Social Recruiting. There’s an Ostrich in the room.

Recently we tweeted about the number of applications one of our social recruiting campaigns, on Facebook and Twitter, had achieved in just one week – at a time when there is much discussion, in the UK recruiting industry, on the viability of social recruiting as recruitment method. In just 140 characters it was impossible to talk about the whole experience, so we thought we’d write a few hundred more to expand on it.

The campaign, in question, is still ongoing, but the 350+ applications so far exceeded what the client was expecting in response. This fact was disputed as to the quality of them. As with any campaign like this, we are constantly monitoring the response, the client is also doing the same by assessing them as they are received – and the quality is exactly what they were looking for. That is the beauty of recruiting in this way, it is ‘real time’ recruitment, if handled properly.

That way the campaign can be adjusted if responses are ‘off target’, a final push can be given and even better, as we have done previously, you’re able to be more selective by sending out targeted messages to ‘deselect’ the wrong type of applicants. Now try doing that with a Job board listing. Which was another ‘suggestion’ that supposedly would have achieved the same numbers.

Now the ‘numbers game’ may be true, but the advantages of social recruiting (for us) run far deeper than that. (In fact, even before this social media era – we’ve always believed in quality not quantity.) The key word in social recruiting is – social. Especially with the use of Twitter, as there are conversations to be had.

You see, it’s not about Bot-like Tweeting the links to your latest vacancies. Or the ReTweeting of them by your followers. It’s about generating interest. A buzz. Seeing people pass your vacancy on to their friends individually – the old word of mouth. And then having conversations with them about the opportunities. There are the actual one-to-ones with potential applicants. Answering any queries in minutes. Building up a rapport with potential candidates. All of which also enhances the employer brand of your organisation, so much more than 200 words sat on a website page.

And let’s not forget some other bonuses. Where roles are ‘advertised’ on Blogs. Listed on extremely niche, but highly appropriate, websites – for free. And all because of your presence in the social media space – your messages on Twitter and your information and updates on Facebook.

Social recruiting to us, is still another tool for recruitment – to sit alongside all the tried (or are some of them just tired?) and tested methodologies. However we can see that if it is used correctly, and we’re still learning, it is a powerful one. But if you never try to see what it is really about, how will you ever know?

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