Dear Mitch

Welcome back to ‘Dear Mitch’ with the ever candid, Mitch Sullivan. A man many Recruiters will know. Never one to shy away from debate or express an opinion, he’s been a Recruiter since the days of fax. His desire to not have his eyes bleed every time he saw a job ad drove him to start his own Recruitment Copywriting Course.

In this series, Mitch is answering your questions. For every query your boss can’t or won’t answer, you can write to Dear Mitch…

1. Dear Mitch, I wanted to get a better understanding of Social Selling. I currently work for a company that does limited social selling however I feel it is something we really need to get involved in. What advice would you give to me and how is the best way to get started? 

Social selling is really just a digital euphemism for marketing. It’s the act of interacting directly with your target customers on social media – either by answering their questions, providing insight (via blogs and articles) or demonstrating your expertise through online discussions and debates.

What do you need to be successful with social selling? For me there are two primary ingredients.

1. Be a person who is knowledgeable about their job and their niche sector.

2. Have an audience.

The ability to write well and not throw your toys out of the pram when people disagree with you are also important factors.

The reason most recruitment agencies don’t do social selling is because it takes time. It takes time to build the audience and it takes time to build a reputation for being someone who knows what they’re talking about.

But I agree – it is something you should probably be investing some time and resources to. Skilful use of social media produces better quality leads than cold-calling and a much higher percentage of those leads convert.

2. Hi Mitch, Love your articles. I had a question regarding job stability and how this reflects in the recruitment world. I’ve been in my current position 8 months, and my previous 2 around the same time (was approached twice) and I’m considering a move abroad. Would you recommend sticking around at my current company to get some stability on my CV or does it not really matter in recruitment?

The short answer to your question is that I think you need to spend at least 2 years with one agency as soon as possible.

It’s not so much about stability as it is about success. If you’ve been successful, can prove it and can offer justifiable reasons why the next job was better than the previous one, I think a lot of people will cut you some slack.

But if you keep moving every year, the question that will linger with a lot of hiring managers is “how long is this person going to give us?”

3. Dear Mitch, firstly, love your work. Long time reader, first time questioner. I was just wondering who your favourite dictator is, and if you had to align them to a recruitment company, which one would it be? Cheers, Tom.

You’re trying to get me into trouble, aren’t you Tom?

If I had to pick one I’d go for Castro. He stuck to his principles and stuck two fingers up to America for half a century.

If he’d have run a recruitment agency, it probably wouldn’t have become a Hays though.

4. Dear Mitch, my boss has asked me to stop commenting on LinkedIn and get on with my job, but I think it’s helpful for my personal brand which wins me a lot of business. Plus it’s always about my market or recruitment.

As someone who does a lot there, I just wondered what your thoughts were on it? Should my employer’s brand come before my own? Or should I push back?

Can you demonstrate business you’ve won via social media? If you can that would help.

There isn’t one way of generating business and recruiters need to play to their strengths – and if using LinkedIn is one of your strengths and you’re making money for your employer, then I think you should push back.

Using social media is a skill and it’s indicative of how slow our industry is to adapt that so many agency owners/directors seem to think that cold calling is the de-facto way of winning new business.

Sounds to me like you’re not too far from leaving there and starting up on your own.

If I’m right, get in touch. I may be able to help.

I am now taking direct questions for this series. Want something (anonymously or otherwise) answered? Just email me at [email protected] – I’ll do my best to answer, no matter how difficult or damning the question. If you’re interested in becoming better at recruitment writing, have a look here.