This week Alan Whitford and Vic Okezie hosted their first Social Recruiting Conference in London. This was an exceptionally informative event, principally because at last companies were presenting metrics on the returns they were seeing from using social platforms for recruitment marketing.
The primary focus was on developing presence on public networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) because, as Sedef Buyukataman from Cisco said, “you fish where the fish are”. Companies are beginning to demonstrate some truly significant returns from investment in this space and public social media should obviously now be considered a key part of the recruitment marketing-mix.
The picture became slightly more patchy when the process shifted from broad attraction to engagement with potential candidates. When asked what happened at this stage the response was invariably “we take it offline”. So once the relationship needed to be personalised, confidential and high-touch it was conducted using email, phone and face-to-face meetings.
Colin Minto at G4S presented a different vision. He started with the point that companies should maintain relationships with potential candidates on their own property, in an environment managed by them and where they controlled the experience. Colin has also stated “The candidate experience you provide on your corporate career centre must live up to the experience you provide on your social channels”. To this end the G4S career site combines jobs and candidate data with an engaging community experience (Jon Ingham has written an excellent summary). This is genuinely innovative and exciting and the early results are encouraging.
Our vision is that social recruiting need not stop at the point where you have found someone on a public network. We believe that social technologies and concepts can be applied to the entire recruitment process, from marketing to hire, resulting in a holistic social recruiting process:
Social Attraction – Use public social media as part of the recruitment marketing-mix to reach and inform potential candidates
Social Engagement – Bring selected candidates into a network where you can develop and maintain relationships with them in a distinct, secure and engaging environment
Social Selection – Network your recruiters (and other employees, even trusted communities like alumni) so they can leverage personal networks to source, filter and refer talent
These are very exciting times and it is fantastic that the benefits of social recruiting are starting to be demonstrated. All we would add is that with the right tools you can continue to realise those benefits throughout the entire recruitment process and avoid the need to “take it offline”.