You know the old saying “the early bird catches the worm,” right? In the case of job recruiting, this phrase is particularly relevant. Any experienced recruiter knows that a highly qualified candidate who has multiple offers on the table needs to be targeted as quickly as possible.
But how exactly can a recruiter decide when it’s the right time to engage a candidate? How can recruiters monitor for indicators that a high-profile candidate may be open to a new opportunity, even before the candidate starts looking? Social media sites, because of their real-time nature, can be an incredibly helpful tool for not only building regular rapport with talent, but also helping recruiters find the right moment to engage with candidates for a new opportunity.
In this post I’m going to talk about a few ways I have used social media in the past to find real-time indicators for recruiting talent with the right timing. For the sake of brevity, I’ll be focusing on Twitter and Facebook (though this could easily be used for other social networks, too).
Opportunity Indicators on Twitter (more…)
The NonProfit Times reported today that, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the amount of nonprofits in the U.S. decreased by 18 percent last year. As you probably know very well, a lot of people rely on nonprofits for affordable services, especially in this tough economy.
This news made us wonder whether nonprofits have noticed an increase in demand for their services during the past year. We went to Twitter to find out, and were given the following responses from our followers:
What are your thoughts on this issue? Tweet at us @nonprofittimes or respond in the comments section below. We will update this post with new tweets from our followers.
- Posting job links
- Protecting tweets
- Incomplete bio
- Engaging the wrong people
- Don’t post dining trivia
Source: Jennifer McClure
A good old-fashioned quick rant. I like Yahoo Groups. It was the first version I saw for what I needed at the time. Now there’s Ning and Google and LinkedIn and many others doing what they do best but also trying to copy Yahoo Groups.
And Yahoo is messing with me too now. I got an invite from someone to share pictures and status updates and all the same crap that’s on FaceBook via Yahoo. Why do we need ten different versions of Facebook now? They won! Let it go! Just stick with your main Yahoo stuff.
Just yesterday I saw a new search aggregator that says it’ll search about 10 of those things at once for info on people.
Maybe we all need a ‘personal portal’ that will handle all these requests from all these entities so we can actually get something done.
Now I need to go update my LinkedIn status so it’ll go out on Twitter and Facebook so people will know I have a new blog entry. If I send it on Plaxo and my Yahoo Profile it’ll also go to people who spoke to me once and could not care less. In fact, what I should really do is just call Tom, Ron, and Clyde. Then the only three people who were going to read it anyway can say…he’s at it again…
“It was pretty easy to feel “OK” about being on Twitter during most of 2009. Everyone was there – and more were joining every day. It was “interesting” to feel like one of the first rather than one of the last – so I hung out. It has now become apparent to me that there is no viable BUSINESS reason to spend much time on Twitter as a 3rd party recruiter. Might be great for plenty of other professions – but recruiting? No way. Sorry.”
This is a common sentiment in our world of recruiting – that Twitter is a waste of time, and that real recruiters are on the phone with candidates and not tweeting out job opportunities. On the other hand, others argue that Twitter is a growing source of candidates, as well as a valuable tool to develop a good online presence and enable candidates to find you as well.
As search professionals, to which of these thought processes do you subscribe? The way we approach recruiting is different than the way our corporate recruiting counterparts do. Neither way is right or wrong; they are simply different. Twitter certainly has value it can offer, but does it belong in a 3rd party recruiter’s resource toolkit?
We want to hear from you! Do you use Twitter? Do you find it to be a waste of time, or a good resource to add to your arsenal? Have you made placements or gained new clients based on conversations you’ve had via Twitter, or has it been a dead-end street for you? Share your experience in the comments below.
Hope your Memorial Day was a good one. We’re still waiting for the official start to summer here in Portland but that doesn’t mean we can’t give you some of the great things posted recently.
Here’s what’s going on in the ERE community this week:
- Top Three Concerns of Recruiters Using Twitter (Resolved)
- Don’t Forget Complex “Boolean strings” Just Yet
- Indeed.com — Finally Playing with the Big Boys
- On The Beach and Out of Home
- Stop Looking for the Silver Bullet
- Why Won’t You Hire Me? Part 3 – It’s a Gamble
1. Top Three Concerns of Recruiters Using Twitter (Resolved)
Ali Webster posts an interesting piece on the common concerns among recruiters using Twitter. She says, “A few weeks ago, I held a roundtable discussion with recruiters on their opinions of and experience with social media sites. Mentioning LinkedIn elicited a positive response and Facebook stimulated a robust discussion about balancing their personal and professional lives. When I brought up Twitter, one of the recruiters responded “eh…” and another shrugged her shoulders (sigh).”
