Lately the topic in the recruitment field has been about social media recruiting and social recruitment software. Since the whole field of social media recruiting is quite young, there is a jungle of services and tools out there and it is no wonder one can easily be misled in what one is actually looking for. Here is a short guide to the things you should or shouldn't be looking for.

The disturbing fact is there is actually no such thing as social media recruiting. Let's see more accurately what it is that we are actually talking about. It might be good to start by what recruitment is and what has social media got to do with it, and what social media recruitment or social recruitment software are and what they are not. Let's look at the following terms:

What They Are

  1. 1. Social Media
  2. 2. Recruitment
  3. 3. Recruitment software

#1 Social media is a platform to reach people. It is used by many different fields of businesses as a pool to reach the right people. This is done by targeted marketing.

#2 Recruiting is a complex process, where the employer has to reach, interest, engage and hire the right kind of people. Social media can be used as a part of the process in the reaching stage, but after that there are still the other stages to be tackled. Social media has got nothing to do with that.

#3 Recruitment Software is software that helps the recruiter with the recruiting process. At its best recruitment software takes care of the recruiting process from start to finish and ideally would be easy, helpful and intuitive for the recruiter to use.

What They Are Not

  • using social media in recruiting doesn't make it social media recruiting yet
  • social media has got nothing to do with the other stages of recruitment process. If the service fails to show how they are going to do the rest of the process, it is likely to fail – and it probably shouldn't call itself social media recruiting
  • what doesn't make something a social recruiting software yet is the ability to produce a list of clicks or emails from random people through social media. Recruitment Software should include the whole process 

Many recruiting softwares – if not practically all – exploit social media in some way. One can find ads for open vacancies nearly everywhere, it's a good way to reach people. The down side of the story is that the idea of having social media there to help the recruiter is so tempting, that it is very easy to sell the image but not actual results. 

You can get suspicious if the service is trying to sell you a great number of clicks. Clicks are not applications nor are they real hired people. 

The Typical Story Behind Social Media Recruiting and Social Recruitment Software

Often it goes like this: the recruitment service tells the customer they do social media recruiting and sells their customer an expensive video, puts it on social media and happily boasts and charges based on the large number of clicks. What is left out and completely forgotten is what is relevant to the recruiter: do these clicks turn into actual people that are qualified and fit for the job that one can recruit or not? These services often offer similar jobs and other similar content right next to the customer's own ad, which will take the interested candidate away from the video and in many occasions far from the recruiter's intended outcome, applying for the job. At its worst the recruiter has just spent a lot of money on a video that just got her competitor a great candidate.

Recruiting Will Only Happen When People Talk to Each Other

The recruiter gets to the real recruiting only when there are real people to talk with eachother and discuss about the details of the job offered. This is not something that social media recruiting services or the social recruitment software typically take care of anymore. They consider their job done after enough clicks can be shown to the customer. If there are no candidates, they'll refer to the visibility and click numbers, which makes them look like they have done their job and leaves the recruiter helpless and the problem still remains. For many recruiting services this is actually quite profitable, because they are selling good looking results that will still leave the problem unsolved. 

Different Fields Require Different Recruiting

If you are an employer and you are wondering whether you should try social media recruiting the first question you should ask is are you in a field where there are more good workers available than there are jobs? If you are, you are likely to have applications with the traditional way. If you are an employer in a field where there are less good workers available than there are jobs, you will need new ways to recruit: who will apply, if the people are already engaged somewhere else and are therefore not looking for a job? What you'll need then is a candidate driven recruitment process

Recruitment Process Should Be Adjustable

What is also very often left without attention is that different recruitments demand different processes. One can't hire an IT-guru or a customer assistant the same way. A real recruiting process will take this into account and adjust itself according to the needs all the way through the process, and it would be good, if the software could be adjusted to the customer's needs too. It is not enough to do it in the social media -stage only. At its worst the social recruitment software produces you hundreds of applications by donaldducks, or a list of delicate personal information that you are not supposed to have in your email according to GDPR, and soon the software that you paid to help you has created you a much bigger problem than filling a position. 

A good way of doing social media recruiting looks something like this:

  • Reach the right people by social media recruitment 
  • The thoroughly planned process and adjustable software supports the recruiter to help the recruiter to manage candidates as easy as possible all the way from the start to hire
  • The software supports the process and is adjustable to the employer's desires, values and wishes 
  • The recruiter talks with the interested candidates before closing the deal as much as necessary 
  • There is help around all the way through the process if needed 

This is how social media recruiting can be useful and this is how social recruiting software should support the process. Do you want to know more?

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