Social Recruiting Technology Q+A with Erin Osterhaus, New Talent Times

October 21, 2013 4:27 pm Published by Erin Osterhaus

This Q+A series will take a look at perspectives about social recruiting technology from thought leaders around the blogosphere! Today, we spoke with Erin Osterhaus, Managing Editor and recruiting software analyst at The New Talent Times, to get her take on social media recruitment. 

1. With the way technology is growing and changing, what do you think the future of recruiting will look like? Will programs and computers take over the role of the recruiter?

I don’t think technology will ever completely take over the role of the recruiter, although it will definitely make the job more efficient. 

And as technology makes a recruiter’s job more efficient, it will also change the types of jobs for which they’re recruiting. In a recent Software Advice article I wrote on the New Talent Times blog, I mentioned the rise of a resource procurement professional. Because more workers can now work remotely–largely due to advances in technology–they’ve become more like “free agents.” As a result, recruiters will need to be able to find and hire individuals with specific skills for a specified task.

 Although technology will make it easier for recruiters to pinpoint these free agents, as well as do their jobs overall, in the end recruiting is a human resources function. The key word being “human.” There are some things that technology simply can’t replace–like a recruiter’s intuition. 

 2. The internet is abuzz with talk about social recruiting–how important is it for employers to include a social component in their recruiting strategies–and why? 

 If a company is going to stay competitive when it comes to recruiting, they absolutely need to leverage social media platforms to find and attract talent. Recruiting is becoming more and more like marketing–recruiters can target niche audiences using tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. If other companies are targeting those same candidates while your company is relying solely on job boards, referrals and company careers pages, you’re most likely missing out on some excellent new hires.

 3. What are your top three tips for improving the effectiveness of a company’s social media recruitment? Feel free to share examples.

First of all, it’s important to get current employees to post about jobs, share news and expose your company culture. After all, who could provide better insight into what it’s like to work for your company than those who already work there?

Take for instance, Twitter’s own recruiting handle: @JoinTheFlock. Using this account, Twitter’s recruiters are able to make the company seem more accessible by retweeting from current employees. There is a name and a face associated with an open job, not just a corporate account, which applicants have nothing tangible or personal to connect with.

Second, recruiters should leverage the tools already built into the social media platforms. For instance, the hashtag on Twitter.* This symbol has the seemingly-magical ability to make your Tweets appear before Twitter users who don’t even follow you. And not only do they get you in front of more people, they also help ensure those are the right people. 

 For example, if someone is looking for a job in software development, they might search certain tags, such as #hadoop, #CMS, #UX or #TechTalent. By including hashtags in a job post, these candidates can find the job, even if they don’t follow the company that originally Tweeted them already. It’s a kind of built-in advanced search option that has the benefit of simultaneously exposing Tweets to an audience of qualified—and possibly interested—potential new hires. It’s a win-win.

Third, as there are more and more multimedia formats available, recruiters should leverage photos and video to show potential applicants what life would be like if they were to work for you. A picture is worth a thousand words–so don’t be afraid to share photos of events around the office on your social media accounts. 

4. What about the platforms that are a little harder to utilize on a daily basis (i.e. Instagram, Pinterest)? How do you “accessorize” your recruiting outfit without overdoing it? 

 Focus on what you do best, and on what creates the best results for your company. If you’re recruiting recent college grads for entry level positions, chances are you’ll have more luck using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

 5. Let’s talk about the recruiters who are on the front lines, using all of this new technology. How can they avoid a “trial by fire” when it comes to understanding and using all of these new developments? 

Don’t post only open positions on your company’s recruiting profile. Just don’t. Yes, you should post some standard job listings, but that shouldn’t be the whole shebang. If potential candidates have gone directly to your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn page–or whatever social media platform you choose to use–chances are they already know something about you and they’re looking to learn more. Alternatively, if they have landed there as a result of seeing one of your open job postings, again, they’re probably looking to learn a little more about your organization. To keep candidates interested, use social media to the max to show what it’s like to work at your company. Use employee comments, multimedia, and respond to potential candidates that contact you directly. It’s a much more effective way of leveraging social platforms.

 6. Social networking is all about who you know…so what are your best tips for helping potential candidates get to know your company, your brand, or your jobs when trying to grow your talent pool?  

The most apparent answer: help yourself by increasing the number of employees posting about jobs. Encourage employees to use their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts to post open positions. In fact, go even further. Encourage them to post about company events, interesting projects they’re working on, or successes they’ve experienced with your company. If you expose your company culture, and let potential applicants know what they can expect if they’re to work for you, you’ll be able to grow your following, your brand, and your following.


*ED NOTE: Hashtags now work on Facebook as well, and they can help you expand your audience to anyone who searches for similar hashtags using Facebook’s Graph Search. Learn more by reading “Why Facebook Hashtags Will Revolutionzie #SocialRecruiting” on AllFacebook.  

This post was written by Erin Osterhaus

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