An interesting topic I have been wrangling recently is the convergence of Corporate Social Media and Corporate Social Recruiting. While the two seem to align perfectly with each other, they are proving more and more difficult to sync up. One would think, at least this one person, that social recruiting and social media have the same end goal in mind, but the problem is aligning the social strategy to new talent and aligning the social strategy to new clients is very different. This can lead to a seemingly split personality online that can and will impact the brand effectiveness for both objectives. I will highlight my point by looking at several social channels and the different use/goal between social media and social recruiting.

1. Facebook: Social Media's focus for new clients is one of expertise; a person as subject matter experts, our Facebook interaction shows how we use it to better our business positioning. The focus would allow potential clients to view our expertise in real time on Facebook. Compare that with the Social Recruiting focus of who are we, why would someone want to work here, see how cool we are, and check out our bbq pics. Oh yeah, and we post our jobs here. Personally I am not sure I agree with either approach, but this seems to be the norm.

2. Twitter: Social Media focuses on industry trends, being relevant, getting a presence, interacting with brands of interest, displaying original content and pushing traffic to other channels. Social recruiting focuses on finding candidates, interacting with them, being relevant as an employer and being cool and hip. Social Media wants to focus on sharing professional content while Social Recruiting wants to include viral, funny and trending content.

3. YouTube: Social Media is focused on impressing the client, Social Recruiting is focused on impressing the potential candidates. Social Media wants to PRODUCE high quality videos as part of our body of work, Social Recruiting wants to INCLUDE cool videos made by the average employee that show we value everyone and we have kick a@# people who work here.

4. LinkedIn: Social Media wants to focus on white papers, the employer brand, products and services and providing a professional face. Social Recruiting wants to connect with people who may be candidates and exhibit expertise. Social Media wants to limit interaction on this channel while Social Recruiting wants to channel interaction on this channel.

5. Corporate Site: This may be the place online that has the deepest rift in terms of goals and usage. Is the corporate site a place to introduce the company, its executive team, and its expertise? Or is it a place to highlight the greatness of the company, highlight the employee value proposition, and make people want to work at the company?

So, what to do? Charge ahead as a Social Recruiter in a bubble and do your own thing? Trust that Social Media will create enough side effects to make Social Recruiting somewhat effective? Have both groups meet day in and day out to build one message? We haven't figured it out yet, but we’re working towards it. If you have suggestions, I would love to hear them!

Views: 4718

Comment by Tim Spagnola on August 16, 2011 at 7:57pm
I think those are some real valid questions you raised Kirby- and ones that I think most are still trying to 'figure out'. I think for question 5 a good corporate blog would be a blend of both, but again I am not sure there are many that got that one 'figured out' yet either. So what is your take on G+ thus far? or does that need to wait till Enterprise edition is released? Thanks for sharing.
Comment by Paul Alfred on August 17, 2011 at 10:10am
Great insight Kirby... I think that we need to take a step back decide what tools you want to use - understand how those tools are used define how you want to use them, cast a social media net then build the bridges between each channel - keeping in mind that each community needs it's own avatar or attitude as it relates to that SM community. If you can do this well from a recruiting perspective I think you're on your way. You can then add other channels as you grow. Perhaps your blog could allow others to provide their strategy with respect to working as a Social Media Recruiter. I don't separate Social Media and Social Recruiting I merge the expressions as a real function.
Comment by Suresh on August 17, 2011 at 11:39am

Interesting topic and I suspect most companies are still figuring it out. I would definitely keep the Message Consistent in both Social Media and Recruiting. I saw an example with Zappos, who conveyed that messsage of Customer Satisfaction into Recruiting as well. Recruiting is an extension of the Brand and deviations from who you are as a company, affects brand and recruiting.

Comment by Chris Russell on August 17, 2011 at 12:13pm
In the end recruiting is still a very human process. You'll get out of social recruiting only what you put into it. The point of it is to be human. If you cant do that, or dont have the time to invest, social recruiting is not for you.
Comment by Anthony M. Morrison on August 17, 2011 at 12:22pm

Good post Kirby, and good follow-up comments, too. 

As I read your post and everyone's comments, it seemed to me that the common theme between corporate social media strategy and social recruiting is "customerization." Social media is about people.  Social media platforms make it possible for effective, dynamic, social engagement en masse using web-based and mobile technologies. The holy grail of marketing is customized, or personalized, marketing to engage relevant customers.  The ultimate objective of social recruiting is to engage relevant, highly qualified candidates. Whether you are marketing your company's brand, product, employer brand, or open position, you want to engage your customers and candidates.  You do not want just to push your content or ads in front of as many customers as possible, rather you want to find the one's that will listen to what you have to say and genuinely be interested.  This requires that you have the ability to listen to them and learn about them and their preferences.

When you enable selective sharing of content, actively listen to your community, and respond purposefully for a mutually beneficial outcome, then you have achieved customerization.

Comment by Heinz Bartesch on August 18, 2011 at 12:59pm
Well, having been at recruitment since '82 (yes, I'm that old), I fully realize that a true recruiter never really stops recruiting, although there are times and places when you need to put recruiting on a shelf (funerals for instance) Call me an old dog if you will, but I find that social media is for social activities and social recruiting (LinkedIn) for RECRUITING and like to keep the two separate. When I'm on FB, I'm not thinking about my technical searches and that's the way I like it. Recruiting on FB for me is like working the crowd at a wedding. It's OK to tell people what you do and if/when they want to approach you, that's another thing.


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