Expert Panel: Social Recruiting Defined and How to Elevate Your Skills
Most recruiters agree that social media is playing an increasingly important role in talent acquisition. But there seems to be numerous definitions regarding what exactly “social recruiting” is, and even more variety in strategies for using social media to identify, attract, and engage with candidates.
To clear things up a bit, we spoke with seven different experts in the industry. In part one of this two-part series, we asked them how they define social recruiting as well as their top tips for getting more out of their efforts.
How Do You Define Social Recruiting?
Honestly? Great recruiting is using all available tools to identify, engage, and build relationships with the people who might be able to directly and indirectly make a difference in your company. If you push aside the hype, social recruiting is using specific technology platforms to enable “awareness” of others, yet it’s still up to the people to get together.
Social recruiting is not so much “recruiting” in the traditional sense of the word. It’s more about engaging a social community. Making yourself a valuable resource to others. Whether they are actively seeking a position or not, it builds a reputation for yourself as a leader. Those that aren’t seeking opportunities with you now will in the future, and/or will lead those they know to seek you out. Either way, it’s a win-win.
To me, social recruiting is so much more than just tweeting out a bunch of job requisitions or posting links to them on LinkedIn. It’s about actually developing real relationships with passive and active candidates, and using social platforms as a catalyst for that. By doing this, you’re continuing to build out and strengthen your candidate pipeline, and it even makes it more likely for talented individuals to come to you when they’re ready to make their next move.
Social Recruiting is the ability to use social media to communicate with candidates through various social media platforms. It is the ability to use your personal brand and company brand to attract candidates and have them get a sense of your culture at your organization. Social media allows you to find out details about a person or an organization, which you may not find on a resume.
Social recruiting to me means using social media and social tools to reach your desired candidate audience, to build a relationship with them, and to engage in a way that results in them wanting to be hired by you (or your client).
Social recruiting is an online recruiting practice that utilizes social networks to source, connect with, and recruit talent to your organization. It’s been happening really since AOL chat rooms were a thing in the ‘90s.
Social recruiting can be one of three business functions. It can mean sourcing from social profiles to build a list. It can mean marketing through social channels (including recruiter and employer branding). Or it can be networking through social channels—for example, using Facebook to build your list of candidates so you know when they are looking for a position.
What’s the one tip you give talent acquisition professionals who want to become better social recruiters?
Work on becoming better recruiters—knowing the real job, intimately knowing the talent space, knowing the long-term view in the function, studying body language research, etc.—and do not believe you have innate abilities to “see” a great person by reading between the lines of a resume. Social recruiting is about engaging and interacting, NOT retweeting, liking or thumbs-upping. It’s not a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am, but one aspect of developing a long-term relationship built upon trust and honesty.
So, what’s the secret? Set a goal, take action, and put in the time. You won’t become a great (or even good) social recruiter by wishing—you’ve got to do something—schedule time and consistently work at it. Build your network, reach out to your network beyond just having one more connection—get to know your connections!
My best advice would be to use social media for recruiting with a purpose. Don’t just blindly post a bunch of requisitions or use applications that clutter up your social news feeds with automated requisitions. That’s a pretty big turn-off for your connections and your followers. The best way to recruit talent with social media is to be genuine and human—and above all, engaging! As I said in the previous point, it’s really about relationship building and looking at the bigger picture, and when you’re engaging people it’s almost as if you’re nurturing passive candidates until they’re ready for their next opportunity.
People who do social recruiting effectively engage with candidates rather than force content and information onto them. Use data points and target candidate audiences with a highly precise message rather than having a broad audience and not reaching the right people.
Turn off any application you’re using that automatically posts job adverts to your social media accounts. The single biggest thing that destroys a recruiter’s efforts to grow their social recruiting presence is over-sharing job posts. The focus should be on being an insightful and valuable resource for your target audience—and then engaging with that audience.
Appear interesting and human. Want people to respond to you? Look legit when they check you out online (because they will certainly do that). You personally have to look more interesting, engaging, and legitimate on your social profiles than your competitors to win. Share something slightly personal about yourself to let people know you are human, and it’s okay for them to share with you.
Identify the platforms where your candidates spend time online and find ways to be interesting in those platforms.
Interested in learning more about how social recruiting and it’s role in the hiring funnel? Read our new whitepaper, Recruiting Strategy: A Comprehensive Guide to Winning the Talent war.