I did a blog post back almost 3 years ago back in February 2009 titled “Five Trends We May See Happening in Recruitment”. One of the points I made was that as Recruiters our role was becoming more involved in areas like branding and marketing as we become more proactive in our candidate search. Fast forward three years and I think that my forecast has more than come true. These days every company has a Facebook Page, G+ Page, Twitter Account and any other latest and greatest Social Media page that is out there. As Recruiters we have to be where the people are and we have to tell people our message.
One thing that has been on my mind though lately is when did recruitment become not about recruitment?
In an attempt to better connect and engage with communities of people (candidates) I think some companies are becoming so focussed on ‘friending’ or ‘liking’ people online that they have forgotten that as Recruiters we have hard targets like number of placements, interview to placement ratio, time to fill, etc… that we are responsible for. I think there is an increasing disconnect between the soft targets (branding) and the hard targets (numbers) that is occurring.
As companies strive to better engage with their online connections I think what is happening is that we are getting taken away to some degree from our recruitment objectives. I think some aspects of Social Media is making Recruiters soft. It is great to know what someone’s favourite movie is or what they had for lunch – but how does that contribute to their potential placement. It is important for a person to feel connected to a company before they join a company and are being courted but that has always been the job of Recruiters, we just used to do this on the phone.
I have been involved in different branding initiatives some of them have been successful, some of them have failed. The one thing that I think is important is not to hide your message behind the content or run initiatives mainly because it seems like a good idea to increase your online presence. Recruiters if you are looking to hire the best people be clear about that and say so, don’t run a contest in the name of recruitment if it does not help you find the best people out there. Don’t start a community to talk about everything and anything – keep it focussed on your end goals – hiring the best people in your market.
Social Media has been a huge part of my own individual success in recruitment I am not making these comments through a ‘that’s not the way we used to do it’ thought process. I started blogging in 2007/2008 to hopefully help people in their job search and to share with people information about Oracle to help them make an informed decision if Oracle was a place for them to work.
Candidate Engagement is important, you have to know your target audience, but I feel that online recruitment has focussed so much lately on branding/marketing that people have forgotten that we are hear to search for, identify and onboard the best candidates for our roles.
[Edit] I just pressed publish and thought to myself am I a crazy in this thinking? Let me know your thoughts.