When approached (regularly) by headhunters, my colleague’s stock response was along the lines of “I am not interested but if I find you someone, how about a share of your fee?”
To her initial surprise, the response tended to be positive.
This struck my colleague (now co-founder at GigPlug) as something of an analogue approach to crowd-sourcing. Could there be a way to automate and extrapolate this via social media to even greater effect, and at the same time share the spoils of recruitment with the crowd of referrers?
Social media recruitment, of course, has become quite a crowded space very quickly. But away from the dominance of LinkedIn, it remains a fragmented sector with little consistency.
At the heart of the social recruitment evolution, though, are a number of critical trends that are radically impacting the future of the entire recruitment sector:
• The way in which candidates now search for, assess new roles has evolved considerably. Not surprisingly, smartphones rule in most markets: 70% of Brits have actively used one to search for a new role.
• Social media is now ubiquitous and for many has completely replaced traditional media channels. In a recent study, 73% of 18 – 34 year olds said they use social media to find new roles, but only 39% of employers actively use it for recruiting
• Generations Y and below are now essentially genetically wired to ignore traditional channels of advertising. A lot of money is being wasted by a lot of companies.
• Referred candidates are twice as likely to gain an interview and 40% more likely to be hired than those sourced via other channels.
• Recruitment remains a major challenge for many organisations – it can be slow, expensive and a major drain on resources. Companies need faster results at no loss of quality and are increasingly asking questions of traditional fee levels.
The statistic that stands out for me is the 39%. Barely a third of companies are using social media for recruitment. This shows both how slow many companies are, but also just the scale of opportunity for the sector.
Whether via an automated referral platform such as GigPlug or a company’s own social media channels, social media is now a hugely influential factor across all aspects of recruitment.
Employer branding, employee engagement, issues and crisis management, customer interaction…all are now heavily reliant on social channels, and that’s even before the dialogue with a potential candidate has begun (who, of course, will already have a perception of your company largely drawn from social media…).
To many companies, including some I have spoken to recently, the sheer scale of the social conversation is overwhelming. They have become paralysed and unable to act. A conversation they cannot control is one they would rather not have.
This is completely understandable. But companies, especially the larger ones, must practice what they preach if they want to stay competitive. Most regularly trumpet their own approach to innovation, creativity, communications, customer outreach and a world-class approach to talent acquisition and management.
So why then, when it comes to the race for talent, are so few using those channels preferred by the very talent they seek?
Many, of course, remain unconvinced that social media has such a key role recruitment – otherwise that 39% stat would be much higher, right?
To be honest, they remind me of the hoteliers that said AirBnB would never take off, or the taxi drivers disputing the right of Uber et al to exist in their world. By way of reminder, Uber is now ranked, I believe, in the top 150 companies worldwide.
No industry has a right to live on unchallenged forever.
Most people in HR I speak to agree that recruitment needs a shake-up – the times are most definitely a changing. Ultimately it will be the best candidates, of course, who decide the future of the sector, not the companies themselves.
Ref: Recruiter Republic, 2014 / Capterra, 2014
(c) New To HR.
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