Sometimes last year, statistics and studies showed that an average of 92% of recruiters were using social media as the supreme means for head hunting new talents and new employees for companies. Earlier this year, research data was revealing the fact that 95 percent of recruiters are employing social media head hunting, and if you think there is no significance between 92% and 95%, this actually small difference translates in the real world by “virtually all HR experts are now recruiting with the help of social media“. But are they doing it right? This much debated issue we paid attention to before in the past is accelerating at Mach speeds and LinkedIn is still the most fertile patch of land where one can find skilled professionals to invite to an interview. An infographic published by Staff.com, clearly shows that social media head hunting saves the companies’ time with traditional hiring (as in placing the add, waiting for candidates to send resumes and letters of intent, organizing interview sessions, creating shortlists and selecting the best one for the job). Recruiting in the online environment takes the company to the potential employee and not the other way around, thus improving efficiency, time – costs and financial costs as well.
However, just as many specialists observed, social media head hunting is still vulnerable to a series of mistakes that might actually mess with the hiring process and its results. Let’s see a few of them and talk about how they should be avoided.
1. Placing social media adds for jobs is not enough
This is like placing adds in the newspaper or using traditional recruiting sites. Just because you used LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook to announce a job opening, it doesn’t mean your job is done. Social media is called like this because you need time to interact with people, post the add in certain interest groups, build a strategy and become an important part of a person’s professional network in order to have success. Some aren’t even looking for a job, so they will ignore your job opening just like they’re ignoring the next cat picture. Building relationships is essential for social media head hunting.
2. Judging a book by the cover doesn’t always work
We know this is a hot debate. Whatever people say in social media environments can be turned against them. A social media war can ruin somebody’s careers. A person’s unfortunate idea of posting some uncomfortable comment might annul any chance of getting a certain job in a certain company. But you, as a recruiter, have to go beyond all that. You can’t evaluate soft skills over Facebook, just as you can’t assess a person’s hard skills over Twitter. You have the power to choose, but you won’t escape the interview and the selection process and it is a mistake to think you will ever be able to. Judging too quickly a candidate means you’re doing a poor job. Facebook statuses aren’t resumes and funny blog posts aren’t everything you need to know about them. Look deeper and better, as you have alternative means to back up your hunting.
3. Passive users are an incredible asset to your social media head hunting
As we said, the ones not looking for jobs are the most interesting, as the ones looking will find you one way or the other. Update your database with these passive users and engage them in a social media relationship. Keep an eye on them not only on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter, but also on other niche professional networks they might be active in. Also, as a recruiter, you should know exactly what network should be used for exactly what purpose, as you can’t treat all networks the same, just as you can’t expect to find all the right candidates all gathered in only one place.
As a recruiter, you should know social media in order to use it wisely. Just because everybody has a Facebook profile and a “cleaner” LinkedIn page doesn’t mean you can jump in and pretend you’re head hunting. Social media has a life of its own, its trends, rules and challenges and in order to be useful to you, you need to participate to conferences and seminaries to understand it. Otherwise, you will be stuck to a huge database of potential people suitable with some specific jobs and don’t know what to do with it.