Selling the candidate: how recruiters, job boards, and (gasp!) social recruiting make money

I don’t know if it’s inevitable that age and experience brings cynicism, but theongoing discussion about social recruiting certainly brings out the skeptic in me. Social recruitment is about the ‘conversation’, the ‘engagement’, the ‘ongoing discussion’. Umm, no. Social recruiting is about landing a candidate. And somewhere along the line, landing the candidate involves money.

Don’t misunderstand me – just because I’m crass enough to talk about dollars and candidates in the same breath doesn’t mean I think we should treat candidates poorly. Au contrair! In my experience, we as an industry (and I’m speaking of the online recruiting world) have not treated candidates as well as we should have. I would like that to change.

But the reason for the existence of 3rd party recruiters, corporate recruiters, job boards, recruitment ad networks, social recruitment agencies, and the like is really quite simple: there is gold to be had when you link the right candidate to the right employer.

So whether you have a ‘talent community’ that you are ‘nurturing’, running a job board, or are simply keeping a very copious database of every Ruby developer in Portland, remember: it’s all about the candidate and the employer and actually bringing them together. Don’t get lost in a maze of feel-good phrases, endless (but fruitless) Twitter conversations, or the eternal hunt for that ‘silver bullet’ that will make everything you do so much simpler. If you’re a job boardget better candidates and make it easier for employers to land them. If you’re a recruiter,get better candidates and get them to your client. And if you’re a social recruiter, well – do the same.

And don’t forget to get paid.

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Comment by Sandra McCartt on March 20, 2012 at 1:00pm
Thanks for this, I was about to decide that everybody in the space had lost site of actually setting up an interview and getting somebody hired or placed. It occurs to me that the recruiters who are producing are not blogging, tweeting, worrying about sexy web sites with buttons and whistles, spamming the world with automated drop shipping of what everybody else is blogging or tweeting and calling themselves an influencer or an authority. If recruiters are getting lost in the clutter of all this nonsense, they have lost the focus of what we are supposed to do.
Comment by Suresh on March 21, 2012 at 9:19am

Well said Jeff and Sandra.

I got no issue with people getting excited with what's new. Some of us who have gone through the dot com crash and some of the hype's even before that. At the end of the day if something works, there is not much need to do a lot of talk and blogging. It just works..period and it will sell itself.

Comment by Jerry Albright on March 21, 2012 at 9:28am

A high percentage (99%) of the SMR preachers, teachers and coaches have not made a sendout in the past 2  or 3 years.  If it worked - why aren't they doing it?  Instead - they're running from town to town on the hot air express telling others they better get on it - or miss out.

And - for those members of the traveling conversation that read this - I like you guys.  Great people - great fun.  But business is business - and recruiting isn't getting done simply by talking about community and raising Klout scores.

Here's in my drop dead daily goal:  Do I have someone to tell my client about tomorrow?  Yes?  Great.  I'm done.  No?  I'm not done.  Period.  So while Social Media is entertaining, etc. - if you're not making PRESENTATIONS - you know - actually discussing your product with someone qualified to buy - you're simply blowing hot air.

Comment by Patrick Richard on March 22, 2012 at 1:18pm

I agree with Suresh. If something works then go with it regardless of how new or different. You need to have someone use a product not just hear about it. If it's a good product it will sell itself.


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