Later this week I’ll be presenting at the annual Recruiting Trends Conference. My session, Recruiting Lessons From The Trenches: How To Develop, Champion, And..., will explore how recruiting leaders can develop and integrate social recruiting into their workflow, as well as its impact. There is a lot of chatter about social recruiting; benefits, costs, ROI. In this session, I hope to demystify some of the most common myths and misconceptions, providing actual, actionable examples for incorporating social into bigger branding initiatives.
Social Media is a tool, not a strategy.
With all the buzz around social, it’s easy for recruiting leaders to get caught up in the hype. Don’t. If you feel compelled to get your recruiting efforts on social, just to say you are, it will show – and it won’t be effective. It’s not enough to have a presence on social. You have to actively and regularly nurture your network and build the type of engagement that helps supplement your traditional recruiting methods.
While I do think an employment branding strategy should be integrated into every recruiting strategy, the delivery mechanism doesn’t have to be limited to social media. Your career site, job descriptions, candidate experience – all of these are tools at your disposal to enhance your talent brand.
Social is a long play endeavor.
If you decide to pursue social, it’s important you’re prepared to put in the time and work needed for it to pay off. Social is not a quick fix solution. It takes roughly a year to build an engaged network that begins producing measurable and consistent results in terms of source of applicants and ultimately, of hires.
At NPR, we’ve built ‘the big three’ (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter) into our top 10 sources of applicants and hires. Twitter, specifically, is our #4 source of hire. It’s been a key resource for helping us reach that elusive ‘passive talent’. This didn’t happen overnight. It took months of engaging, tinkering, and learning to build the kind of engaged community the bears this fruit. You can learn more about NPR’s employer branding journey here.
The image below is a graph from my Recruiting Trends presentation breaking down the three phases of a social recruiting roadmap. This is based on my experience at NPR, and skews towards the employment branding aspect of social recruiting.
So yes, social recruiting takes time. It takes a sustained commitment, and it’s not for everyone. If you're recruiting blue-collar talent, there are other resources where your time may be better served. However, I personally feel social has transformed recruiting and should be a component of most organizations' talent strategy. It’s not easy, and it takes commitment, but it’s worth it.
I understand the thought of this kind of commitment to social can be overwhelming for talent leaders. Trust me, as a non-profit recruiting leader I certainly feel your pain of limited resources – time being the most valuable. There are tools you can use to help you be more efficient, but it’s really about going through a process of trial and error to find the best way to incorporate social into your workflow – even if it’s just you managing it all. It can be done. And when it is, social can be a game changer to level the playing field and be an effective add-on to your traditional recruiting efforts.
About the Author:
Lars Schmidt is the Senior Director of Talent Acquisition & Innovation at NPR where he is responsible for providing leadership and advocacy for talent acquisition strategies that align with NPR’s strategic mission and core values. Prior to NPR, Lars held various HR and recruiting leadership roles with companies including Ticketmaster, Magento, Pencom Systems and several startups in Los Angeles.
Lars is a fierce advocate for progressive HR with a strong track record in leveraging innovative talent and recruiting strategies. He was named a “Top 100 Influencer” by HR Examiner and "Top 100 Most Social HR Leaders on Twitter" by The Huffington Post. He’s also the founder of Amplify Talent where he writes and speaks about talent and recruiting trends, social media, leadership, recruiting tools and technology. You can follow him on: Twitter at @ThisIsLars, Facebook, and LinkedIn.