Social Recruiting Technology Q+A with Will Thomson

March 24, 2014 4:58 pm Published by Will Thomson


This Q+A series will take a look at perspectives about social recruiting technology from thought leaders around the blogosphere! Today, we spoke with Will Thomson, Global Sales & Marketing Recruiter, Original Austinite, and Blogger at to get his take on social media recruitment for today’s recruiter.

Check out the video/audio, or read the answers below!




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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?

No, they won’t. Technology is definitely a piece of what we do now, and it helps our recruitment process, but humans are the “X-Factor” in recruitment. They really are able to find those intangibles that a computer couldn’t find. Yes, I think we should embrace technology and computers, but, ultimately, it will be the responsibility of the recruiter to find the right candidate and to screen them, and to find out if they’re a good cultural fit, because that’s something that can’t be found on paper. 

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

You know, it’s essential. I mean, in this time, everything we do is on the computer. I’ve been in recruiting for 20 years, and we used to do everything with pen and paper. If you’re not doing recruiting on the internet and using social media, you’re well behind the curve. You should be active on all social media formats—and if not, you need to be making that a priority in your search. 

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

I think there are 5—and I wrote a blog on this. But there’s: consistency, commitment, conversation, courteousness, and courage. You have to be consistent in your message. Make sure your message is something that everybody wants to hear, and make sure that it’s not all over the place. You can’t be one person and then another at the same time. You have to be committed to a social media strategy. You can’t do it one week, and then a month later, no one’s going to listen, no one’s going to remember you. You have to have conversations with people. It is a two way conversation with people. It’s not just one person. Most importantly: courteousness. You are having a conversation. You don’t need to be a jerk. You are having that conversation. And then courage: go ahead and say what’s on your mind. Go ahead and talk to people as you would, having a conversation. And maybe you may get knocked down a little—but that’s okay. We’re all humans; we’re all different. 

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? 

You can’t over-accessorize, I think. As many outlets as you can possibly can be on social media, I strongly suggest you do it. You know, for me as a recruiter, who’s in the trenches every day, do I use Pinterest and Instagram? I don’t. I don’t think it’s going to help me. But from a marketing standpoint—from a marketing and recruiting standpoint, I think it can help bring brand awareness to your company. most importantly, you need to realize that you have to have your image out there. Everywhere. Because the more people see you, the more people recognize you.  

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? 

So, I took this question a couple of ways. “Trial by fire.” I think you need to have a social media presence that is incredibly good. You need to have a great LinkedIn profile with an incredible picture, a profile filled out. Google+ gives you the ability to really [put in your blogs. To put in a lot of things that you need, all about you. On Twitter, you need to spend some on really cultivating the content you have out there. And Facebook is really putting business and social together. As far as—there are going to be a lot of technologies that are going to take a while to figure out. Two years ago, I started using Google+. I did not like the product at all. Now I use it every single day. So, give it a shot. If it’s something that’s not going to work for you, then take it out of your social media strategy, but there are some essential ones out there. Don’t go recruiting on Myspace all day long. 

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?  

I believe in 6 degrees of separation. You’ve heard of Kevin Bacon—everyone knows Kevin Bacon. Networking and knowing people is so essential in the process. Somebody knows somebody who knows somebody that will be able to put you to work. So never cross a bridge, always treat people the way you want to be treated, and always use all platforms to connect with people. 

7. Do you have any other tips or thoughts on the social job search from either the jobseeker or recruiter/employer perspective? 

Utilize social media every single day. I don’t want to take away the recruitment process. Lot’s been written about recruiting—the basics, the phone calls, the things like that. But technology’s make our jobs so much easier. I mean, what we can do today with our social media presence gives us a broader reach than we had before. People are texting, people are tweeting, people are on Facebook. People are on LinkedIn. This is the way people talk. If you aren’t doing it, then you’re going to miss out—because someone else is, and they’re going to take advantage of it.  

This post was written by Will Thomson

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