Everyone knows that LinkedIn has enjoyed a monopoly for the recruitment world for the past decade but as it gradually becomes more personal and less professional in its outlook, I would like to ask a few questions of the recruiters in my audience:
Has social media ever really worked for us? What other channels do you use? Given the algorithmic challenges on every major platform, are we even reaching our audiences anymore? Are they reaching us?
Let’s say I connect with a Sales professional in an industry I recruit in. I am interested in their activity and I wish to engage with them periodically. Let’s say I have a ‘manageable’ 1000 connections, and I don’t see why this wouldn’t be possible. That is, until all the ‘trending news’ (etc.) clogs up my feed. You see the strangest industry trends there…. it makes you wonder.
The basic premise of social media should be to connect people, not collect clicks. If this were the sole goal of a channel, interactions would be simpler, noise would be much reduced and the value-add would be astronomically higher. As it is, we must trawl through the attention-seeking masses before we get to anything of interest. That hopeful; ’I’m looking for a job’ update that this Sales professional penned gets utterly lost. It gets no traction and they probably won’t write another one. They may not come on at all for a while, preferring the ‘old fashioned’ techniques of phone and email….
I think that there must be some niche solutions out there that people use for various purposes. Maybe industry specific groups are a way forward – I can see them being a good way of finding people through referrals. Snapchat is a great way of getting across your personality, but I’m not sure that it facilitates conversations when they are needed. Twitter is noisy, Facebook is an ever-changing challenge, and even LinkedIn is diluting its once awesome value (unless you pay a lot for a recruiter licence).
Social media just doesn’t seem that social anymore. I understand the people who get excited about getting 100 ‘likes’ on an inane update, but just who are liking these updates? Have a look…. Maybe 5% of your potential audience, if you are lucky. And this fame is so fleeting. At least this blog will sit on my profile for time immemorial, tempting people to read.
Does social media work in recruitment?
Well, yes, to an extent, but nowhere near as well as it could.
I have a feeling that something is waiting out there, something intuitive and utterly human. It might need a shift in technology to make it happen. It will be something that can connect people in need to the right people who can service that need. It won’t be able to be gamed, and it will be impartial…. call me a dreamer, but that is when social media will start to work.
Not just for recruiters, but for everyone.