Recruiters Need To Play The Social Media Long Game

Recruitment is a very immediate and results-oriented profession. Most consultants have placement targets to hit in order to justify their existence, and if they don’t hit them for a couple of months, then the pressure increases.

If you aren’t achieving the desired results, are you doing the “right” things?

Your activity in recruitment determines your results.  This activity is often measured – how many calls you make, how many interviews you have, how many candidates in the pipeline, etc. Anything that you do outside of this “core” recruitment activity is seen by many as a waste of time. In my view, this mindset needs to change as the rules of the game have changed.

As a huge advocate of social media in recruiting, I am passionate about the power of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to transform our industry. There are surprising amounts of recruiters out there who have not quite grasped this fact….

Yes, their consultants are all on LinkedIn. They all have the same (uninspiring) corporate bio, and they all have 4,000 connections. They all “share” their job updates on a daily basis ad-nauseum and they tweet them to the 1,000 followers that they bought on Twitter. They are “doing” social media, but social media isn’t “doing” anything for them. Most of their connections and followers are ignoring them.

Are you really surprised?

This Neanderthal approach to social media, and LinkedIn, in particular, is common to many recruiters across the globe. According to them, LinkedIn is a great place to source candidates, but not much good for anything else.

This short-term view is changing as more and more recruiters realize the value in investing in their networks. They do this by actually setting aside the time to engage with them, writing blogs, sharing industry content, actually seeking to communicate with people, even though they may not be candidates for a role. Social media is a valuable digital asset for any recruiter, but without the explicit backing of their bosses, few recruiters will truly integrate it into their working day.

One of my personal “bugbears” is the copy/paste nature of the messages that recruiters communicate. They all have identical profiles, and there is no sight of the individual behind the corporate branded photo. Candidates and clients alike need to get to know the recruiters that they are working with. Social media gives them a unique opportunity to present a warm and human face, so why do they hide behind this corporate façade.

Much is spoken about talent pooling, but if each recruiter were truly engaged on social media, each one would cultivate bubbling lakes of possibility, overflowing with potential candidate and job leads. For most recruiters, these talent “pools” still resemble the Dead Sea – inhospitable and devoid of life. A talent pool that is engaged will grow organically. 

Some recruitment bosses would point to the fact that someone’s network is personal to them, and that when a recruiter leaves an organization, their network leaves with them. This in my view entirely misses the point – people are more than happy to invest in their network if they are encouraged to do so. The more personal the network, the more effective it is. They won’t be motivated to be active on social media, only to lose the fruits of their labour when they leave.

The benefits to a recruiting organization are far too great to ignore. Maybe “productive” social media activity should be on that list of activity targets….

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Steffan Gooch

After spending 7 years as a recruiter, Steffan founded The Social Sourcery in 2014 and now works with recruitment agencies on their digital strategies. Passionate about the evolution of the recruitment industry, he is a firm believer that the future lies in inbound recruiting!

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