By Gary Noke & Steven Duque
We’re swimming in social marketing spam. Now that recruiters know how to post every open job to every social network—in no small part, because of Bullhorn Reach’s help—very soon we may be drowning, fast.
Both of us have had the privilege of conversing over issues faced by brilliant leaders and thinkers across HR and recruitment organizations in companies of all sizes – small, medium and large. Among all, there seems to be a running theme: they’re afraid not only to post their open jobs, but also, paradoxically, are afraid not to post to every social channel.
Underlying both of these apprehensions is a deeper concern over the candidate experience—namely, that candidates will get tired of seeing a slew of updates about open jobs in any one or all of their social media streams (1). And, that there’s no way to avoid it.
Though rational, both concerns are rooted in conflating marketing via social channels with recruiting through social channels (aka ‘social recruiting’)(2). As most of you know, the latter is far easier said than done, even with technology readily available (3). Like the EU or U.S. debt crisis, it’s largely a problem of politics and will, not technology or other machinations we employ (4).
But, there are a few things technologists can do to help palliate “social marketing fatigue” (particularly, from the perspective of recruiting and sourcing):
- Harness matching technology for social recruiting to tailor the candidate experience. As employees at Bullhorn, we know first-hand that technologists, like us, already have access to social media users’ profile data. And, we also have fantastic search and match technology, capable of both scanning several million profiles at lightning speeds and distilling a shortlist of qualified individuals. Taking the lead from targeted ad networks, the next logical step is to connect the dots between the two, and to serve up job ads only to the most relevant audiences. The result? Reduced social marketing spam and an improved candidate experience.
- Enable candidates to opt-out. Social channels should consider allowing their users (i.e., would-be candidates) to filter social streams by their interests (e.g., jobs). At present, most social channels provide ways for users to avoid seeing updates from particular individuals. But, the solution is too blunt, and doesn’t map with the way that people consume content. For example, I may not want to see Chrissy’s Facebook posts about open jobs, but might want to see her posts about where she works, (which may then lead me to discover more about the company she’s hiring for).
- Enable candidates to opt-in. A variation of the point above, technologists should consider enabling social channel job seekers to subscribe to specific types of opportunities posted to social channels, similar to what’s already available for LinkedIn Jobs search. Unique among social channels (at least in its users’ behaviors), Twitter leverages hashtags to achieve the same end. Some might argue; however, that enabling social channel users to control their passive content consumption would detract from the magic of “social discovery.” Sure, it might, but it would also be a godsend for those who do want to cut through the clutter (Have you ever talked with someone who doesn’t use hashtags or targeted searches on Twitter? It’s painful for them).
That said, Facebook and Google+ do allow users to create “lists”and “circles,” respectively, to post certain messages to specific groups of people. But, it’s the people posting, not the audiences listening to them, that drive this segmentation. The too-frequent result is imperfect conjecture, at best, and utter disregard for audiences’ preferences, at worst.
Our hope is that, as an industry, we’ll keep ourselves in check and give candidates the experience they want and deserve. If not, social media marketing may go the way of telemarketing. Needless to say, the last thing social media marketers—in recruiting or otherwise—want is the equivalent of a National Do Not Call Registry and another happy hunting ground burned through misuse.
- For a deeper dive into thinking on how recruiters should be approaching social media to improve the candidate experience, check out this post.
- For more on what I mean by “social recruiting” check out this post, this post, this post, and (last but not least) this post.
- If you could use a bit of guidance on the subject, check out one of Steven’s webinars on social recruiting. You can register here.
- For a nice post on gauging where you are on the social media adoption curve by Bullhorn’s Jeff Foley, go here.
- bullhornreach posted this