Ask James Caan – 7th June 2011 – Issue 50
This week, James advises a traditional recruiter on the importance of social networking and delivering added value to clients in a recession.
It’s all systems go for webrecruit at present with new partnerships and international expansion. Once again we’re distancing ourselves from the competition with news of exciting platform developments and exploring new ways to add further value to our clients.
As a result, this week’s letter from Emily discussing new ways to serve clients seems extremely fitting. She writes:
‘I am an independent recruiter, looking for ways to deliver further value to my clients. I already make use of online sources such as the job boards, but want to look into using Facebook and LinkedIn as they seem to be the way forward for the industry. What are your thoughts?’
Emily, to say social networking is having a considerable effect on recruitment is an understatement. As someone with 25 years’ experience in the field, it’s fascinating to see just how much the landscape is changing, and what is required of consultants to deliver tangible results to their clients.
We’re all aware of how much the digital arena is transforming business and the way we interact with one another. But with the war for talent only becoming fiercer, as a recruiter, it has never been so important to keep up with trends and find ways to add value for our clients.
To really draw value from social media, Emily, you can’t just dance around the edges. You need to fully immerse yourself.
There are two things you must address before creating a social media campaign. The first: what objectives are you looking to achieve; and the second, what resources can you allocate to ensure it is a success.
A successful recruitment social media campaign can only be achieved if you are realistic and able to put the effort in.
Don’t think it’s a case of posting your client’s latest vacancy and waiting for a response. It takes time to identify what is needed to break through the clutter and manage candidate communication. Like email and telephone, prospective applicants will use social media as an additional channel to communicate, and if you wish to draw value, you need to be on top of this.
I’d recommend setting aside some time to really get to grips with the basics of the networks you wish to use.
You have identified that Facebook and LinkedIn are big players in the future of recruitment. Each site caters to a different demographic: LinkedIn supports the business domain and networker, Facebook leans towards social interaction and Twitter relies on short, sharp bursts of information. Your challenge, therefore, is mastering how to engage with different audiences and ensure a steady flow of CVs.
Your next hurdle is measuring and evaluating performance, and reporting ROI. If you haven’t set clear, achievable goals at the start, it will be difficult to appreciate the value of your hard work.
Will you measure the number of applications or amount of conversations? Do you have a contingency plan in place should there be an unexpected event regarding your business or your client’s? There are a number of factors to consider, but preparation is the only way to ensure success.
Overall, Emily, I’m pleased to see that despite the harsh economic climate, you are still seeking ways to deliver additional value to your clients. This is the only way businesses can survive and thrive.
Remember the importance of building effective relationships with candidates, knowing your audience and thinking outside the box to gain strong ROI and you’ll be a social media guru in no time.
Lastly, we’re currently in the process of redesigning our own Facebook presence. Please take a look and tell us what you think – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Web-Recruit-LTD/23574214300. A few more ‘Likes’ wouldn’t go amiss!