My Social Recruiting Presentation For

by Etienne Besson on 12 November 2012

in Events in Switzerland,Recruitment

Thanks to I finally had the opportunity to speak about and share my passion for social recruiting in public. Here’s how it went on 8 November 2012 in Coppet, Switzerland.

How did my first public presentation about social recruiting go? The answer is actually quite simple: It was a fantastic experience. At least for me 😉 invited 100 of their clients, rented the beautiful cellar of the castle in Coppet and organized the event perfectly including beautiful Moleskines and a delicious wine tasting.

The main attraction of the event was Eva Zils presenting the results of her online recruiting study. She has been doing this study for several years in Germany, but this time she also included data from Switzerland.

Here’s what Eva had to say about the event on her blog (in German).

On a personal note, this was the first time that I had the chance to meet Eva Zils in person. We had several exchanges on blog comments, Twitter, became Facebook friends and also had a Skype conversation before the event. But this was the first time that we actually met.

And it certainly didn’t feel like I was meeting a stranger. On the contrary, we could dive right into interesting conversations about shared interests instead of doing the usual “Hi, I’m Etienne, what do you do?” dance.

So much for “online contacts are only virtual and therefore superficial and worthless”…



During the first part of the event Eva described the results of her online recruiting study and gave specific advice for the next steps.

For me the main messages were:

  • Don’t panic, there’s still plenty of time to start using social media.
  • You should rather worry about monitoring your online presence and having a good career site.
  • And you should definitely start worrying about your mobile strategy.

You can download the survey in French and German.

My job was to follow up with hands-on examples of online recruiting activities. The main challenges were:

  • There’s not many social recruiting activities in Switzerland. And most of the examples are from the German part of Switzerland. Luckily nobody really seemed to care about the Röschti curtain.
  • When I talk about the classic recruitment campaigns like Hard Rock Cafe Florence, people usually have two reactions: 1) “wow, that’s great!” followed 3-5 seconds later by 2) “…but we could never do something like this”. This is why I decided to present many little things that can be done rather easily instead of intimidating projects.

I also used my model with the three levels of communication. And yes, it’s still in beta, so I don’t have a catchy title or a cool acronym for it (yet):

  1. grab (e.g. direct sourcing)
  2. share (“classic recruitment”, e.g. publication of job ads)
  3. engage (e.g. employment branding)

What probably surprised a few is that I presented examples for “grab” and “engage”, but skipped “share”.

My explanation was that social media wasn’t ideal for “classic recruitment” since it’s mostly based on broadcasting or one-way communication. Social media’s main strength however is the potential for conversations (aka “engagement”).



The Q&A session was also very interesting. Some of the topics were:

  • There’s too many social networks: How many and which ones should we use?
  • About Facebook pages: Is it really smart to give people a platform where they can criticize you more easily?
  • How can we be present online but still separate our personal and professional lives?
  • More and more IT professionals close their online accounts. How can we still reach them?

All in all, Eva and I agreed that the participants were very open-minded towards the use of social media, didn’t really know how to get started (yet) and most of all would love to get a turnkey solution with guaranteed success.

All in all, this was a great event. And I’m looking forward to my next presentation. I don’t know where or when it will take place, but I really hope it will be soon 😉


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