Social media recruiting is a cost-effective way to source candidates. Let the big influencers spread the job ad – that takes care of it.
How do we know these claims are true?
Might networking the old-fashioned way work better?
Word-of-mouth is helpful for spreading the word about a position at your organisation. Your employer expects you to post and discuss the job in the communities you are part of.
First you may post on Google+ or LinkedIn. This is quickly followed by posts on Viadeo, Xing and Facebook. Ideally, this type of word-of-mouth marketing lets those interested see the job posting.
But how well does it work?
Do you know these people?
Recently, I read a newspaper article about a guy whom I once was connected with, but is no longer part of my social network. Why?
I sent him an email congratulating him. Did I get an answer? Nope. So how good a connection is this?
[su_box title=”Our networks are too large” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]
Dunbar, R.I.M. (April 2014). The social brain: Psychological underpinnings and implications for the structure of organizations. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23, pp. 109-114. doi:10.1177/0963721413517118 Retrieved April 2, 2015 http://cdp.sagepub.com/content/23/2/109.abstract.
===> More publications about the social brain hypothesis.
Good thing I kicked this person off my social network. We all have a hard time managing a network of social connections beyond 125 people. It turns out that is the typical size of both social communities in small-scale societies and personal social networks in the modern world.
This size constraint is partly cognitive and partly temporal. For humans, the group size reflects both emotional closeness in relationships and the frequency of contact.
In short: You need to be close and communicate with each other more than once in a blue moon.
Thus, large networks are not necessarily productive when it comes to finding a job or a person to hire for your non-profit.
[su_box title=”Social networking: Does it work for recruiting staff?” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]
Manage your career smartly
The above suggests being connected to fewer people while staying in touch is a smart thing to do.
[su_box title=”Career management for the second machine age” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]1. Envision yourself seven years from now. What will you want to do at that time… where are you, what impact do you want to have?
2. Who will matter in your life? Identify those five people and know what you want from them and what you can offer them in return. Having regular conversations with these people from now on will affect the outcome of your plans.
3. Who are your ten most important professional connections? Identify them and ensure you talk to them once a month via phone, or better yet, in person.[/su_box]
Social media recruiting is a cost-effective way to source candidates
Gone are the days of having to pay a premium to advertise in a newspaper and hope that a group of candidates will see the job posting. But how do you know that claims such as these are true:
– social media outlets offer ‘reasonable’ pricing for job postings,
– these reach high volumes of job seekers, and
– even passive candidates.
Yes, LinkedIn guarantees I will get ten qualified applicants, but are they really qualified? Not last time we checked.
In addition you have to sort through and respond to all those applications. If you post your job opening to Xing or Google+ groups / communities, you will have to answer questions.
Answering inquiries or writing a polite rejection to an applicant (remember it is about your brand, stay professional, calm and collected) takes time. And what about if you are inactive in your group and nobody reacts to your job post? Happens more than you think…
If you plan your career (see above), it makes sense to participate in discussion groups on social networks. But how many?
[su_box title=”Stay connected and contribute to the community.” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]
1. Membership means you have responsibilities. If you join a group on any network, ensure your visibility by participating in discussions.
2. Put others center stage. Add comments to other people’s posts, thereby helping them shine by keeping the discussion alive.
3. Post content with a question. Broadcasting your latest blog or webpage entry or webinar is fine. However, unless you post a question with it, what are your members supposed to discuss?
Quality trumps quantity
The above shows picking five groups to participate in at least every other week works best. You likely do not have time to be active in more, so why be a member?
I know, some believe that when social media is applied to marketing, it creates activity — and in marketing, activity is a good thing. Nevertheless, activity alone does not create business results. Nor does it lead to connections that:
– help your career, or
– are willing to spread your job posting to qualified candidates.
So what is it good for?
“MBA students do not make this mistake intentionally. In fact, most think they are effectively networking during their time on campus. Many students take the ‘social butterfly’ approach – trying to meet superficially with as many people as possible and then striving to win the LinkedIn connections and Facebook friends ‘competition’. But they are not taking the time to develop deeper relationships with these new contacts.” –Shawn O’Connor (2012).
Focusing on the quality of connections and face-to-face interaction is critical. It is far more effective than having hundreds of contacts that will not even recognise you at an event.
The same applies when recruiting. Send a new position opening to your 30-40 close contacts. They will be happy to share it with some of their close contacts. These close contacts and their 30-40 close connections come in handy for furthering your professional development as well – far more effective than having 100 superficial contacts.
[su_box title=”Job recommendations on Xing: Why am I getting these, if I do not fit the job profile?” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]
Making your recruitment strategy personal, meaningful and successful takes work. But do not think you can just copy big brands like Zappos. Plus, what worked once – Atlassian, 2012 – worked so well the company never tried it again :-(
You have to find your own approach that works for you with 10 or 20 full-time staff!!
Finally, talk is cheap. Show me the numbers that indicate you do it right.
[su_box title=”Offers I get on Xing – USELESS” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]
What about you?
Where in your network are the 20 or 30 people you can ask for a recommendation when applying for a job?
Who are the people that might give you more business?
I look forward to your answer in the comments!
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[su_box title=”Effectively using social networks for talent recruitment: Do not believe everything.” box_color=”#ff9900″ title_color=”#ffffff”]
a. Shorten the hiring cycle. WRONG! Even with social media, you will require time to post your job, get applications, evaluate candidates, etc.
b. Lower recruitment costs. Yeah, right! Building and maintaining your 30 important connections to ask for help takes time all year.
c. Address the passive problem. Nice try! Most people who are doing well in their jobs are not interested in shifting employers.
d. Use the employees that are well-connected on social media. As if! This implies that large social networks mean quality connections. But will any of their contacts read their status update about a job opening?
Jacobs, Emma (March 31, 2015). Career planning: experts’ advice for the second machine age. Financial Times, p. 10. Retrieved on April 2, 2015 from http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5c62a6e4-ce2e-11e4-86fc-00144feab7de.html
What do YOU think?
Who are your best social connections for business?
When did you last comment in one of your discussion groups? Why did you write an answer?
How do you network best?
Is your CEO active on LinkedIn or Google+? Why?