
Comment by Recruiting Animal on August 22, 2013 at 10:56am

There are no @Ginsburg tweets. @Brandemix is Dr Jekyll. @Ginsburg is Mr Hyde. You're only dealing with one of them.

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on August 22, 2013 at 11:00am
So Ginsburg is really a sweet guy and the Company is a petulant jerk? That's unexpected.
Comment by David Wells on August 22, 2013 at 11:00am


That was going to be the extent of my reply. Not to your column but to the broader issue of Recruiters being replaced by some technology. 

From a wider perspective it seems like every time a new technology comes out, take your pick; job boards, Applicant Tracking Systems, Linkedin, Facebook, and now Pinterest, I am being told by thought “experts” that this will shake up the world of recruiting and make third party recruiters obsolete.  Somehow I have survived all these things and seen my billings grow with the exception of one year in the middle of the recession. 

All of these technologies are still very passive recruiting technologies that now have to shout in a crowded marketplace of messages.  In fact as you see continued adoption of new technologies competing with the ones I listed I think you will see a continued need to for niche recruiters to fill the gap for people who are not using or not listening to the very technologies described.  My phone is still my most vital weapon when finding the right talent for the right opportunity.

One final point about these systems, they almost always fall down in the area where recruiters can (but not always) shine, and that is making connections and building relationships based on trust.  Working in the field I do, I continually leverage data and relationships to put people together for mutually advantageous gain.  If one client is struggling with say a compliance or legal issue, I may put them in touch with another client who just went through the same thing.  It nets me nothing today but everything tomorrow.

In sum I use the technologies described and they have been helpful to my continued development, but until the day we are all plugged into the internet, I will continue to use my phone (very old school) and fill the positions that all of these technologies fail to do so.

Comment by Recruiting Animal on August 22, 2013 at 11:11am
Comment by Jason Webster on August 22, 2013 at 12:12pm

My comment actually has zero to do with Pinterest. What's discouraging to me is that there were sweeping generalizations made by @Ginsburg and @Brandemix. They take one person who works for Microsoft's perspective on Pinterest, and make a statement that all of Microsoft is "mocking" Pinterest. That's just headline grabbing in my opinion, and a negative practice that transcends all levels of our society today. Making generalizations that one person's opinion represents the majority of a group is dangerous and unacceptable. To me, it shows a lack of maturity on the part of @Ginsburg and @Brandemix. I hope they're not pitching Microsoft anytime soon.

Comment by Jason Webster on August 22, 2013 at 12:15pm

I digress, perhaps they did not say ALL of Microsoft, but they did have to make sure the brand name was in there. That's headline grabbing, for what seems a trivial point to me over Pinterest.


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