Return on Irrelevance

April 22, 2013 3:43 pm Published by Bill Boorman

When you read a lot of content about talent communities and social recruiting, you often hear people talking about R.O.I. or “return on investment.” People trying to figure out just what they are getting back for their dollars spent and time invested. Social recruiting often seems like a lot of effort for diminishing returns, compared with simpler methods that require a lot less effort, and effort and time relates directly to cost. There’s a question over whether it’s not just simpler to post a job ad and wait for a response, or adopt a direct sourcing approach.

In all of these posts, presentations and expert analysis, I can’t help but feel that the argument is too simplistic, and that there is an important point missing, and it is this that I term the “return on irrelevance.” When I look at most career pages on Facebook, Twitter feeds or LinkedIn updates, they are basically boring. If people spoke as they post when meeting them in person, they would go quickly off my party invite list. Who wants to talk to anyone who speaks about nothing but work, and shows nothing of their personal side? People with whom I share no mutual interests, and I have nothing in common with? Would I really like to work with them day in and day out? No thanks.

Think about your friends and connections. How much of your conversation with them is about work, and how much is about irrelevance? Things you have in common like sports teams, TV programs, the news and a whole host of other topics. Why do we think that things should be any different in social media?

Engagement means normal, day-to-day conversations with your friends, fans and followers, and that should be your approach to your fan page. Just how much conversation and chat is going on that shows the human, personal side of the company, because that shows the type of team and environment that people might just want to join. Think of those who visit your site as people, rather than candidates, applicants, or prospects. Talk to them as people and they might just view you this way.

Your plan for Facebook should be this: My research shows that people are connected with pages for up to 7 months before they apply. They want to get to know you first, and that means balancing work content with day to day conversation. Get engaged with your fans, and enjoy the real return on irrelevance.


This post was written by Bill Boorman

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