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Social Recruitment Is Losing Its Way

By March 30, 2017One Comment

Thanks to everyone who attended the RicePowWow last night, it was a great evening.  The talk from Jacqui Wall from Umbrella on building resilience in recruitment is certainly coming in handy with the somewhat fragile nature of me and my team this morning.

One comment made last night, out of the many, many comments, really grabbed my attention though. It came from someone who, over the past few years, has built an increasingly public profile around various social media channels and recruitment marketing. He told me that Twitter was a waste of time for recruitment. Doesn’t work, he said.

Nowadays Facebook is all you need, apparently.

The thing is, I think he has a point. Over the years I’ve gone from being an increasingly vociferous supporter of all forms of social recruitment (we even dabbled with Pinterest, for goodness sake) to nowadays being more circumspect about how and when I use various channels.

Maybe I’ve outgrown it, I’m not sure. But really I just think I’ve worked out which channels work for which kind of message. And if the message is recruitment, then I tend to agree that Twitter is rapidly losing relevance. LinkedIn is still the best channel (apart from the goddamn phone, obviously) and I wait expectantly for when Facebook finally sorts itself out and takes over in the “professional networking” world too.

Which way now

This notion was taken even further by Robert Half this week, who did a survey of 100 HR Managers and from the data gleaned from that sample pool issued a press release declaring that Recruiters Don’t Care About SocialI must assume the NZ Herald applied the sensationalist headline because surely even Robert Half’s PR department wouldn’t mistake HR Managers for being grubby old recruiters (perish the thought). But there does seem to be the kernel of a move away from social being held up as the holy grail to solve all recruiters’ desperate hunt for talent.

I’m not sure how much faith should be put into this article given that the survey produced the result of:

“Social media profiles came in at 0 per cent importance for both management and staff level positions.”

And followed that up with a statement attributed the the NZ GM (but probably penned by an Aussie PR person):

“Hiring managers do generally check LinkedIn, Facebook, or even Twitter profiles before extending an offer. Kiwi jobseekers should therefore polish their online profiles before commencing their job search,” she said.

But such inconsistencies barely detract from the truth. Some social media is good for searching, some is good for engaging, some is good for advertising, but none of it is really any good at doing what recruiters are really there for – persuading, compelling, negotiating and closing.

I recognise the irony of declaring something like this on a social media platform but hey, let me know your thoughts. Does social still work for you?

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.

One Comment

  • Jess says:

    Hey Jon,

    “Social media” is a loose term. I have changed the way i use linkedin, in one way its basically only to match up any inconsistencies on cv’s or checking out a candidate (via cv sent through) before meeting.
    Then of course to connect with my clients etc.

    I have found what is said on a CV often contradicts LinkedIn which has often meant ‘warning’.
    A LinkedIn profile is public (employers current or otherwise can see it) whereas a CV is sent to you directly. On occasion, candidates lie about dates and you see it on their linkedin profile (not on the cv).

    Social media to me is about ‘branding’ and possibly creating a ‘perception’ before meeting.
    For recruiters too, Its still important. Robert half are saying its not proven to get a result. But its a result you cannot measure – its about branding.

    E.g- Rice is everywhere there is no escape from you guys. Your on my twitter, linkedin and every friday at about 11am the whiteboard arrives!

    Its about being there and being consistent. – but hey, you guys know all about that!