By Bill Boorman
For April fool’s day I wrote a post about leaving Twitter and joining a new fictitious channel. It was good to know that I’m appreciated judging by the many messages I received wishing me well. It was of course a hoax, with a link to an April fool’s Day message. Though I would never say never, I can’t see a reason why I would ever leave what I view as the best channel for introductions, where strangers gladly talk to strangers. On the subject of April Fools though, I thought that this would be a good opportunity to look at some of the foolish decisions I think some people are making at the moment with regards to social recruiting. If you think you might qualify in some of these categories, then you might like to think again.
If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.
This is the usual reason given by recruiters for not adopting social recruiting. The process works O.k. at the moment and there’s no need for change. Best to stick your head in the sand and not face up to what is becoming increasingly obvious. While there are plenty of potential candidates available and applying through other routes, if you are not being social, then you are going to miss out on a growing section of the candidate pool. That pool is only getting bigger, and if you stay out, it might just be too late to get in.
Facebook is a personal channel.
This is probably the biggest April fool, and it has stooped in the past. I understand the history of Facebook, and how not so long ago it was the channel for connecting and keeping up with friends and your college mates. It was a private place and colleges across the world waited for access. Then Facebook needed to come up with a way to monetize, and that’s when the advertising started. Ads are the most liked text on Facebook. Applications mean that there is no need to friend a business or give access to your personal content, and now timeline is the final piece to the puzzle. The Bullhorn report showed that while the majority of job seekers are trying to find opportunities on the channel, most recruiters are living mostly on LinkedIn. Smart recruiters should use all the channels and never eliminate one based on personal preference.
Automated job feeds don’t work for applicants.
This is a typical social media myth, based on opinion rather than fact. I accept that you wouldn’t want to follow a Twitter account that only posts jobs on a regular basis, posting the same tweets 3-4 times a day. Dismissing these however, is looking at Twitter as a user rather than a job seeker. Don’t underestimate the search value. Job seekers search Twitter for opportunities, and if you tag them right, then you’re going to get found, not followed, but found. Being found means applications. Engagement and personalized accounts play an important role with Twitter, but don’t ignore the effectiveness of a feed.
Personalized invites on LinkedIn get the best response.
I always thought this was the case, because the experts always say so, but then I tested it, and the results were not what I expected. To give you the headlines from the research:
By testing my theory I got a result back I wasn’t expecting, and this is the point. How much of what we do is based on what we think, and how much is based on what we know? Always test the supposed wisdom of the crowd. If you don’t test it, you are the April fool.
Size doesn’t matter.
There are many who think that the size of your network is not really important. The number of followers, friends or connections. There is some relevance to this around keeping in touch with relevant connections, but you can organize those connections by tagging, friend lists, streams or circles to give them maximum attention, but the size of your network means reach. The bigger your reach, the more likely your message will get to people you don’t even know yet. The bigger the better!
These are my top 5 social myths. The April fools that you will read many times this month, and more often. Don’t be an April fool!