The proliferation of new social media and the competition between recruiters on the mainstream sites is already diminishing the return on the time invested by recruiters. Toss in the small, but growing, numbers of professionals who are abandoning social media, tired of the approaches from recruiters on an almost daily basis, and we are probably justified in asking the question – Where next for social recruiting?
A recent article I saw online described social media and professional networking sites as “a watering hole for the unemployed”. Now that may be a bit on the dramatic side but there is certainly a grain of truth in the statement. How many of us first detected that a colleague or contact was looking for a new job when they updated their LinkedIn profile – is it the digital equivalent of wearing your interview suit?
Figures for 2012 revealed that 56% of Americans had a social media profile; this has been rising at a steady 3-4% per year for the past three years. At this stage significantly more Americans adults have a social media profile than don’t. Obviously one question is how up to date are the profiles we see online? I have seen research that puts the figure at just one third of online profiles – I think that is probably a bit low and also reckon that even a slightly out of date profile is a good starting point.
Clearly for recruiters using search strings to identify candidates there is a need for updated profiles or an active presence online. If you are trying to fill any of the myriad technology related vacancies in Ireland with specific skills and there is nothing connecting potential targets with the latest technology or programming languages then you are going to have trouble identifying them.
Another piece of US-based research from Electronic Engineering Times found that nearly a third of engineers do not use social networks as they believe them to be a waste of time or irrelevant to their work. Certain industries are also shunning social media with Education and Healthcare top of the list amidst concerns for privacy and client-confidentiality.
Your social recruitment strategy currently means you are active on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter but how are you doing with Github, Instagram, Dribbble, Pinterest and Quora? In that same order they are; a coding collaboration/project hosting site, a picture sharing site, a show & tell for designers, a different photo sharing site and a user-generated Q&A website. Also bear in mind that whilst you may get results from a search project from potential candidates active on these sites you still need to engage with them. So now you are in a position where you need to be using these sites as an organisation in order to position your employer brand in such a way that the potential candidates want to become employees. All of a sudden the return on investment equation for social recruiting is beginning to look quite time heavy.
And the really scary bit is that the pace of change just keeps accelerating. Vine is a mobile app that enables users to create and post short videos online – maximum length is 6 seconds. Twitter bought Vine in January and only last week launched an Android version of the App. Last Friday, 7th June, links to Vine shared on Twitter surpassed Instagram links. Just this week I have had two different people talking about Snapchat (Thanks Kelly & Paul) – real time picture chatting! Unfortunately nobody I know is on Snapchat yet so I can’t tell you how good it is and whether we will be using it for recruitment just yet. I’ll keep trying and see how it goes.
Of course, the advertising dinosaur that I am would love to take the opportunity to point out that the biggest IT-related recruitment news this week relates to EMC creating 200 new jobs in Cork while Citrix are to create 50 jobs in Dublin. Both stories have been extensively covered on multiple websites. It’s the kind of story that will attract the attention of IT specialists across the country – who can resist checking out news about jobs in their own industry. Some of the people looking at those news stories may not even have an up-to-date social media profile or any kind of online presence (or identifiable online presence) but every single one of them could be contextually targeted through branded advertising placed alongside the relevant news stories.