Q&A: Social Recruiting Pro on Why the Talent Hunt is Going (and Staying) Digital

July 22, 2014 at 6:00 AM by Kathleen de Lara

talent poolIf recruiters aren’t taking a dip in online talent pools, they’re merely treading water in an oversaturated marsh of underqualified candidates.  
The shift of the hiring landscape in the last decade represents a deliberate and necessary departure from the days of the Rolodex, the Post and Pray, and the cold call. (Though some may argue that the last one works like a charm. The 8th Wonder of the Recruiting World, so they call it.) 

These days, social recruiting is more than just the flavor of the week — it’s the way candidates in any stage of the scouting and hiring process are finding jobs and being sourced by other recruiters.

We spoke with Winning Impression’s Katrina Collier on how social media continues to impact and influence the state of sourcing, recruiting, and engaging with talent. Collier will lead our discussions four-part social recruiting webinar series, starting on July 29. Check it out here for more details on "How to Recruit Candidates Using Social Media"!

Entelo: What's the most underrated social network to recruit on?  

Katrina: Pretty well anything other than LinkedIn is under utilized and if I had to choose one, with the most potential, I’d pick Google+. Google+ is far more than a social network – it’s a platform that sits over most of Google’s services. There are 540 million active users across Google’s products and 300 million active within the stream. Any company struggling to recruit programmers should be using Google+. And then there are all the benefits for recruitment marketing like Google local, SEO and Authorship. 

E: Name top five misunderstandings of social recruiting.

  1. That social recruiting differs dramatically from other forms of recruiting. Social media is just another way to contact potential job applicants. The art comes in doing it the right way.
  2. That spitting your jobs from your ATS or database onto social channels is social recruiting.
  3. That putting your employer brand on social channels, by creating great profiles, is enough.
  4. That you need to be on every social media site. You don’t, you need to be on the right ones for your job requirements.
  5. That it’s too time consuming. It does take time to get started but the right training will ensure you invest your time wisely and maximize your return

E: What about social recruiting makes you most excited for the future of the industry? 

There is a monumental shift in how we are recruiting and job seeker expectations. I love seeing companies come out from behind the polished PR bull and use social channels to show genuine insight into their people and projects. The savvy companies are keeping it real and using their current people to attract more great people, they’re increasing their referrals and improving quality of hire, which increases profitability. 

Job seekers now expect to be able to see into a company too or read reviews, hence the rise of sites like Glassdoor. They’re checking out companies and recruiters online before they even think of applying – this means a potential loss of applicants but it also means that job seekers can deselect themselves, which can be beneficial. As an unexpected bonus, companies are realizing their staff are online, and poachable, so they’re having to look after them better. 

E: What's your social recruiting prediction/trend for 2015?

LinkedIn is already starting to lose its edge, certainly here in the UK. People are stripping back their profiles and becoming unresponsive because they feel bombarded by irrelevant messages from recruiters and sales people. I see recruiters widening their net and embracing the right social sites for their requirements, not the sites promoted by the noisiest marketers. 

E: What's your most memorable recruiting story from when you were first starting your career?

Working on a Saturday, I had the most wonderful call with an exceptional IT Project Manager who had been struggling to get back into work after a career break. Because I worked closely with my client, as sole supplier and as a true partner allowed to by walk their floors & meet their teams, I had gained the Programme Manager’s trust so he interviewed the applicant. He was offered the job, accepted, and has since gone on to achieve many great things in his career. He is also now my friend, which is the silver lining.

E: Why isn't social recruiting just a trend? 

Social recruiting is proven. I personally have been recruiting on social media for over eight years and there are countless companies, from SME to global corporates, who have added social media to their current methods with great success. For it to be just a trend, social media itself would need to disappear and I don’t see that happening any time soon. 

E: What are some of the most overused words and phrases in candidate outreach? 

Actually, it’s a lack of words. A lack of personalisation. A lack of manners. Bulk message irrelevancy. Just because they can access people easily online doesn’t mean that recruiters should treat people any differently to how they would treat them in person. I’d also watch out for using phrases that aren’t used in other countries, for example the British don’t like "reach out” and “Happy Holidays".

E: Why should talent pros join us for our social recruiting webinar series?

Because of the change in job seeker behaviour, social media, as a channel for recruitment, can no longer be ignored. On the webinars I will show you how to get the balance right between social sourcing (finding your applicants directly), employer branding (sharing your story on social channels) and job distribution. You will discover how easily you can add these 4 social media sites to your current methods, and all the things you can do for free or low-cost to attract and recruit socially.

We're kicking off our social recruiting webinar series with "How to Recruit Candidates Using Facebook" next Tuesday, July 29 at 10 am PT/1 pm ET. Save your seat now and join us!
social recruiting

Katrina Collier is an independent consultant on social recruiting. Through her company,Winning Impression, she advises companies how best to add social media to their current hiring process, delivering proven methods for effective recruitment on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and a range of small and niche sites. Companies learn to find the right people on the right sites whilst improving quality of hire and reducing time and cost to recruit. Katrina is a regular HR and Recruitment conference and event speaker and she also writes for Work4, Computer Weekly, Technology in Recruitment Alliance, and Social-Hire.