Archive for September, 2012

We’re stopping going on about social recruiting now

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Huzzah. At long last. We hear you say. You tweet about it adinfinitum, day and night. Thank god for that. Let’s celebrate Gangnam Style.

The reason? Social media isn’t the new kid on the recruitment block any more. (Well for us anyways.) Because? It is recruitment. As much as a Press ad was 15 years ago. Digital advertising and Jobboard listings for the past 10 years. It’s now part of the recruiting landscape. It’s more than a way of finding ‘bums’ for seats. So much more. Social media is part of everyday life. It’s not going away.

Every project, campaign, brief, employer brand and even print that we work on nowadays has the element of ‘social’ embedded in it. Maybe that’s just the way we think. Our ‘andsome’ approach to solutions. Borne out of almost 4 years thinking, creating, community managing around this space. It’s the type of clients we work with (and keep attracting). But it’s there. Everything’s changed. And it’s an area we’ve worked hard to develop and build on. We’re proud of everything we’ve managed to achieve so far. (And we don’t just mean all those shiny awards.) But there are plenty more places to go with it yet. With more and more involvement in other areas outside of pure recruitment. So who knows where it will end up taking us?

But don’t worry, we’ll still be using the odd #socialrecruiting hashtag or two along the way. (Dammit, you say.) But only as we would #socialmarketing #recruitment #employerbranding #websites #print #digital and the other multitude of #hashtags we spread over Twitter everyday. What we won’t be doing is compartmentalising it in our thinking ever again.

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Social Recruiting: Reality not just Strategy

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That is the important factor of using social media for recruitment. Of course you need to plan a strategy, have aims in mind, measurements for ‘success’ in place but you also need to leave room for some reality. The fact is things change. All the time. New platforms are born. (Inevitably, some will die.) Changes in popular usage. Remember, when gamification was THE big thing for social recruiting. Nowadays, content seems to have taken over its mantle. The world of social continually evolves. As do the people using it. So does the way they use it. Meaning there’s one key takeaway, every strategy needs room to breathe because reality means just that. Real. Honest. Adaptability.

Too often, strategies are ‘corporate’ tight. Even down to the number of posts per day/week. What can/can’t be used. Ideal response times. You know the score. That’s fine, but not when it actually restricts what you can achieve. How you can (or should) engage. Reality means you need some flexibility. Some space for a possible bit of ‘beta testing’. Room to ‘experiment’. That’s the beauty of this ‘media’, after all. If it doesn’t work, you can drop it. Stop it. Change it. If it works well, you can build on it. But only if your strategic plan isn’t set in ‘Excel’ stone to begin with.

Just think how much change there has been in the past year. Across virtually all the platforms. Facebook Timelines. Pinterest interest. Linked In interface. And only yesterday, the second New Twitter in 12 months. Could you have planned for those in your Social Recruiting strategy for 2011/12?

Do you read before you Retweet?

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Sometimes it appears not many do. A quick click on a link ends up with a visit to an error page. Goes through to an expired job listing. Or worse still – you land on a page that isn’t worth a click thru because of the poor content or out-dated information. And that’s not just blog links.  Job listings are culprits too. Passed on too late or from bad sources, but no one actually cared to check them out first. Getting carried away with the catchy blog title or the ‘profile’ of the original Tweeter themselves.

Is it now all about being seen to share as opposed to spreading knowledge or opportunities that are interesting? Perhaps the cause celebré, amongst many a social media ‘guru’ – that of influence, is the cause of this frantic need to retweet? So much for the value of sharing. Don’t get us wrong, it is great to share. But at least ensure that it’s worth the effort.

PS. Don’t forget to RT this blog, obviously. 😉

Content. Content. Content.

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Yep, we all love good, funny, interesting stuff these days. That’s why much of the talk in social recruiting is about content nowadays. Content to Like. Content to share. Content to get you noticed. Invariably, this is being narrowed down to photos. (Plus the odd video or two, naturally.) And when we say photos, do we mean all those cutesy animal memes that are de rigueur at the moment in social marketing circles? Almost. But there is a question you must ask yourself. This content, any content, will it build my employer brand long-term or is it just a cheap method to gain some ‘notoriety’ in the short-term? That is the key.

There is an overload of content out there you can share. Blogs. Pics. Vids. News. It’s great to share other people’s content, it shows you’re aware, helpful and not ‘corporate’. Photos and videos are the most shared forms of it out there. But is it better to share others or your own? Sharing curated content is nowhere near as powerful as sharing created content. It’s almost the same as an autobot Twitter job feed, in our opinion. We say your ‘own’ wins hands down. Sure it may take some extra effort. Getting that blog written, planning a strategy for using Instagram or producing a video but it says more about you as an employer (and business) than another ubiquitous link. But you do only get out of it, what you put in. The right content builds a picture (no pun intended) of your business. Your people. And most importantly, your employer brand.

So think carefully about your approach. Would even a simple well written, interesting tweet say more about you as an employer than sharing yet another LOLcats video? Just remember, first impressions aren’t always lasting impressions.

Employer Branding 3.0?

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Gotcha. If you were expecting another one of those navel-gazing, future-predicting blog posts, you’d better quit reading now. This is a bemused blog. A wondering post. Even a ‘WTF is everyone going on about’ few hundred words. It’s all the fault of just two: ‘Employer Branding’.

Recently, the recruitment world appears awash with conferences, talks, summits and blogs about this ‘mythical’ subject. The rise of social media for recruiting (aka social recruiting) has sparked a huge interest in those two words. How it’s vital in this social world. That companies are finally tying it and engagement together. How it is front and centre in this digital age.

May we just hold it there for a second. But wasn’t it always this way. Companies have always sort to attract the right candidates. The best employees have always been best ambassadors for you as an employer. Your culture has been the guiding light. The best companies have always been honest. Open. And appealing. The truth about them revealed. Your ‘recruitment marketing’ had the power to deselect, as much as attract, candidates. Word of mouth was spread – good and bad – even before the birth of a Tweet or a Facebook Like. So what is the difference now?

Just because all the buzz is around social media content, mobile engagement et al, doesn’t make it that different to the posters, advertising, direct marketing, brochures and websites of old. Times have changed, media has altered, technology is more advanced but the basics are unaltered – if you were approaching it in the right way in the first place.

So, this ‘now’ Holy Grail of the Employer Brand that is being toted around is nothing new. Nothing fantastical. Nothing magical. It has always been key. (Or should have been.) It shouldn’t take a new vehicle of recruitment to make you think about it. The rise of social media might have emphasised its role but don’t be fooled into believing it’s never been important before. It always was, always will be.