Don't get me wrong, you know I'm a fan of this genre of Recruiting. That said, I am getting a bit sick and tired of reading blogs, tweets, opinion etc about how this is all completely changes the game and is the best thing that has ever happened to the Recruitment industry.
Is it a help or a hinderance? I'm comfortable sitting here on the fence, it's a bit of both.
When I was a young lad (OK eye roll moment), we didn't have the internet, resumes were posted in envelopes (yes people bought stamps) or faxed in (ask your parents) or occasionally hand delivered, printed on different coloured paper and cover letters were even sometimes hand written (no not in a cursive font.. with a pen!). This bit here may rock your world. Guess what? People still got hired, Recruiters still made their numbers. Recruiters had their way of locating people, of knowing who's who in everyone's zoo. However, our mediums of communicating with people were the phone, a letter, a fax or (heaven forbid) a face to face meeting. We couldn't poke, SMS, inMail, DM, Facebook or Tweet them. It was a simpler life.
Now days, there are way more ways to skin a cat. Social Media has muddied the waters a bit. There are so many mediums now that you need to be across as a good Recruiter. It takes focus, I mean it takes focus away... it can be a time suck, you find a rich vein of people in a certain medium and BANG... 3 hours have gone.
I met with a CEO a little while ago who was really excited by the fact that his new "Social Media experts" had made a Facebook page which had quite quickly passed 1000 likers. They were pretty chuffed with themselves. The nice guy in me should have let that pass and congratulate them and move on. Sadly that nice guy must have been daydreaming about coffee or something, and that internal monologue came out loud... on its own. "Why? What are you doing with them? what's the aim?" That question really threw him. There was no answer. The answer was essentially, "well... we needed a Facebook page" My point? Why bother? If there isn't a goal in mind, no rhyme or reason if you are not measuring something, how do you know it's successful or not?
That said, it is very handy. It helps locate, connect and even kind of engage, but it doesn't change the historical idea that all the quality comes from the conversation. It really does make our life a little easier, however it also makes it a whole lot busier. With more and more channels opening up which tell the world, they are THE new widget which will find you all the staff you need! Where do you go? what do you do? Which rabbit hole do you go down and follow, and when do you pull the pin and stop. You've connected with so many people and you really need to respond to all the messages, tweets, DMs, RT's, questions etc... Whilst this is all good from a marketing, and future placement/talent pooling point of view, how does it help you today? I mean, after you've done that awesome search, found the perfect candidate, contacted them and hired them that is.
So, take it for what it is, it is another tool, another medium in your Recruitment strategy, don't forget the others, trust me. Take two maybe, and call me in the morning.