"Social media recruitment": Why has it failed to live up to it's high expectations?
I have interacted with many corporate recruitment experts. A strikingly common topic that came up while discussing with each of these experts was - "using social media in recruitment". Social media is the latest buzzword that has also captured the minds of experts in the recruitment industry. I am not going to discuss the various social media tools available. There are many many tools/sites out there that everyone knows about by now. No point discussing that over and over again. Let's discuss the results social media recruitment has produced.
The general consensus is that social media recruitment has not produced results consistently enough. Generally, LinkedIn and Twitter have only proven reliable, at times, for mid-senior level hires. Facebook has largely remained untapped. I am not sure about a global consensus, but this holds true for India. I am sure corporate recruiters in India will relate to it. Even though social media recruitment carries so many expectations, why has it not lived up to those expectations?
What makes or breaks social media recruitment, is whether the strategy in place is "social" in nature or not. Any strategy that is not "social" will not produce consistent results on the social media platform. This is where most organizations have struggled :-
They utilize social media, only for advertising their job ads. Organizations usually have a Twitter profile, Facebook fan page, LinkedIn group and a LinkedIn company profile. Their recruitment teams also have profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Open positions are posted as status updates on all these profiles and to relevant groups too. This strategy consumes a lot of time but produces only one off successes. It's not consistent. Gradually, realization that this strategy is not producing results proportionate to the amount of time invested in it, sets in. The initial enthusiasm begins to slowly fizzle out, as other sources produce better results compared to social media. Doesn't this sound familiar?
This strategy has not worked, because it is not "social" in nature. A different strategy needs to be adopted for social media. The good news is that we don't have to look around too much to find new one. There already is a weapon in our armory that is "social" in nature. I am hinting at "Employee Referrals". "Employee Referrals" are so much more "social" compared to advertising job ads on social networking sites, so, it should produce better and consistent results on the social media platform.
Every organization has; structured/unstructured or paid/unpaid; employee referral programs. All that needs to be done is to align it to social media. Social media will multiply the number of referrals and referrals will help produce consistent results from social media; a win-win situation! There are a number of paid and free tools available that can do wonders - encourage employees to refer, help them to spread the word within their network, keep them notified open positions, track "who referred which candidate" and lots more.
In short, this is my message - "To get consistent and better results from social media, rather than advertising job openings there, infuse social media into your employee referral programs".
I have only touched upon - "Infusing social media into referral programs". It is a vast topic in itself! So, I will not get into its details in this post. I will do that in my next blog post.
Strategic Business Consultant
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