Don’t use old recruiting ways in the Social Recruiting world. It just won’t work!


I met with a prospect recently whose company is embarking on a social recruiting strategy like most companies are doing at the moment, or definitely need to be considering. I asked them what they were doing and the response was they were looking at different social media platforms to establish a business profile so they can post their job ads to attract candidates to their vacant roles. Their internal recruiters would also be basically 'trolling' via software packages, online job boards, job forum discussion groups and social networking sites to identify potential online talent as this is where job candidates are going to - online headhunting in my opinion. This is a common answer and result I come across and see daily.

I then asked them how will they engage their candidates in a social recruiting context to support their social recruiting strategies. The answer I got was that candidates would still need to apply to their job ads that are posted on social media, whether they were directed to their company website or not, with their online resume or upload one from their computer along with a covering letter. I was disappointed to hear this.

Engaging candidates in a social recruiting context is entirely different. Here's how:

It's about the human element first and foremost, not the process.

  • It's about connecting with candidates in a way they are heard, listened to and viewed without being considered a number or a piece of paper.
  • It's about an employer having a social face when engaging with candidates and opening up the lines of recruitment communication.
  • It's about building a two way transparent relationship that is meaningful and respectful to both parties.

So why then do we continue to engage via a job ad and a resume in a process driven environment, when social recruiting offers so much more opportunity and flexibility beyond what we have all been accustomed to all these years?

If we continue to use our old recruiting ways in the social media world, I believe we are setting ourselves up for social recruiting failure. I find people are still disgruntled when they apply for roles as they simply don't hear back from the company or the recruiters regarding how their application has gone. And employer's are continually inundated with resumes (online or otherwise) by using the old call to action of 'apply here' from a bygone recruiting era, where employers just don't have the time to get back to people.

We have a great opportunity here staring us in the face, so let’s not let it go to waste. We owe it to social recruiting to ditch the process when engaging candidates and to concentrate on the human engagement element instead. The practices of old just won't work.

Sonia can be contacted via

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