The phrase `Social Recruiting` is banded about all over the shop like some kind of recruitment revolution. But what is it? Who actually does it?
Well here’s where I get a little perplexed. You see the people who refer to `social recruiting`, seem to be people who advise people to do `social recruiting`. Hmm, ok – so who actually DOES social recruiting?!
Twitter stream-time… #socialrecruiting. Here, I must SURELY find a recruiter who recruits, who is communicating through Twitter, with the hashtag `socialrecruiting`?? …Nope, just a few more people who advise people to do `social recruiting`…
Ok, do you get my drift?
What is social recruiting then? – just an idea? – just a theory, theoretically dished out to recruitment businesses or HR departments, who theoretically give it a go on Twitter et al, and then theoretically ditch it when they just don’t get it?
Well actually, it exists. It’s ingenious, but it really isn’t some kind of 21st Century miracle. In 1994 I did recruitment for the first time. About 2 weeks in, I went to a business networking event with a kind of HR focus in Central London and met a whole bunch of interesting HR people, who I spent a couple of hours of good time with, listening to their loves and hates, passing business cards as suitable and gaining a bunch of new contacts in the process. My colleagues hammered their new targets on the phone the next day asking for business; I contacted my new network to suggest great candidates based on our conversations, or to suggest other networking events they may be interested in, or just to catch up for a coffee and turn a 5 minute conversation into a 30 minute one. From these – relationships are built, and business followed. Not always immediately… but in good time. Angela Mortimer, I believe used this networking principle in 1977 when she started her agency which has become a leading player in Secretarial recruitment in the UK throughout the last 30 years. It’s old hat, really – but it’s a fine hat.
A good clear principle in Social Recruiting is:
Network > Focus > Listen > Engage > Attract > Recruit >
Andy Headworth of Sirona Consulting today posted a similar chart on his blog on er… `social recruiting`: http://blog.sironaconsulting.com/sironasays/2010/06/how-social-recruiting-has-changed-recruitment-forever.html – but I feel the two additions of FOCUS, and ATTRACT are necessary. Focus being the strategy part, where you must define your audience and influencers – otherwise it gets really noisy. Attract is in Andy’s pre-social model – but for me, still appears in the social model – because merely being social is not enough. Credibility is key.
I recruit in Social Media & Digital Communications. The 1994 principle still applies, but just with computers n’stuff. Online networking simply makes Offline networking now more achievable, and recommendation and referral is smoother and faster.
Social Media has merely made traditional networking methods more enjoyable and more broadly communicable, but `Social Recruiting` is no revolution, nor is it a buzz phrase – but is merely a key underpin of CRM-focussed recruitment activity that the recruitment industry has forgotten.