I Don’t Use Social Media For Recruiting

by Etienne Besson on 19 May 2011

in My musings,Recruitment

Although I call myself a Social Media Enthusiast, I don’t use it for recruiting. Here’s my confession.

Everybody knows that I’m fascinated by Social Media and Social Recruiting in particular. By now, even my friends who don’t use Facebook know more about Social Media than the average Twitter user.

But I still recruit the old-fashioned way by posting ads on job boards (also known as “post and pray”). If this doesn’t work, then the hiring managers are usually already nervous enough and we get the necessary funding for a recruiting agency.

So now that the cat’s out of the bag, here’s why I don’t use Social Media for recruiting:

I’m Short-Sighted

Of course I’m aware that Social Media can have significant long-term benefits. But as an HR Generalist, recruiting is just one of my many jobs.

So I choose to concentrate on the immediate needs instead of building a reputation for my employer and relationships with great people who may or may not become employees someday.

I Don’t Have Time

I know that this is the worst excuse ever. But like I said, the sad truth is that I’m doing recruiting more or less on the side.

In my last article, I compared recruiting to customer acquisition. And in my conclusion, I explained that in time you will be able to reduce the acquisition effort because customers will flock to you based on your reputation and recommendations.

Instead, I’m doing the equivalent of looking for new customers every time I launch a new product. Again, and again, and again.

Social Media Is A Team Effort

Occasionally you can read about a lone hero who started something on his own and then completely changed a company’s culture and how it operates. But most of the time it’s a team effort.

I think that you need at least the “go” from the ones in charge and the commitment from several people, ideally a combination of colleagues from HR, Marketing/Communication and Customer Service.

This way you will also avoid representing yourself instead of the company.

I Have A Lot Of Respect For Social Media

Social Media takes a lot of time, energy and tenacity.

You can’t just create a Twitter account and broadcast links to your job ads whenever you have an open position. You need to connect with interesting and interested people, start a conversation and keep it going. And you need to provide value through content and relationships.

Just the same, you can’t just create a company page on LinkedIn or Xing without offering solid content. Or start a Facebook fan page or a discussion group without a plan.

I mean, just look at all the companies who cross-post their press releases on Facebook and Twitter but never monitor what’s going on. How many times will somebody write a comment if you never bother to reply? And how will this shape their view of your company?

And In Conclusion…

So here’s why I don’t use Social Media for recruiting. As I like to say: it’s not an excuse, just an explanation.

And of course, I still hope and believe that someday Social Media will become more than just a fascinating hobby.

@BillBoorman: If you read this, please don’t burn my #TruDublin ticket 😉

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