I had the honor of being asked to speak as the keynote at the Dallas Recruitment Symposium presented by Jobing.com last week. The theme of the event itself was 'Social Networking for Today's Employment Marketers' - and while the demographic of the audience seemed to be somewhat diverse in terms of entry to experienced recruiters and/or decision makers, there was one thing that was constant: Recruiting is still trying to wrap it's head around this thing called social recruiting.

There were lots of great questions as well as some terrific feedback from both the impressive panel of local recruitment leaders as well as the engaged audience. But what I noticed - and have seen consistently in recent months - is that Recruiters are moving from the "why" phase and into the "how" phase of social recruiting - and I advised them to "Hit the brakes!"
Doesn't sound like something I'd say? Well here's some clarity...

My topic was around using social media to monitor your brand and touched on some tools that could be used. But the message I was hoping to deliver was a bit deeper than just the tagline. The idea was to make this conversation relative to the recruiters. The idea was to talk through why creating a plan and being able to measure what we're doing within the social channels is more important than just going rogue and jumping in.

Think of it this way... Even if you decide to "just do it" and prove to your reluctant leadership or team that social recruiting is something you should be engaged in - if you can't show proof of results or even simply some sort of progress then your time and energy could be perceived as theory or guesswork. I can already count more than a handful of conversations with Recruiters this year that know they received applications and hires from social recruiting effort - but couldn't qualify it.

There's certainly no value in being perceived as the Recruiter that just plays on Twitter or Facebook all day - especially by your peers and leadership

Another advantage of ensuring that we take steps to measure our engagements is being able to tell what isn't working. As one of the loudest proponents of social recruiting I know - I'll be the first to tell you that if you've identified that your target isn't on Twitter, then Twitter isn't where you should be spending any significant time or money. Maybe your ideal target sits on a niche network that isn't MySpace or Facebook or even thrives in a forum based community... These are the things you need to look at when building a strategy - especially when working with limited resources.

In addition to talking about why it was important to set goals and do homework when/while building a social recruiting strategy, I took a second to share a little about where I think social recruiting is taking us. I relayed my thoughts around how the days of expensive and sometimes slow/reactive 'talent pipelines' are numbered and will pale in comparison to 'talent networks' that will likely provide on-demand talent. Perhaps I dropped my new favorite idea around "talent tagging" in the future and how it ties to collaborative job searches.

The reason I mention this particular slide (and use it as the article graphic) is that I have covered this idea in my last two presentations - and both were received infinately better than they were a year ago when I would bring it up. I'm taking this as a sign that the general recruiting audience is more ready than they've ever been to not only start engaging with social recruiting tools but to conceptualize how these could ultimately change the face of recruiting as they know it.

[SlideShare Presentation in original post here]

Mucho thanks to the fantastic panel that consisted of friends and colleagues, Craig Fisher of A-List Solutions, Dennis Smith of St. Jude Medical, Marianthe Verver of NeoSpire Inc., and Mariannella Fuentes of Gaylord Entertainment. Joel Cheezman and Brett Farmiloe of Jobing.com did a great job opening the event and talking about how to socialize talent strategies along with Kristi Thomas and the local Jobing team all coming together to make the event a success.


Originally posted on RecruiterGuy.net

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