It seems that everywhere you look these days, people are talking about “social recruiting” & “Social Media Hiring Skills”. Well, they are everywhere I look. It’s almost as if “social media” is some new magical pearl hub of otherwise unattainable candidates. The ‘Divine Trinity’ of social media – LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook – accounts for the vast majority of social media traffic. All of them need to be used differently when using them as recruitment tools.

As social media sites have gathered a more professional following, they’ve added services. For instance, Facebook now offers business profile pages and there are all sorts of online recruitment tools that allow recruiters to gather automated referrals for candidates from employees within their social networks. 

Text messaging has been shown in a number of studies to have a much swifter communication rate than email when it comes to jobs postings. A study by IDC Research shows that 79% of people aged 18-44 have their smartphones with them 22 hours a day. Therefore, 98% of the messages that are received are opened, and 90% are read within three minutes.

I love social media and how it has changed the game in modern recruitment. I love how accessible it makes candidates to recruiters and vice-versa, but beware, get social media wrong and you run the risk doing a huge amount of damage to your brand.

The problem for any recruiter, especially one in-house, is that you’re frequently busy recruiting for high volume vacancies with very little resources. Time is precious and your team is already pushed to the limit and with Project managers breathing down your neck to get vacancies filled as quickly as possible, social media becomes very much an afterthought.

But can you assign time for it every day and really do it justice? Whether you’re a recruiter or a job-seeker, you’ll be aware of the positive potential of social media to help you find jobs or candidates. But as with most shiny new fads, we’ve still got a lot to learn. And while most of us realize it’s not advisable to post ‘that’ picture of the tequila tasting party alongside our LinkedIn profile, there are plenty of pitfalls to avoid in the world of social recruiting.

  1. There are many reasons to look for a new job, not least because you’re not getting on well with your line manager. But think twice before letting your online connections know how you feel about it.
  2. Online or offline, lying about your education and/or experience will always come back to bite you. Because your social media profile perhaps doesn’t feel as ‘real’ as a bonafide CV, it can be tempting to add nuggets of experience or even education. What will often catch you out is a lack of consistency – if a reference or job title on your LinkedIn profile is represented differently on your actual CV, recruiters will smell a rat.
  3.  The cautious approach to using social media is to ramp up privacy levels, restricting Facebook to friends only and protecting tweets. But, Don’ t shut potential connections out. As a recruiter or a job-seeker, shutting yourself off in this way could cost you a placement. Similarly, on LinkedIn, leaving off contact details will discourage connections from contacting you.
  4.  What makes social media different from more traditional approaches to recruitment is the fact you can strike up a conversation. But sometimes the age-old advice about ‘if don’t have anything nice to say, then say nothing at all’ is worth keeping in mind. If a jobseeker asks a question about the recruitment process or is concerned about something, respond to it in an objective way. If they ask ‘why wasn’t I invited to interview?’ steer the conversation onto email or direct message. Getting personal or getting touchy about criticism on a public forum like Twitter will only damage your reputation.
  5. In Every aspect of business, quality matters more than quantity. Notching up 30,000 followers on Twitter or a record number of connections on LinkedIn might do your ego a world of good, but means little to a hiring manager. So don’t bulk-mail your LinkedIn connections asking for recommendations – aim for a realistic number, such as five, from people you worked with closely who will be able to make constructive comments about your experience. And while LinkedIn will allow you to join up to 50 groups, it would be possible to participate fully in every single one of those, so limit activity to groups where you can make a valuable contribution.

As we all know from our social usage, an online profile is not always accurate. It makes sense, then, to use social media recruitment in tandem with traditional methods and ethical processes. That’s good news for recruitment consultants, who might otherwise fear becoming obsolete.

Certainly, social media has improved the recruitment process by increasing the talent pool from which you engage and recruit as well as helping to spread the word on vacancies. And it has got to be much less stressful than cold-calling

Author –

Mohammad Shadab, Human Resource, Ericsson
Bio – 8 years of experience in Talent Acquisition and experience in Executive Search. Managed the recruitment & talent across APAC, US, Canada & Latin America, West Europe region for critical requirements. Involved in hiring for the skills for tomorrow and niche technologies e.g. 5G, Internet of Things, Mobile broadband, Communication services, Managed services, Fixed broadband, LTE, 3G, 4G, OSS, BSS, Cloud, Network, Telecom, ICT, IT, IP, Technology For Good, Sustainability, IoT, Intelligent Transport Systems, AI, HR and R&D.

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