This social media thingy doesn’t work (….said the recruiter)

social notworkingOne of the first calls I had after launching our new business this week was from a guy I know who manages a fairly big agency. He was bemoaning how social media was a waste of time for his business. ….

“We jumped on board with this whole social media thing last year but so far I cannot see what we have got from it. We have a Facebook page, everyone uses LinkedIn and more than half of us are pretty active on Twitter. But so far we have not had one candidate come from social media. All our candidates come from traditional sources, like Seek or referrals…in fact our own website generates more candidates.” …. this was the general gist of it anyway…we don’t record all our phone calls to be used at a later date for this blog !!!!

I don’t imagine he is alone in his thinking. It can seem that the amount of noise constantly being made about how important social media is all just a load of hype…and the reality is that it’s not actually that useful at all.

But, if you are only judging the effectiveness of social media by how many direct applications you get from Facebook Twitter, etc.….I think you are missing the point.

Think about it this way…when you go into a supermarket you tend to pick up the products that you are familiar with. Even if you haven’t bought it before, you will have seen the brand advertised, probably in more than one place. You will know a little about it.  You might have spoken about it with friends who have recommended it. And all these things have contributed to you now picking that product off the shelf…. as opposed to the brand that you have never seen. I think they call this marketing 101……..

And the same works in recruitment. For most, it is probably unlikely that an ace candidate will randomly send you a message on Twitter asking you to find them their dream job. However, it is far more likely that the same person will respond to your headhunting call, apply to a job you have posted, or refer someone to you if they already know you. You can call it subliminal messaging… the point is that a bit of familiarity goes a long way.

It may be that the majority, or all, of your applications continue to come from job boards. But how many of them would have applied if they had just seen your advert once on Seek? It is far more likely that someone will engage after seeing a job mentioned numerous times on their LinkedIn stream, and again on Twitter, having also been told about it by a friend who saw it on Facebook. Similarly, if they already know who you are (because they see you, and possibly talk to you on one of these sites), they are far more likely to notice your opportunity….  before the thousand other jobs being listed by recruiters they have never heard of.  Of course, all you see is that the person applied from Seek….but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

People will talk about return on investment and needing to measure results…but I would be more inclined to take a Coca-Cola approach. Stick yourself out there as much as possible and don’t be the brand that is stuck on the back of the shelf collecting dust.

Luke Collard



4 thoughts on “This social media thingy doesn’t work (….said the recruiter)

  1. James on Reply

    I have a fantastic example of this to back up your post.

    One of my colleagues was making a cold BD call yesterday and the client at the other end knew of us through my blogging efforts and LinkedIn activity. It created an instant warm entry and resulted in a great conversation being had where otherwise it might not have been.

    It works, it gets your name out there.

    1. lukecollard on Reply

      Exactly James….I don’t think everyone gets the bigger picture and mistakenly look for instant results – and when they don’t happen they turn away (understandably). However, if you know what you want to achieve, have a strategy to do it, and stick with it then you will always get a better result. I recall someone at a conference saying that the only ROI on social media that anyone needs to know is that if you don’t have it, you won’t be here in two years…..

      1. Guy Davy on Reply

        Hi Luke – I wanted to recognise the content of the article say “bravo’ !! I love it when I see this type of subject and supporting data. We talk to recruiters at length about value proposition supported by branding and brand recognition – and your blog post really imbues the forward thinking that is needed for recruitment to catch up with online behaviours.

        Love it !!

  2. Ed Cook on Reply

    Too many recruiters adopt a transactional approach to using social media, it takes time and effort to build awareness of your brand. You guys are a good example of the right approach, write interesting content, share and amplify its message using social media and over time you will actually be known for something rather than just another PITA recruiter who’s hassling people on LinkedIn because he/she has an urgent role to fill.

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