Recruiting in the age of Social Media

First I’m going to admit that I’ve been doing recruiting since the dark ages, seriously…. BEFORE email, fax, social media, Goggle and instant information.   Back in the day, I could either talk the client into interviewing based on my verbal presentation OR send the resume via snail mail and wait a few days.  Eventually Fed-Ex emerged and other next day delivery options, but it wasn’t until the fax machine became reasonably cost effective could we instantaneously send a resume to a hiring manager….and get immediate response.

I look back and realized that I got many more interviews because I had to use my persuasive skills or I would be constantly waiting for the mail to arrive.   Hiring managers worked with me on trust and a reputation for knowing what they want.   Access to resumes was not as easy, or plentiful given there was no Monster or CareerBuilder or LinkedIn or any number of resume databases to be searched.

At an NPAWorldwide meeting  which was hosted by Monster, the discussion revolved around how to plan the working day, how to attract the Most Placeable Candidate, land new client employers, and build relationships in an age where people rarely answered their phone, returned voice mails but preferred either email or texts.

Back to basics is what I heard.  Pick up the phone anyway, don’t rely on texts and email solely.   Find out what motivates the candidate to want to make a change OR for the hiring manager, not only the technical expertise but what personality or culture best fits the group.

As much as this Information Age has given us instant access to a plethora of data – contacts, resumes, employer details – it can be overwhelming.   Data or facts are nothing without knowledge of what drives a decision.  What we do with those details is what is important – and getting back to the basics will help us achieve our goals.

Just last week, a recruiter friend of mine lamented about the connections list of a candidate she had just recruited…and “friended” on LinkedIn.  She was amazed at how many other recruiters were on the list.  Her comment was, that candidates must get bombarded with email, InMails and phone calls.  What can she do to differentiate herself?

In the last month I have been demo’ing new ATS and CRM companies – many talked about downloading huge numbers of profiles and resumes from job board sites, using AI to find “matches” and then sending targeted emails – without ever looking at the actual resume or profile.   I get that there might be keyword matches, but if you don’t even look at the resume or your notes, how do you KNOW the candidate is a fit for your search?  If a particular potential candidate gets impersonal email after email from you, will they bother to respond? Or will they consider it spam?  What about all the potential candidates who are NOT using social media or so rarely that they are not on the radar?

Yesterday I read an article which flat out questioned – Does Social Media work for Recruiting?  The gist was that with the high volume of postings and tweets, a very small percentage actually get more than cursory attention.   Is paying for clicks worth the cost if nothing is actually read or retained?

Then again, get any group of recruiters together and the subject turns to what can you do to get a potential candidate’s attention?  Phone call, Voice Mails, Emails and Texts go unanswered.

I don’t have all the answers…. I listen to the experts and try to keep my LinkedIn and Facebook company pages as well as my own profile and postings updated and interesting.  AND since it takes so much time, am finding outsourcing that appealing.

When candidates are ready to make a change, they will start looking for and at postings as well as, respond to my inquiries.  I may even get a phone call from someone who turned down previous opportunities.   In the end, I still believe that it’s not about how many emails, tweets or texts I send, it’s how can I create a bond….and relationship…a true connection…a level of trust.

And the same holds true for my Client Employers – they too get bombarded from all the Resume Platforms, Social Media and other Recruiters.  All I can do is differentiate myself – prove that I can provide more insight, better feedback, more service beyond just the resume to help smooth the interview process.




Laura Schmieder

Laura Schmieder

President of Premier Placement, Inc.

(610) 395-9123


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