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How Social Media Helps Companies Obtain Better Talent
Part one of a three-part SHRM series on social media recruitment

By Brad Warga  1/4/2013
Brad Warga
 

Think for a moment about every interaction you had yesterday.

A few text messages, a slew of e-mails. The phone rang a few times. You met a colleague for a quick afternoon coffee. You watched a YouTube video. You clicked around Facebook and read a few blogs. You did a Google search on your phone because you had to know exactly what “capers” really were. There was that hour (or more) spent poring over data, correcting someone else’s oversight, scratching out the inklings of a great idea, and then … you did it all again today.

This isn’t just your life.

It’s the life of the candidates we’re all attempting to attract. We are pulled in multiple directions every day, with social and mobile channels adding diversions that we didn’t have to contend with just a few years ago. Technology gives us both a blessing and a curse by offering a plethora of data, yet no real way to synthesize it. Thus, we’re left with countless demands for our attention, short attention spans and piles of data to sort through to find the talent that will power today’s great companies tomorrow.

Challenges of Social Recruiting

There’s a better way to deal with these demands, attention spans and data. The recruiting industry must undergo a critical transformation to embrace social recruiting so that business goals aren’t competing with demands and distractions. When done right, talent acquisition goals suddenly become symbiotic with everything technology has to offer. Let’s explore the challenges to adopting social recruiting methods and the necessary shifts the industry must make to lessen the pain points and increase productivity.

People now spend more time using social applications than they do searching for information. E-mail is quickly being supplanted by social interactions. Mobile is coming up faster than our respective companies can keep up with. Essentially, a chasm is being created with companies and their recruiting goals on one side and job candidates and technology on the other. How can social recruiting be embraced if companies and employers are not social themselves? And how can recruiters grab the attention of top-tier job candidates if their own technology know-how isn’t up to snuff?

What the recruiting industry is stuck with is technology that inundates us with results (try searching for “Account Executive” in the San Francisco Bay Area) without any means for indexing or scoring those results.

Recruiters are now being asked to manually sort the various social media profiles of thousands of candidates, which is inefficient and lowers recruiter productivity. Many recruiters who do aggregate data from various social sources still don’t have a place to compile and store the information as they would in a customer relationship management (CRM) system, such as ones sold by Salesforce or Avature. In many cases, the information found on LinkedIn is very different from what’s found on Twitter, Quora and Google Plus; however, all of that data is important.

Recruiters need an automated way to collect all of the public data available on candidates (using spiders and bots), and a way to automatically score each component of a candidate’s background, including:

Education.

Work experience.

Geographic proximity.

Abilities and interests.

Each company can apply different weights to what factors matter most and, by using algorithms, can automatically sort those search results into a ranked, prioritized list of candidates. This streamlined prioritization can help improve recruiters’ productivity.

The Solutions

For example, ditch the notion of one-stop shopping. You can’t get a complete social profile from one place, so social aggregation is critical. Focus on meeting candidates where they are socially, like on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus, Quora, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.

In the next few articles we will talk about how to use spiders and social aggregators to create a Candidate Social Profile and index the results using CRM tactics that marketing teams have been applying to customers for years.

The next two parts of this series will present actionable strategies companies can use to get up to speed in social recruiting, including:

Becoming more mobile ready. Recruiter competencies and skills are necessary to engage candidates through mobile devices. Companies and recruiters need to be able to support this communication method on a range of devices.

Synchronizing recruiting systems. Having a CRM system between the corporate applicant tracking system and the various social channels used to engage with job applicants is necessary to building long-term prospect relationships vs. short-term requisition relationships.

Having seen the results firsthand of what social recruiting measures can do for candidate quality, recruiting timelines, and overall employer and job candidate satisfaction with the hiring process, I’m excited about the future of social recruiting and its impact on the recruitment industry. Once you help your company embrace social recruiting to its fullest extent, I hope you will be too.

Brad Warga, former vice president of corporate recruiting at Salesforce, is senior vice president of customer success at Gild. He can be reached at brad@gild.com.

Related Links:

It’s All About Quality, Not Quantity, Gild Source

Video: Social Recruiting: Is Your Company Using the Power That is Social Media?, SilkRoad Technology

Social Recruiting Video, TalentBin

Recruiting in the Social Media Era, Jobvite

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