The Social Media Recruitment Chess Board

Before I start let me just say I’m not a chess grandmaster, I don’t know the difference between the Murphy defence or the Reti opening and yes, I did just Google those.  However, like most I do know the basic principles of chess and the abilities of the chess pieces, I also know social media and so thought this would be a great way to characterize the pieces.


Let’s start with the undoubted King of social media.  Facebook has been the market leader of social media since early 2009 and with its popular fan pages it allows you to build interaction like no other site on the internet. However, much like the king, movement can be limited and you need to make yourself visible for candidates to then add you. Facebook is essential and the opportunity to interact through it should be continued regularly.



Twitter allows you to move in almost any direction and any distance much like the Queen, Twitter is much more mobile than Facebook enabling increased interaction if worked correctly. However, Twitter lacks the status of the king and can therefore be ignored very easily. Interaction can be maximised by posting useful recruitment advice and news relevant to your sector, posting jobs and publishing your blog.



Blogs like Bishops should try and move in the same general direction as they have done previously, this can be through the advice you provide or the news you follow that is relevant to your followers. Link this in with a creative writing style and frequent posts and it should lead you to develop a regular readership.



 LinkedIn like a Knight is highly specialised and restricted in movement; it provides limited contact which is exactly why it succeeds. This professional network isn’t based on interaction but rather networking which with the right movements you can find the perfect candidate for your roles.



YouTube like a Rook is a contentious one as sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, I’ve seen recruiters thrive with it and thrive with out it; personally I find it useful. It allows for greater interaction with a new multimedia outlet and if using the right strategy, like in a game of chess, it can prove highly useful; however it very rarely works independently and works best when used with other chess pieces.


As with Pawns Google+ is a more expendable network, you can choose to sacrifice five minutes of your day to update your status which probably won’t return much feedback.  However don’t under estimate the combined usefulness of Google+, it’s a vital tool within your armoury with the Search Engine Optimisation capability, so however irrelevant it may seem at the current time do not write it off completely.


 Most importantly I think it’s important to remember that all the chess pieces need to work together to gain a maximum effect, this can be quite hard work but the rewards that can be reaped are great. I also find it important to remember that social media is about fostering a relationship with candidates and that information and interaction should be kept fresh and not always a cleverly disguised pamphlet for your services.

Let me know what you think, How do you use your chess pieces? Would you swap a piece? Perhaps you see twitter as the king or see no place for YouTube on the chess board, let me know.

Views: 516

Comment by Darryl Dioso on March 14, 2012 at 9:59am

Pinterest is checkers then? Just kidding.

Great post. As a fellow recruiter, I'd say that LinkedIn is the King or Queen depending on how you play i.e. the most used and respected tool by recruiters in Social Media.

Comment by Steve Shacklock on March 14, 2012 at 10:23am
Thanks Darryl and I agree with you to an extent; I think it depends which way you look at LinkedIn.
If you look at it from the view of raising company interaction and awareness of your organisation as a whole, LinkedIn is restricted compared to other networks.
If you look at it as a place for consultants to source individual candidates I'd completely agree with you and definitely swap LinkedIn.
Comment by Ken Forrester on March 14, 2012 at 10:31am

I understand chess and recruiting but I couldn't connect the social media pieces.  Oh, I get it- recruiting and chess are very difficult to master and social media makes them more complex right?

Comment by Steve Shacklock on March 14, 2012 at 11:06am
I think social media has given businesses the ability to be much more approachable, this includes us recruiters. However, you have to make yourself visible for this to happen and just like a game of chess it works best when you use all pieces available to you.


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