The Audacity of Social Recruiting: Obama Seeks Twitterer

On Feb. 12th 2010, advertised a Social Networks Manager position. Key content elements of this recruiting advertisement make it more likely to be shared with other members of an individual’s network: position utilizes social media which is currently one of the hottest tech trends, responsibilities include managing the social messaging of the President of the United States, and unconventional qualifications. Curiously,the position was not posted on President Obama’s Facebook page, Twitter account, or MySpace page. However, this has not stopped the job advertisment from reaching a large number of prospective candidates.

A quick overview of how the job opening has being shared over the past few days (2/12-2/15) around the Internet demonstrates the power of utilizing social media in recruiting.

Original Job Posting statistics: 1,915 clicks, 104 tweets, 106 Facebook shares, 20 likes, 65 comments

Major Media Coverage:

  • Wall Street Journal: Most Popular (Read, Commented), 27 comments
  • Fortune (syndicated on CNN): 474 clicks, 99 tweets, 16 Facebook shares, 8 comments
  • Los Angeles Times: 1014 clicks, 100 tweets, 22 Facebook shares, 2 likes, 11 comments
  • 6,027 clicks, 1126 tweets, 116 Facebook shares, 20 likes, 171 diggs, 27 comments

* analytics and page information were used to approximate campaign reach

These statistics show the potential reach campaigns utilizing social media can have. Prior to the socialization of the web, prospective candidates would have had to be actively searching for the position at the exact time the position was advertised. In the new social normal, positions are being discovered and shared throughout individual networks regardless of candidate search status. This dynamic gives organizations the best chance of uncovering top talent for every opening.

Replicating the success of this social recruiting campaign is not easy. Candidate Barack Obama spent millions of dollars campaigning around the country for approximately 21 months before his successful election as President. During this time, his campaign advisers were able to establish the fundamentals of the Obama brand. This strategic approach led to Obama’s fundraising success, a large number of supporters on Facebook (7,5M fans), Twitter (3.3M followers), and MySpace (1.9M friends), and ultimately the Presidency. Organizations that want to create this type of expanded recruiting reach must invest resources (time, energy, talent, and money) in building their online presence. The impact of this recruiting campaign, once a strong employment brand has been established, shows what is possible.


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