Three Things You Need to Know About Social Recruiting, Part 1 – Social Sourcing

August 5, 2014 5:30 pm Published by Katrina Collier

3 Things You Need to Know about Social Recruiting Part 1: Social Sourcing

Recruiting on social media is proven. And whether you like it or not, it’s now essential as job seekers take to social channels to check you out.

Yes, you. 

Unfortunately, few recruiters are getting it right. As Steve Ward outlined in his recent post Recruitment Agencies Waste Their Time on Social Media

“Commercial social media is marketing, conversation, content, presence, PR, subliminal and direct marketing, and creative communications – all rolled into one.”

And he knows. Steve is a successful agency social recruiter who delivers social media professionals to a prestigious list of clients.

Recruiters using social channels need to adapt their “got a job, need to fill it now” mindset to succeed. Social recruiting is more than just sharing your jobs on social channels. In fact, that approach is likely to produce few results and leave you thinking, “Well, that was a complete waste of time.” It’s also more than shouting out what a great employer you are or spamming people with impersonal messages.

Social recruiting is a balance of social sourcing, socializing your employer brand, and sharing your jobs in a way that doesn’t repel your followers. These three key elements work together to achieve results, namely improved quality of hire, increased referrals, greater retention and increased productivity.

Over this three part blog series, I’ll help you understand the three key elements of social recruiting and how you can use them to succeed.

Social Sourcing

I’ve worked on both sides of the recruitment fence. As an agent up against a monthly target being told to sell, sell, sell and as in-house recruiter where my job – hiring scarce IT consultants – really did decide the fate of the company… no consultants, no client delivery, no success.

So I have done it and I get it. I get the pressure you are under to fill that role. The only difference between inside and out, is who is yelling at you 😉

The reason I have been able to embrace social media for recruitment so easily is because I don’t possess “hunting” sales skills. My strength (besides my Aussie Brit frankness 😉 ) is my “farming” sales style. I pay it forward, I share great info, I have time to help, I engage and converse. I am social and gather people through conversation. I possess manners.

Let’s face it. Social recruiting needs to be social – especially direct social sourcing.

Social sourcing is simply finding, contacting and recruiting people on social channels.

Let me be really clear though, social sourcing isn’t:

   * Blanket messages to your entire network
   * A blank invite to connect on LinkedIn
   * An @handle on Twitter
   * An impersonal message or email
   * Or, hiding behind anonymity or a logo

In my experience, success comes from remembering that people “buy” from people. So come out from behind the anonymity and shine.

Because, before anyone replies… they will check you out!

Make it easy for them to do so.

On LinkedIn:

   * Use a professional profile pic and headline
   * In the summary section, share great stuff about your company in a “what’s in it for them style”
   * Add files and links
   * Get recommended
   * Change your “what other’s see when you’ve viewed their profile” to “name and headline”

On Twitter:

   * Use the same great profile pic you used on LinkedIn
   * Use that 160-character bio to set the scene – include a link to your jobs
   * Create a fabulous banner that shows who you are. Yes, you.

On Facebook:

   * Show your profile pic and banner shot. Lock your profile down so that’s all the can see
   * Audit any posts you’re tagged in 

On Google+:

   * Use the same great profile picture
   * Fill out your introduction – include a link to your jobs and bragging rights
   * Use that same fabulous banner that shows who you are

And so on for anywhere else you interact with job seekers …

I could write a book on the plethora of ways to find people online and on social channels and its length would compete with War and Peace. But instead I will work on the assumption that you’ve found one of the 150M active LinkedIn users, or one of the 802M daily active Facebook users, or one of the 540M active Google+ users and would like to tell them about your job. (The process of contacting the 250M active Twitter users is complex, so I recommend you read this ebook.)

Stand out from all of the other recruiters creating noise and personalize your message. It’s that simple!

   * Use the candidate’s name… if I had a dollar for every message or connect request I receive and ignore because they don’t use my name, I’d be rich.
   * Identify yourself but make your message all about them because all they’re thinking is, “what’s in it for me?”
   * Show that you have taken the time to read their profile! “On your profile I see skills that would suit this role…” It’s respectful.
   * Anything standout? Include it. “Your project at [company] caught my attention because…”
   * Add a tidbit from another channel. Can you refer to a recent tweet or blog of theirs?

Quite simply, it’s about manners. Would you walk into an event and yell, “Hey, want this job?”

No, I didn’t think so.

Katrina Collier

This post was written by Katrina Collier