Social recruiting: More than job postings and candidate searches?

“Social recruiting” has been gaining more attention in the recruitment industry these days. But is the social web just another place to post jobs and search for candidates? Well, kind of…but when competing for the attention of the “passive job seeker”, it’s so much more.

In January comScore said that “social media eclipsed portals in share of time spent on the Internet”. So it’s understandable that recruiters are thinking more about how social media can help them reach future employees.

I’ve gone to events where there have been a handful of excellent examples that will be the basic language of tomorrow’s recruiters. But there’s a noticeable amount of  recruiters just advertising vacancies on LinkedIn and Twitter, building job vacancy apps on Facebook and sourcing candidates from LinkedIn.

Is it enough (or even right) to think posting your vacancies and searching for candidates is “social recruiting”? Not really. It forgets that important word….”social”. There are people to meet, conversations to be had and things to learn and share on the web these days.

Many of the people you want to recruit are not looking for jobs (enter, “the passive job seeker”). For example, LinkedIn say 80% of their 200 million users are passive job seekers…but LinkedIn is regarded as the first social media stop when it comes to recruitment (!).

So, if lots of people aren’t looking for jobs then what are they looking for?

They’re looking to learn, show and share expertise and move jobs when the time is right. So build a community of people who understand your organisation, your expertise and your people…then when it does come to advertise vacancies on the social web you have a relevant group of people to tell. They will also be warmer to your business (e.g. have the sufficient level of brand awareness, recognition and preference) before they even think about committing their valuable time to an application.

In an age of budget restrictions and the need for high levels of employee engagement (see Seb’s rather interesting blog post “Are you engaged?”) then you want the the right people to apply. And that doesn’t just mean having the right qualifications and experience.