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Why your social media recruiting really does need to be social

Written by Kimberley Startup | May 3, 2013 | 0 Comments

Social media recruitment, social recruitment, social recruiting, online recruitment, staff recruitment, recruit staffTechnology has done so much to change the staff recruitment landscape. The first surge in popularity of online job boards was met with huge positivity by many recruiters, who all of a sudden found themselves with a bank of readily available candidates.

The online staff recruitment process promised to be so much more immediate than the offline one – but as seasoned clients of Webrecruit ( know, that way complacency lies!

Certainly, the emergence of social media recruiting has brought with it much of the same misplaced hysteria, and a sense that it’s somehow a magical treasure trove of previously invisible candidates.

The truth is that sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are certainly good places for recruiting staff of particular types, also offering opportunities for engagement and the building of trust over time. Essentially, though, the people are the same, having simply shifted from traditional job postings to more ‘social’ places online.

One thing that has led to social media’s reputation in some circles as an online recruitment nirvana is the tendency for seemingly everyone to be present on such platforms. Those more active candidates with an interest in a new job may look outside social media on occasion, but both active and passive candidates are strongly represented on such sites.

With Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn being the hubs for the majority of social media traffic, they also receive the brunt of attention from recruiters, including far too many that are actually damaging rather than improving their chances.

So many companies simply attempt to recruit staff by pumping out great numbers of job adverts, seemingly in the belief that they already have an audience made up of vast numbers of the highest quality candidates, simply waiting for a job offer.

In reality, any company attempting to source candidates first requires a decent audience to source those candidates from. They require an audience – whether Twitter followers, Facebook fans or similar – of a certain size and type, and to grow such an audience, they first need to understand the precise social media site that they are using.

LinkedIn, for instance, is professional in the make-up of its user base, making it a great portal for researching and sourcing white collar candidates in such areas as digital, technology and marketing. A direct approach works best here.

Twitter, meanwhile, is more social, encompassing both B2B and B2C, and is best for brief business/social interactions – mostly dependent on having an appropriate following. Facebook may make some sense if your potential candidate pool is huge, but otherwise, you may be best served by more sector-specific sites.

Who wants to attend a social event, only to have someone immediately start pitching a product or service at them? It’s off-putting at best, which is why our recruitment experts at Webrecruit ( would always advise you to concentrate on building the right audience first, before mindfully communicating with that audience, so that they are more likely to be attracted to opportunities at your firm.

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