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Social Recruiting (Part 2)

05.24.11   |   Sales Recruiting   |   Christopher Simone, Vice President at Treeline Incorporated

Ten clues that your hiring process is in need of a 21st century "social" tune-up

In part 1 of this series we identified and discussed the impact of major trends and 21st behaviors (related to social media) on the hiring process. Part 2 will take a more specific look at the ten clues....

1) Are you heavily relying on job posts on monstrous job boards or paid advertising?

Many companies today still garner most of their interested (not necessarily qualified) candidates by advertising (i.e. paid job posts, online ads, and online sponsorships). This is mostly a passive waiting game in which companies toggle between relevance and speed as contemplated below. Another limiting factor with this approach is that fewer and fewer (qualified) candidates are mining job boards looking for new opportunities; and candidates are becoming less interested in paying for the privilege to submit a resume to an often obscured employer and nebulous process. In true social form, candidates will increasingly engage within social recruiting communities of Hiring Managers, other Job Seekers, and Knowledge sources for which engagement is the currency.

2) Are you forced to choose between relevance (a time consuming and imperfect process to refine the output of the job board search) or speed (a process that takes less time but yields an even greater number of unqualified resumes)?

At the core of every monstrous job board is an advertising revenue platform. Scale (i.e. more job posts and resumes) equals more pages on which to publish advertisements; this first and foremost serves the intended advertising revenue mission. Less served are the primary stakeholders trying to find new jobs or candidates. Each job board has their own search structure and filters that allow Hiring Managers to refine their searches. Our community has found that these disparate filters and processes require significant time to manage, and yield results which are still too broad to truly affect hiring behavior. Other Hiring Mangers bypass these filtering tools and redirect time saved interacting with the search engines to combing through resumes to the extent time allows. The challenge for these Hiring Managers is that they receive an even higher number of unqualified candidates which makes it harder to find the right candidates who could propel progress.

3) Is your process passive - meaning, are you mostly waiting for candidates to respond to your postings and direct sourcing attempts?

Hiring Managers are looking for new ways, beyond direct outbound sourcing, to engage candidates. Waiting and hoping for candidates to respond to job posts is becoming less fruitful especially as the labor market tightens. Hiring Managers are smart to follow the success of their Sales 2.0 infrastructures and strategies that drive more qualified traffic to and through their social channels and career page.

4) Is your process and communication with the marketplace actively collaborative and interactive?

"Recruiting 2.0" therefore requires more active collaboration and communication with the intended audience. Social media provides the platforms for this active engagement. This communication is less structured, more dynamic and natural, occurs on an ad-hoc basis, and is transparent. This is a lot different than the obscured and linear processes that still dominate much of the recruiting domain.

5) Is your process dictating when and how you are communicating with potential candidates?

Communication should not only occur as a result of clicking "Apply Here". Communication can occur anytime a prospective candidate elects to participate within a shared social community such as your Facebook page or company-specific social recruiting site. Hiring Managers are also now able to communicate with many candidates instantaneously through their social channels. For example, a candidate might post and receive a Blog response; each response could be open for other visitors or members to read along with ratings or comments and other content in various forms.

6) Does your candidate interaction begin with an outdated resume format or nebulous online profile?

Social is driving progress in many forms. Hiring Managers are no longer limited to the traditional resume format or to convoluted and general online profiles. Candidate information can be compiled from multiple channels and sources and organized in useful views that drive precision. Social resumes leverage information available on the WWW including, but not limited to, content created by the candidate. Ideal social resumes are function-specific. For example, a Sales social resume will present deterministic-criteria that empower Hiring Managers to not only find good sales people, but the right sales people for their specific product, service, and corporate culture. Knowing the sales person had an "Inside Sales" title or eight total years of experience is not enough. Other more specific sales traits and characteristics are more predictive of success. Productive recruiting processes traditionally find ways to vet this information later in the process through series of interviews. Companies are welcome to use our free tool that will email a report to them with the key characteristics they need to focus on.

7) Are you screening and/or interviewing large numbers of candidates who are not aligned with the open role and/or corporate culture?

As noted above, social 21st century recruiting processes afford Hiring Managers a much stronger starting point therefore decreasing time wasted on unqualified prospects and also shortening the hiring cycle for qualified candidates. In addition to decreasing process cost, this decreases the likelihood of losing candidates to companies with more nimble hiring processes.

8) Are you able to appropriately assess potential fit prior to the first round of in-person interviews and therefore decrease the number of the candidates required during the in-person interview stage?

Fit is not just measured in facts and figures. Fit involves personality. Even personality indexes (which typically occur later in the process due to cost and complexity) sometimes fail to provide accurate, actionable insight to the Hiring Manager. To a large degree this comes down to an instinct or "gut feel" about a candidate. Our little voices talk to us during interviewing too... Social media brings candidate personality and tone, sometimes even character, into the process in new ways.

9) Is your process connecting you with your candidates and facilitating collaboration, information sharing and transparency which builds trust?

Linear and nebulous job board application processes actually engender distrust. Details about the hiring company and even the role are often obscured from the candidate. Next steps are undefined and uncertain and often never materialize largely to the broader weaknesses of the process outlined above. Social recruiting involves new doors and windows into both the company and candidate. We live in a hyper-transparent and hyper-social world. Beyond direct social engagement between companies and candidates, social channels such as GlassDoor.com provide insight which once upon a time was not easily obtained prior to actually starting at a new company. Winning Hiring Managers in the 21st century will embrace social media not as a gridiron of defense but rather as the field of offense.

10) Have you consistently integrated at least three forms of social media/networking into your hiring process?

For example, are you leveraging Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn? Are you using RSS Feeds, Podcasts, video, or social recruiting hubs or sites? Here are just a few relatively narrow thoughts about these powerful tools and resources?

Facebook and Twitter provide forums and communities that provide companies and candidates a platform to distribute, receive, and share information. "Follow us on Facebook" is not just a marketing tactic... According to Facebook, there are 500 million active users on Facebook; 50% of active users log on to Facebook in any given day; the average user has 130 friends; every month more than 250 million people engage Facebook on external websites; an average of 10,000 new websites integrate with Facebook every day. [source www.facebook.com/press/info]

LinkedIn provides an instantaneous source of candidate reviews provided by colleagues and customers. LinkedIn also provides background resume information and the opportunity to occupy the same space and participate within groups of common interest e.g. "Software Sales Experts". According to LinkedIn, there are now 101 million LinkedIn users with 47.9% of those in North America. [source: "LinkedIn Demographics January 2011"].

Blogs provide a socially friendly communication forum where Hiring Managers and candidates can interact and share comments and feedback on any number of topics and themes of interest.

Corporate Career Pages and/or YouTube can serve videos and podcasts about the company; this content could be a CEO message or a message from the newest hire. Companies can lower the curtain and allow candidates to peer into the organization to see all it has to offer. Other examples include company outings, award ceremonies, and examples of where and how the company is exercising corporate citizenship and responsibility in the community.

Social Recruiting hubs can provide interesting and engaging landing pages that fuse these tools and resources together.

Question - In what ways is your recruiting process becoming more social in 2011?

Treeline, Inc. (www.treeline-inc.com) is recognized as an award-winning recruiting firm. Treeline is also the developer of DADO -- a first of its kind Social Recruiting platform and community that fuses 21st century technologies (including social media) and behaviors with recruiting best practices. In this new paradigm, recruiters add knowledge and support thereby fostering and reinforcing the social recruiting service for the 21st century, which is knowledge-powered, technology-enabled, collaborative, and social.

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