Will Social Recruiting Dig the Job Board Plot Next to the "Help Wanted" Grave

I find this whole recruiting train of thought amusing...

With Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, and myriad other avenues of engagement - worrying about where the best site to place a job ad...well, er - it sounds like a discussion from a 100 years ago listening to two buggy whip salesmen chatting about which blacksmith to align themselves with...while Ford, Nash, Olds and Packard were quickly replacing them.  Think about it, how hard was it for men to carry something 4,000 pounds for about 20 miles – when it could be done with a Buick on just one gallon of gas.  What’s amazing is that it didn’t happen sooner, yet this is the very state we find recruiting in today…where the expectations of the career minded woefully are mismatched with the traditional process of making a career move (yup the latest research says that job boards and job ads still dominate, but it also tells us that candidates hate using them with only about 30% on average finding success that answer the ads…).

Compare the state of transportation before the auto technology explosion with our 90 year old system of placing an ad, hoping someone will see it and having that same person send a resume to alert the company about interview interest for the opening (oh yeah, that resume is only a marketing document prepared by the person applying…).  Could there be a more ineffective method - you’d really have to stop and think quite a bit to make it any worse!  Like the automobile, we finally have new methods and tools readily available that make this old method seem very outdated.  Now we have at our finger tips the ability to find innately interested people, cultivate them for the company and opening and learn pre-interview whether they would be a good fit.  Yet just like all those buggy whip makers 100 years ago many of us are failing to see what transformational change the new Social Recruiting Order has brought (and continues to evolve…)

I’ve never seen so many people dig their heels in to protect the status quo since the Stones released Let It Bleed and my Dad gave me the ultimatum to either turn it down, take a bath and get a haircut or find a tent to live in (being that Central Park (NYC) was pretty cold that winter, I turned it down to an 8 and took a bath – for him 2 out of 3 wasn’t too bad so I got to stay…).  For many, if they take their preconceived notions and put them aside and evaluate the efficiency improvements and advanced candidate engagement experience, I am convinced that they will wonder what all the fuss was about and begin using these tools right away (their potential candidates will thank them).

Talent Management today, is not about where active candidates can find a job ad, keeping an eye on the “back doors” of internal recruitment or relying on Third Party Recruitment solutions.  It’s providing ways to effectively encourage and cultivate specific talent segment interest in the company, and then managing the relationships of those interested people.  Once managed effectively through company specific Career Communities or other means where confidentiality of members can be maintained, the other key components of hiring such as pre-interview Assessment, Scheduling, Selection, and Offer Management can be handled much more efficiently.  

After many, many years of Talent Management business ownership, it is amazing to see the shifts that are happening.  The Talent Management world is changing before our eyes and worrying about who sells that last horse whip will only let the rest of us fill the void as you’re left behind.

To all my friends in the business, I respectively urge them to wake up and not be left holding the wrong end of the horse...



Views: 803

Comment by Chris Russell on February 15, 2011 at 8:24am

You are right in that there is a general trend away from the traditional recruiting models. However this shift will be a long gradual one. This trend will have the greatest effect on the big 2 (monster/CB). Jobs boards are STILL a viable way to recruit. Especially the niche and local ones. For many small businesses we are their primary way to recruit. I also believe the method of the posting a job and awaiting responses is good enough for many employers. It does the job.


What most people fail to take into account when looking into recruiting's crystal ball is that the job description will ALWAYS be here. And as long as it does it needs a place to live. And that means job boards, company career pages, and other classifieds sites will live a long and healthy life.

Comment by Jeff Dickey-Chasins on February 15, 2011 at 9:18am
Multiple channels. That's what any smart recruiter leverages - because you don't always know which channel will produce the right candidate. To dump a viable channel (job boards) in favor of a different channel - well, it leaves you with fewer options. Each channel has pros and cons. Use them accordingly.
Comment by Suresh on February 15, 2011 at 10:35am

Social Recruiting is just a new word for what many job board owners have been using anyway, through Niche forums, mailing lists etc. With new technology platforms such as Linkedin and Twitter, it just changed the game a bit.


If you look at Linkedin specifically, employers still need to post some form of a job listing to get noticed and get a response or join multiple niche groups and post. It gets back to how well you can target your advertising or communication.

Comment by Bob Petersen on February 15, 2011 at 11:05am
Good recruiters still need to know the basics in recruitering.  You can have all the pizzazz and pomp, but it doesn't mean anything if you don't have methods of attracting candidates.  Multiple channels and a good understanding of creating and solidifying relationships is key.  Even though a lot of people are on social media, you need to go where they if they are looking for other opportunities.
Comment by Sandra McCartt on February 15, 2011 at 11:29am
One thing about social media.  It gives everybody who is selling something a place to pimp their products.
Comment by Caitlin Goldstein on February 15, 2011 at 11:43am
I always say that social media is another valuable tool in the recruiter toolbox but it is not a silver bullet. It does take some investment with time and network building. However, if done right, it can be more effective then job boards(but not a replacement). I have had a bit of success with Twitter over the last 6 months and ramping up my facebook recruiting now. I have been a part of Linkedin since the beginning and that still remains the leader is social media recruiting. But Twitter and Facebook cannot be ignored or, its true, you will be left in the dark. I agree with you Bob. The key to recruiting especially with social media, is to build solid relationships. You can't approach it as a way to push your jobs (known as a form of spamming) but instead the same way you would approach any other social networking outlet.  I disagree that Linkedin is only effective with job listings. I have more success by leveraging the relationships I have worked hard to create and by keeping it more grassroots. These are just my thoughts on the subject anyway.
Comment by K.C. on February 15, 2011 at 12:26pm

