Every day, somewhere out there in our universe, many Recruiters are losing their way in regards to using social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for recruiting purposes. I see the complaints (often ironically aired via Twitter) that <insert favorite social network name> simply doesn't work for recruiting and is only a waste of time. These rants are typically followed by statements extolling the virtues of the telephone – and how "real" Recruiters know how to magically work this ancient device. And I sigh.
And I continue to think that they're not willing to evolve and learn how to use these tools successfully.
Recently, I came across two great examples that explain how I believe Recruiters should approach social networks for recruiting purposes. The first is from Amber Naslund, who writes the consistently informative Altitude Branding blog. In her post – How I Made $100k With Twitter – Amber shares 8 steps she took to make money using Twitter to build relationships and market her services. Be sure to check out the full post here.
In the excerpt below, I've taken the liberty of inserting recruiting-related terms to illustrate how I think the method Amber outlined is exactly the way to approach using Twitter (and other social networks) for recruiting.
The magic in making money <recruiting> with social media isn’t that the site or
social network becomes a revenue center <candidate database> itself. I didn’t sell stuff <"recruit"> on
Twitter. I gave people access to me and my expertise, and paid
attention to when the time might be right to talk business <about opportunities at my company>.
That’s the trick here, folks. Social media is rarely the cash
register <candidate Fairy>. It’s communication tools that help form the foundation for
healthy business relationships that might eventually lead to sales
<successful placements> elsewhere. Whether you’re B2B or B2C.
Twitter was just the handshake that got the conversation started. It
required an investment of time and effort for me to spend time there
and converse without the intent to sell something <recruit anyone>, and lay
the groundwork for trust and relationships. Much like having lunch or
going to networking events. I spent time getting to know the people
that might eventually be the decision maker for a project that I could
be hired for <the potential clients or perfect candidates for positions I'm recruiting for>. And when they needed something like what I did, they
often thought of me.
It’s that simple, and yet that complex.
Nailed it. To me, that's one of the simplest and best explanations that I've seen regarding how relationships are developed, business connections are made and successful recruiting is done via social media.
Second, Andy Headworth of one of my favorite recruiting blogs – Sirona Says – interviewed Super Sourcer/Recruiting Trainer/Social Media Whiz Kid Jim Stroud at the recent TruLondon Unconference asking – "Where will social media recruitment be in 2 years?" Jim didn't disappoint, giving an interesting and insightful answer. (Email subscribers will need to click through to the blog to view the video)
Hint: It's not about being able to find more people folks.
I think we've got to get more people thinking differently about how to use social networks for recruiting purposes. It's more about relationships and branding and less about having a large network or being able to find names.
What do you think? Do you think investing the time to build relationships and to establish a "personal brand" on social networks is required to successfully recruit? Or is the "old way" still the best way?