Social Media Abandon-wagon?

Recruiters and HR Professionals need to ask themselves,
“Is it time to dump your candidate database, and wipe your filing cabinets clean, in order to jump on the Social Media Recruitment bandwagon?

This is a question that Digital Personnel put to recruiters involved in the digital media recruitment space recently. Surprisingly most thought this was a ridiculous idea, taking the stance that an agency database is the ultimate USP and to remove it would be similar to cutting your telephone wires. In fairness it was a leading question as it would indeed be rather silly to remove your matured database of contacts and it will always be the primary tool for documenting feedback.

This is a great question that HookLineandThinker put to the recruiters involved in this ever changing, rapidly growing media scape. After conducting an extended poll, we found it surprisingly, most felt that this type of jump-ship mentality is a dangerous and ridiculous idea. The notion that an agency would go to such drastic length, would be like cutting their phone lines and relying solely on the internet to communicate. In fairness it was a leading question as it would indeed be rather silly to remove your matured database of contacts and it will always be the primary tool for documenting feedback. Social Media can begin to step in as the medium, yes, but can it stand alone at it’s own applicant tracking system, and accurate H.R. research and documentation?

That is yet to be determined.

The ability these days to network opportunities across social sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook is both powerful and plentiful. Do understand, that it is extremely effective and important these days to build communities on social sites and target specialized audiences. These captive audiences will then determine your ROI by either directly showing interest in opportunities, or by passing your vacancies to their own network of contacts. ( Think of the pyramid marketing scheme, you may only begin 100 in your network, but each of those 100 contacts has their own 100…and exponentially, the potential to advertise is limitless. In many cases, the ability to network opportunities to groups of career-seekers through virtual “Word of Mouth” within the social networks, and identify fully qualified candidates eager to pursue vacancies….is continually achieved without the first step to search within a private database.

Think of what will happen when that candidate is happily settled in their new position, and grateful to have a pleasant productive work environment, with great benefits and growth potential, who do you think they are going to tell? That’s right, their social network connections. That right there becomes free PR for your company…right from the source.

Candidates from social and business networking sites are geared up and ready for the surge.  Sites like Linked In and Ryze help provide an in depth career history, a record of their affiliations, blogs and real and tangible references to connect with, in search of honest recommendations.

This technology is undoubtedly a dream come true to the recruitment industry! ( and unfortunately a nightmare to the giant newspapers and careerboards.)  The key to success on how to leverage this WOW technology is really how and who to align with as your ‘front-man’ to engage these thriving audiences.  What strategies need to be implemented to grow appropriate and rewarding communities? How much should you spend within your budget, and how easily can you measure your ROI?  Reportedly. many recruitment agencies are already re-inventing themselves as a brand that can communicate successfully through these mediums, as well as in print, mail, t.v. and radio, The real trick lies in finding which one to go with, If your current agency hasn’t been taking the initiative to weather the storm of social networking technology, and continually encourages the careerboards and newspapers, it may be time to jump ship on them.
There are also rewards to be found from clients. By building a stronger online presence, recruitment agencies can further their reach for potential business partners and if credible engagement with audiences is evident, an employer would be wise to make the first move. The canvas calls will not stop of course (utopia for many employers!) but this is potentially another route to increased revenue streams.

Social media is an unstoppable force that will engulf the recruitment industry, and has already become the lead medium in some market sectors. A recruiters’ unique database is no longer a selling point, the ability to tap into the unlimited talent across the web and capitalize on this is how agencies will ultimately be the key to getting the greatest talent.

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