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Recruiters and Their Social Media Fails

By October 2, 20149 Comments

Like many of you recruiters out there, things are pretty busy for me right now.  Which is great.  Hiring intentions are up, stress levels rising accordingly, and there aren’t enough hours in the day.  Add to that the couple of events we hosted last week for our vRPO recruiters and the quarterly #RicePowWow and I think I have a fair enough excuse…  Excuse for what?

My recent social media fails.

Well actually, the first one I won’t apologise for.  Even though it’s going to label me a grumpy bastard (who, moi?)  It was my birthday earlier this week and I received the now obligatory cascade of Facebook timeline messages wishing me well and we-really-must-catch-up and so on and so forth… But I ignored them all.  I’m not grumpy about being a year older (as Ricky Gervais said in The Office, “we’re both in our thirties”…well that’s me), but I refuse to respond to messages from people who have merely been prompted by a social media network that they should do something.  Especially people who I haven’t heard a peep from since last posting the same message on my timeline 365 days ago.

I put this behaviour in the same camp as connecting with someone on LinkedIn that LinkedIn has suggested could be someone I know.  Sod off with your clever algorithms LinkedIn – go invest it in some technology to work out that typing in “Jane” to the search box could also be someone who is actually spelled “Jayne” but you didn’t know because you met them at a post-conference networking event and they had run out of business cards.  And don’t even get me started on Twitter telling that three of the people I follow have just started following so-and-so.  Who cares?

The other social media fail was actually with you Whiteboard readers, and more specifically those of you with the incomparable depths of courage to actually post comments on here.  Don’t ask me why but the comments that used to automatically evade the spam filter (which is really, really necessary when I failed to pay Akismet their annual bill on time recently and came back from fetching a coffee to 150 emails about Louis Vuitton bags and other weird stuff in my inbox) somehow got caught up in it too.  And I just noticed.  And approved them.  So thanks, those that commented on the past two weeks’ blog posts.  Nice to know I haven’t actually become a total pariah of the #NZRec social media community.

I am, however, heartened by the fact that I’m a long way from plumbing the base levels some other recruiters get to in their efforts to “harness the power of social media” to do their jobs.  People like this bottom-feeding Twitter user:

twitter jobs fail

Or the people that use the new “Create a Post” feature in their status update section on LinkedIn to post jobs.  You know the kinda recent development from LinkedIn where they allowed certain “thought leader” types to share their views on a new kind of blog platform within the site?  I got that little pencil dangled in front of me on my status bar but haven’t used it yet (I might do next week though just for an experiment).  It’s bad enough getting my feed crammed full of boring and inane “content” from these people without putting it in the hands of big-global-brand recruiters who naturally could think of nothing better to do with the access to this new platform than this:

OCG job LinkedIn

3 out of those 5 thumbs ups are from colleagues of this recruiter.

And this:

Hays job LinkedIn

All 4 of those thumbs ups are from colleagues of that recruiter.

I suppose if this was a proper blog that does the rounds these days I should now preach to you a list of “Top 5 Ways to Avoid Social Recruiting Fails”.  But it’s not that kind of blog and I can’t be arsed,  I’m too busy and you can work it out for yourselves if you really care about what you’re doing.  Which most recruiters really, genuinely, don’t.  So don’t ask me to tell you how to do it – I’m sitting here waiting to hit “approve” on your comments.  How dumb is that?

Jonathan Rice

MD at New Zealand rec-to-rec firm Rice Consulting and co-founder of on-demand recruiter offering Joyn. Recruitment agitator and frustrated idealist, father of two, husband of one, and lover of all things Arsenal and crafty beer.


  • Paul says:

    You need a holiday

  • Kylie says:

    Hi Jon, good Friday rant. Most weeks I don’t get enough time to read your blog and some weeks I just skim it. But I can always rely on you to say the things that most of us won’t. Well done for that! I’ve got lots of social media fails. Predominantly because I don’t have the time to put a lot of thought in to it. I figure, it is what it is – some people are good at it, some people want to be good at it, some people will never be good at it and … some people just don’t care. Happy Friday -I look forward to next weeks edition.

  • I love this blog!

    I’ve had recruiters ask me why their tweets and posts are not getting any response. It’s because they usually look like the examples you’ve just given!

    And then you get the ones who pat themselves on the back because they’ve gone ‘social’, but then don’t like it when people comment or ask questions. I could probably have a whole rant about that but then I think I’d rather do my GST return today (eww).

    You get Louis Vuitton ads? I get porn sites and such like. Maybe I’m writing the wrong blogs?

  • Malcolm says:

    You’ve just reminded me I must say Happy Birthday to my brother. The medium will be cardboard and it will involve international postal agencies. -A logistical nightmare could ensue. – Buying a card that actually isn’t crap (Unity bookshop); sourcing postage stamps; using a pen; having to lick an envelope (!) and then putting it in a letter box – when it may even be spitting outside. His birthday was in August. – Don’t be too grumpy about your Facebook greetings mate. At least leave that until you’re staring down the barrell of 40.
    Oh, and Happy Birthday.

  • Jayne Rice says:

    Happy Birthday for Monday, I didn’t write a message on your Facebook page but there again I didn’t send you a card either. great blog as always now I need to retrieve the Ricicles from a multi-coloured frame that spits out plastic balls……

  • PJ says:

    Good tirade…I’m off to tweet some jobs!

  • Troy says:

    I’m still dorty you didn’t like my Facebook birthday mock.

  • Chris South says:

    Hey Jon, cheer up its not all doom and gloom. We all make mistakes but there are pockets of light in the #nzrec industry. This Twitter list of NZ agency accounts shows some of the agencies that are doing good things, although it obviously also includes some that are truly terrible!