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‘The Social Recruiter’
14,000 followers on Twitter. Doesn’t use LinkedIn any more because it’s not personal enough. Closed a deal on Snapchat last week. Lol’d about how they had to take a screenshot of the acceptance before it disappeared.
If that sounds like you, then this article isn’t for you. Whoever you are.
For the rest of us, the use of Social tools in recruitment is something we’re still wrestling with. Almost every Recruiter I know has set up a Twitter account, and they have a solid set of 20 or so followers that they got within the first couple of weeks. They tried tweeting a few things, maybe tagged a few people, possibly posted a pic of a cup of coffee with a snappy caption like “Recruitment Fuel for a Tuesday a.m.!!!!!”
Here’s the thing though. It’s a complete waste of time.
Before you throw your iPhone in the nearest river and write that letter to Google to ask them to delete all online evidence of your existence, I should probably explain a bit more.
Social channels don’t work for recruitment unless you’re really committed. That means regular updates. Not just cat videos. If you want people to follow you, and help you broaden your network (which is, after all, the whole point), then you’ll need to post interesting things regularly. Direct people towards information they may have missed.
Bring others together. And then, very rarely, you might DM someone to ask if they’re interested in talking careers with you.
Sounds like hard work. Is it worth it?
Well, that’s the real question. If you wanted to go and buy a new pair of shoes, you probably wouldn’t hang out in Starbucks and ask the caf-fiends if they happened to be selling any. The same applies to your professional Social strategy.
Where do your candidates go to communicate with each other? What channels do they use? This might sound like an obvious question to ask, but I’m still surprised by how often Recruiters don’t ask their network.
The best way to be able to use social tools is to make sure that you’re moving in the same circles as your candidates. And if you’re moving in those circles, you’ll find your clients are there too.
When you start asking the question, you might find out all sorts of interesting possibilities. Perhaps there is a group on LinkedIn that you could be invited in to. Maybe it’s a regular face to face meet up for a Developer group. Or possibly you’ll find that Twitter is the key.
Then you’ll have to make a decision: do you want to connect with your market? And if you do, it may be that you’ll need to start Tweeting. Or going to conferences. Or posting interesting content on a LinkedIn group.
The thing that the Social Recruiter does very well is connecting with an audience. And building a valuable relationship with those people. And that means that when you do want to talk business, they’re more likely to entertain what you have to say.
The reason why your boss is telling you to get on the phone, is that it’s likely they started recruiting at a time when the phone was the only way to connect. I’m not sure I’m ready to start telling sales teams to “Get back on to Instagram”, but perhaps it would be more appropriate to tell them to keep making connections.
Martin Jones is a Recruiter. From 1999 onwards, he’s worked across multiple sectors and geographies, generating revenue and leading teams. He is a Partner at KnownFour, building a pioneering recruitment business.