Read through to see her top three concerns and how she resolves them.
2. Don’t Forget Complex “Boolean Strings” Just Yet
Irina Shamaeva posts an interesting discussion about complex Boolean strings. She writes, “I saw this on Twitter today: @shally Forget complex “Boolean strings” and check out this simple and highly effective new LinkedIn Search Technique: http://j.mp/b28XIH”
“It sounded interesting, so I read the new Shally’s article. It suggests to forget complex “Boolean strings.” In the case of LinkedIn searches we can do a simple search for “Public profile powered by” instead of the usual URL-elimination techniques, it says. I was curious and tried to put this to work.”
Check out the comments for some good tips on using search techniques to uncover possible candidates.
3. Indeed.com — Finally Playing with the Big Boys
Matt Peter writes about some of the tremendous growth Indeed.com has experienced. He says, “Latest news from internet traffic rating sites shows that Indeed.com has joined the ranks of the major locations job candidates go to start the searches. Now surpassing Monster and on the heels of Careerbuilder, it’s clear that the Job Search Aggregator is gaining more traction.”
What do you think about this change? Is Indeed going to become the top dog in traffic?
4. On The Beach and Out of Home
Jodi Ordioni says that out of home (or OOH) advertising is picking up some fans. She writes, “According to the NY Times last Friday, Madison Avenue is having an out-of-home experience. ‘The ardor to reach consumers outside the home — and outside the realm of traditional media like television — continues to grow among marketers. They hope to fight back against technologies like digital video recorders, which make it easier to avoid conventional advertisements like commercials.’”
How are you using OOH techniques to reach potential candidates?
5. Stop Looking for the Silver Bullet
Russ Moon writes that we need to stop looking for silver bullets. He says, “People always want to know how to progress the fastest, here is one of the secrets. Define your fundamentals and place the bulk of your training time on those skills, not sure what the fundamentals are….it would be worthwhile to ask someone you respect or perform your own research.”
What do you think? Are fundamental skills what separate the good from great?
6. Why Won’t You Hire Me? Part 3 — It’s a Gamble
The last word comes from Amanda Liimatainen who posts about a situation she encountered when she was in HR. She writes, “I was a Human Resources Representative at a large healthcare organization. I was responsible for hiring skilled services staff as well as entry level clerical positions. This was several years ago when everything was a paper process. I had hired a housekeeper, we’ll call her Ms. Gamble. She was doing well in her job and applied for a position in Patient Registration; however, she didn’t meet the requirements for the position. I could have written on her transfer request that she was not qualified for the position or that another candidate was selected. Instead, I took a few extra minutes to list what she needed to obtain a position in that area. She did not have a high school diploma or GED, which was the bare minimum requirement for the position. I suggested that she utilize the hospital resource center to help her obtain her GED and also take some medical terminology courses that we offered to our employees at no cost.”
“Less than a year later, Ms. Gamble applied for a transfer to Centralized Scheduling. She had followed my advice, obtained her GED, took a medical terminology course and was ultimately selected for that position because of all the effort she put in to obtaining the qualifications. The few minutes that I took to offer her feedback made a difference in her career and her family’s income.”
What are you doing to improve the lives of your employees? Can you think of examples when you’ve helped someone move up?
To see what else you’ve been missing, check out the ERE community.
Here is the slide deck for the recent webinar series, Untangling the Web: Recruiting with Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and most everything in between…
Download the slide deck here [PDF]
Here is my own definition of Twitter:
Take ownership of your success and quit trying to find the silver bullet. In the world of sales and recruiting, your prospects have to be interrupted. Recruiting is based on interruption marketing, not permission marketing, which is the foundation for social networking. With other types of marketing endeavors, such as selling information or services, Twitter might be effective. If you market a message to an audience that cares about what you have to say (except for time-wasting tweets about your latest meal), then yeah, it makes sense to communicate with them.
But to get the attention of a high-level prospect or a passive candidate who doesn’t want to move (the candidate who is worth a full fee), you have to interrupt them on the phone with an effective recruiting call, not a tweet that they’ll roll their eyes over.
Here’s an exception: As a rule, you always want to go to where your clients and candidates are. If you know for a fact that your candidates and clients are on Twitter and are actively reading your tweets, then give it a shot. For example, those who are in IT recruiting. But if you tweet, tweet responsibly. Tweet about value-related subjects, such as career advice, leadership advice, and anything that can solve an immediate problem.
And when you’re done tweeting, get back on the phone. It’s where the action is.