Recruiting Goes Social? Not So Fast!


I took my recent Social Recruiting presentation out from the virtual closet to freshen it up, since I’ll be presenting it again on June 23.

As it turned out, I really didn’t have much to update.

Surfing to see if there was anything new I may have missed over the past few months, I came across the newly released Arbita-Recruitment-Genome-Report. According to the Executive Summary, 80 percent of the 482 respondent companies still do not have an effective strategy for using SEM, and less than half have an effective strategy for social networks.

Developed by Arbita to delineate the best practices in recruitment, the survey is chock full of other kernels such as:

* Only 38% of survey participants feel they have the right metrics and reports to support their recruitment marketing decisions.
* 81 % feel Internet sourcing is a major part of their recruitment strategy, yet almost half confess feel their team has inadequate training on Internet research and sourcing.
* Slightly over half (55%) of respondents conduct direct marketing to candidates. What are the other half doing?

Slightly discouraged, I downloaded Deloitte LLP’s 2009 survey entitled “Social networking and reputational risk in the workplace.” From the Executive Summary I learned that almost 70% of participating companies still haven’t integrated social networking with their business strategy. 58% of executives agree that reputational risk and social networking should be a board room issue, but only 15% say it actually is. No matter. The study goes on to say that 49% of employees admit that a company policy would not change how they behave online anyway.

Surely YouTube must have some great examples of companies using streaming videos to recruit talent. But when I went there to find some samples I had no luck- I put in “jobs” as a search key. My results came back with Steve Jobs, Family Guy and a bit on Barrack. “Recruiting” got me football, a Google Recruitment Video from 3 years ago and the Czech Army’s recruitment message.

You will argue that there are a lot of new recruiting methods available such as utilizing LinkedIn and Facebook to market opportunities. And yes, I agree. LinkedIn offers free and paid products that make it easy to network in and among your circles of choice. On it, I’ve seen such selfless acts as HR professionals using their profiles to promote openings instead of themselves. And Facebook offers inexpensive “buys” to reach target groups. I also agree that Twitter is a great way to broadcast job opps as well. Assuming you have a following who has a following.

But to truly excel at Social Recruiting, one needs to build relationships. It requires a commitment and investment– one person tasked to “making it happen” instead of a “happenstance” method. And there needs to be a continuous, brand-aligned, multi-tiered approach. Unlike a job board, you can’t get traction in a day.

How many are doing this? I bounced onto Indeed.com to do a national job search of company’s looking to hire such a person. Under “Social Network Community Managers” I found 2 openings; under “Social Media Marketing Manager” there was 1. However, there were more than a few Social Media Intern opportunities. Draw your own conclusions.

In another recent survey, JobVite said that 66 % of their surveyed respondents who used social networks for recruiting reported that they had successfully hired a candidate who was identified or introduced through an online social network.

Hired a candidate? Hope they didn’t need to hire 2 of them.

I do know there are great companies doing wonderful work in building support through blogging, tweeting, alumni groups and employee generated Facebook pages. They are providing experiential connections and building brand equity that will serve them well.
But for those who may not have taken their first small steps yet, don’t worry. You’re not alone.

As it turned out, I really didn’t have much to update in my presentation.

Take the poll:

Recruiting on Social Networks has been very effective for my organization(survey)

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