Certainly, it is very important to make use of all channels available.  In our business we tell prospective clients not to change anything they’re currently doing, and that Social Recruiting should only complement their current hiring practices.  We then go about eliminating unproductive time spent, TPR fees, increase the candidate experience while greatly increasing quality of hire through enhanced pre-interview assessment.  A win/win for all.


Sandra - you're absolutely right about marketing and Social Media and as I am sure you are aware, SM Marketing was the first application of the Social Web evolution (and still its largest use).  Certainly Recruiting is all about selling - just that our product is people and companies made up of people - obviously if you apply the "social" activity of Internet Realities to our very humanistic business (if used appropriately) it is tailor made for recruiting.  We just have to use our "social" skills to promote these new tools in the most time efficient and productive way.


Chris: As far as the job boards and job descriptions and job ads go - we certainly do need to let the world know what the type of work that is needed to be done, but this information will probably evolve to the place where job boards become irrelevant.  Who will need them when the millions (if not billions) of communities and companies can be searched, categorized and made easier to use by Go

Comment by K.C. on February 15, 2011 at 12:26pm

...Google, Bing, Chrome etc...  This is where one will find whether the job is right for them or not.  Today, we have an incredibly inefficient system of canvassing and delivering information.  Like Obama told Bill O'Reilly on Super Sunday, one of the toughest parts of his job is making decisions where he has only part of the facts.  Short job advertisements and formulaic resumes only provide us with a smattering of what we need to make career decisions.  O.K., these don't have the same gravitas as those made by a US President, but to our lives and our families I would submit that on that scale they can be just as important.


Monster and CareerBuilder began to move in the Social Web direction - but as has happened many times in their history they are caught in the trap of making shareholders whole with their business models, while missing new opportunities.  I certainly agree they have a while to figure things out (up to 50% of all job seekers use Job Boards - but most say they hate the process...).  If they don't begin using their revenues in the fast changing world we are in to provide clients with Social Recruiting tools - they could be digging six feet under...

Comment by Ken Forrester on February 15, 2011 at 12:47pm

K.C you are correct, everything is changing in the recruiting game and you also have to change if you intend to stay in the game.  One thing that remains unchanged and is driving a lot of recruiters crazy is that recruiting is an employer controlled game.   The variable that remains unchanged is the one who is paying the bill.  Employers set the rules and why not, they pay the entire talent acquisition cost.  Think about it, who is paying for employee salaries & benefits, job postings, resume access, placement fees, relocation, assessment tests, background checks, internal recruiters; it’s certainly not the job seekers. 
This is a supply & demand driven business where the job seekers are the supply and job openings are the demand.  Recruiters are on the job seeker side.  And in an economy where you have to do more with less to survive-you have to bring something new to the table that will be of value.  Today, technology is the perceived value that is steering the ship from the employers’ perspective.  So if you are not leveraging technology to deliver value-you are still playing the game by the old rules.

Comment by K.C. on February 15, 2011 at 1:47pm

Right on Ken...not much to add to that!


You do bring up a terrific point about who's paying the way...it certainly is the hiring company - but with Social Recruiting there is a bit of leveling in the job seekers favor.  They are now able to learn way more about what to exect as an employee than ever thought previously possible.  In this regard it doesn't matter how much the employer pays they still can't change who they are as a collective group of people (which typically weaves its way down from the leaders or founders of the company).  Now bhaving the ability to learn this - potential candidates will stay away (Gerry Crispin related a story about this in a blog on this site just last week where 4 out of 5 interviews got canceled once they learned more about the hiring manager!). 


Here's another: Many years ago I took a new job that required me to move from Miami to NYC for a new company.  I made several interview trips and researched the company with the best that was available back then (which wasn't much).  Try as I might I had to go with my gut and the impressions that the CEO and other company leaders gave me - which were extremely positive.  Ten months later - I left because the CEO was a tyrant and the COO (although a terrific guy) didn't want to rock the boat...  This story  wouldn't happen today as I would be able to learn about the C-Level group and their management style...and would be able to make a much more educated decision.


To me that's really the biggest change that the Social Web provides - the real information needed to make the best career decision so mistakes can be vastly reduced (this alone is lowering hiring costs immensely...)


You need to be a member of RecruitingBlogs to add comments!

Join RecruitingBlogs


All the recruiting news you see here, delivered straight to your inbox.

Just enter your e-mail address below


RecruitingBlogs on Twitter

© 2024   All Rights Reserved   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service