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Recruiting is hard.
It’s even harder when you’re not using the latest technologies efficiently to find highly skilled candidates, recruiting expert Katrina Collier told attendees at Recruit DC, a conference for recruiters held recently at the George Washington University.
Collier, an Australian social recruiting specialist and trainer who operates her own company, The Searcholigist, from Great Britain, advised attendees to move past e-mails, Twitter responses, and LinkedIn requests to make meaningful and personal connections with the highly skilled candidates they’re trying to recruit.
The highly skilled—such as those in the technology industry—are generally inundated with job offers.
“Technology has enabled laziness,” she said, and “created noise.” E-mails are sent to people offering jobs they’re not interested in. “Personalization” is woefully lacking. Simply broadcasting job openings lacks engagement. Showing screenshot after screenshot of these practices, Collier shared the dos and don’ts of social media recruiting and sourcing for talent with nearly 400 conference attendees.
The gist: Instead of sending e-mails, “get to know people,” she said.
She pointed to the tale of a “hilarious” e-mail sent from Google recruiter Weston Fillman to Australian computer programmer Paul Fenwick. On May 10, 2016 Fenwick tweeted, “Holy smokes. A Google recruiter sent me an e-mail using the skills listed on my LinkedIn profile. It is gold.” The skills listed weren’t exactly focused solely on programming. They also included his love of Nyan Cat costumes and telling people they’re wrong.
Fillman told the online news publication Quartz: “I sent [the e-mail] to Paul in a creative effort to get in touch and play off his apparent sense of humor, which was found on his LinkedIn profile. It took him almost a year to respond, but I’m glad he did.”
Fenwick may have seen the interaction as laughable, but to Collier, it’s a step in the right direction.
“Automation,” Collier said, “is not engagement.” Rather than use automated tools to “spit your jobs out,” take the time to get to know people as Fillman did. While tools like connectifier and discover.ly can help recruiters find candidates’ e-mails and other social data, recruiters also need to be savvy and observe candidates’ publically available profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Friending them on Snapchat and other social sites doesn’t’ hurt either.
And when using Twitter, “if you’re going to thank someone, use their handle, but don’t tell them what to do as in ‘connect with me on LinkedIn.’ ” It’s disrespectful. It’s noise,” she said, and candidates don’t appreciate it. “If you don’t believe me, look up #recruiterfail on Twitter. It’s seriously entertaining.”
Collier offered the following tips to make meaningful connections:
“Phone people,” she said. Why? “Because nobody does. Being old school wins.”
Aliah D. Wright is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
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