> Social Recruiting

The recent advent of social media has undoubtedly provided staffing agencies a huge opportunity. Job seekers are more accessible than ever, with LinkedIn, Facebook, Google Plus, and Twitter literally putting millions of people at these companies’ fingertips.

As Andrew Hally points in a recent blog post on The Staffing Stream, though, many staffing agencies fail to employ these social tools effectively. The statistics are actually pretty alarming. Here is a brief excerpt from his post:

In 2012, only 12 percent of recruiters were connected to all three of the networks, with 14 percent of recruiters using a combination of LinkedIn and Twitter for recruiting versus eight percent using LinkedIn and Facebook. Fifty percent of North American recruiters using Twitter for recruiting have fewer than 50 followers, and 26 percent of North American recruiters using Facebook have fewer than 200 Facebook friends.

Oddly enough, Hally makes no mention of Google Plus, which recently surpassed Twitter in active user count. With only 12% of recruiters using LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, there is no telling how far that number would tumble if you added Google Plus into the equation.

So, the first problem is abundantly clear: staffing agencies and recruiters simply aren’t utilizing social media to its fullest extent – but why?

One reason could be the distinct disconnect between the overwhelming number of people that are active on social media websites and the number of people that recruiters are actually reaching. Fifty percent (yes, 50%) of North American recruiters have fewer than 50 followers. Obviously, there are a number of factors at play here, so we have to be careful to not oversimplify the problem.

Part of the explanation may lie in the fact that websites like Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com, etc. are able to provide a smorgasbord of job opportunities from a handful of recruiters. These websites also allow the job seeker to target specific opportunities that match up with their ambitions, which is clearly a better alternative to being spammed on Twitter/Facebook by recruiters who post a new job listing every ten minutes (the majority of which are irrelevant to the job seeker). However, job boards really only reach active job seekers – there is an entire network of people who may not be actively searching for a job, but could be convinced to take a better opportunity.

The bottom line is that staffing agencies should try to engage job seekers on sites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+ which will in turn drive traffic to their website/job listings. Instead of posting a stream of job listings on Twitter, they should attempt to provide something somewhat proprietary: a blog, interesting/relevant links, etc. Social recruiting is about creating an audience – one in which there are both active and passive candidates.

 

This is not to say that recruiters shouldn’t toss up the occasional job opportunity, especially if it is one that will attract a larger audience than others. Still, recruiters should take a hard look at their social media strategy. It is certainly a powerful tool, but only if used the right way.

– Cobey Culton, Digital Marketing Intern