3 Benefits of Social Recruiting

Social Networking
Unless you’ve been severely out of the loop, if you’re an HR pro, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the imminent death of the job board. While we’ve come a long way from scouring the help wanted section of the local newspaper, we still have a long way to go before recruiting is done evolving. Technology, and the economy, have changed the face of how we hire. Social recruiting has endless benefits, as I’ve explained before, but there are a few very simple reasons that social recruiting is superior to any other current form of acquiring talent.

1. Weeds out unqualified, mismatched applicants.

Anyone who has ever placed a job on an internet job board knows that the response can often be overwhelming. Particularly since 2008, when the economy tanked, and previously steadily employed people got laid off for the first time in years. Volume in and of itself isn’t bad. In fact, if every applicant who responded to the ad was truly qualified and right for the position, volume would be seen as a positive thing.

The fact is, it’s common for recruiters to get 300 responses for 1 position. Out of those 300 maybe 25 of those applicants actually meet all of the required qualifications to successfully fill the given position. And 10 of those 25, are actually worth interviewing. The time it takes to dig through a pile of resumes, and find the few that are actually worth following up on, is detrimental. One of the best things about social recruiting is that it helps you find the right candidate, not just the candidates who are looking the hardest.

2. Helps you work within your social circle, and establishes degrees of separation.

Obviously, hiring exclusively within your social circle is as impractical as it is unethical. That said, any recruiter knows, that sometimes hiring a friend of an already established great employee, can be a much more safe choice than hiring a complete stranger. Not only is a friend or relative of an existing employee going to have more to lose if things go bad, but they have someone on the team to inspire them, help train them, and ultimately help out with onboarding and retention.

Social media has made it easier than ever to look for talent within your social circles. Even if it’s someone who doesn’t know anyone at your organization directly, the fact that they are in an extended circle is also a benefit because it’s often a good indicator that they’ll be a good fit for your culture. No recruiter can deny the fact that a good personal recommendation within an organization is helpful in swaying the odds in a candidates favor. Social recruiting offers the technology to do this faster and easier than ever.

3. Inexpensive, and highly effective.

Perhaps the most compelling argument for many business minded types, is the fact that social recruiting is extremely inexpensive, and incredibly effective. It’s not common that any tool, for any industry, can combine cost-effectiveness, and efficiency, but social recruiting is one of the rare tools that offers the best of both worlds. Posting a position to your companies networks in Facebook or Twitter, isn’t just inexpensive, it’s free. Not only is it free, but often works incredibly fast and efficiently, and has the added bonus of having existing employees help you weed through the less qualified applicants.

Even paid social recruiting options like posting a position to Linked:In, are still very inexpensive, especially when you consider how fast it helps you find high quality talent. The fact is, ROI on social recruiting is somewhat hard to prove, but if it can  help you in these areas, it’s going to pay off: better quality candidates, less time to fill the job, candidates have a better experience, better brand match, and a better flow of applicants.

While social recruiting isn’t a perfect science, it’s too good of a tool to ignore for HR pros. The improved quality of candidates, networking capabilities, and inexpensive yet effective nature of social recruiting, makes social recruiting an undeniable force, that is already in the process of permanently altering the way we hire. When Monster and Career Builder type sites started popping up, there were many who doubted that online job boards would become more common and useful than traditional means of job search such as newspapers, and help wanted signs. Obviously those people were wrong. Those who deny the usefulness of social recruiting, will likely find themselves proved wrong in the next few years, as it continues to take over the way we recruit.

Above Image By Koreshky at en.wikibooks [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

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