There seems to be a misunderstanding or miscommunication in the world of recruitment. It appears that many traditional headhunters are threatened by the online recruitment revolution, concerned that HR teams and online agencies are muscling-in on the action. But could it be possible that difference functions can combine forces and create an unstoppable Godzillaesque recruitment monster?
In the past, traditional business’ only real threat came from other traditional businesses – you could watch your competitor from across the street. It was a tangible thing. But the bar has been raised, the playing field changed, and today’s competition can be found online, reaching more people than ever before. Businesses need healthy competition. It encourages an operator to take that step further and perform to the best of their ability. In fact, companies and industries that have never had any online business and only ever experienced risk from ‘tangible’ competitors, have now found ways to adapt and implement online processes.
It’s funny how Social Media, a tool which not so long ago would get an employee fired, is now being used as a means to get people hired.
But can social media agencies and recruiters work together? These organisations need to be where the candidates are to engage them in the staffing process. Sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn are being used to put the employment message out there and are fulfilling their roles as social aggregators. Social media can be an efficient and cost effective recruitment tool, however, it does have its limitations. Candidates can be sourced effectively via social networking sites, but if this strategy is not complemented with more customary search methods, then some talent will be missed. That’s where recruitment agencies step in.
Essentially, recruitment is about building a bond or relationship between employees and employers. Using the social media recruitment approach takes the ‘personal touch’ out of building these bonds. No-one prefers talking to a recorded message on the phone over speaking to an actual person. Social media has improved the recruitment process by making it more cost effective and democratic, but it can’t replace or provide face to face human interaction.
So when it comes down to it, using social media as recruitment tool can only work so far. It can be incredible at getting a message across to thousands and potentially millions of candidates, but at the end of the day you can’t shake a computer’s hand.
Take a look at these staggering facts and figures*:
- Nielson online reports that 42% of Australian and New Zealanders with online profiles have looked for a job on a social networking site.
- 62% of Fortune 500 Companies use LinkedIn to recruit.
- With social media, you can understand job search trends and candidate feedback in real time.
- Cost effective: seek and other job boards increase their prices every year; Google, LinkedIn, facebook and twitter are all free.
- Interaction and incentive to engage: run competitions, surveys, blogs, email updates, company news and industry news.
- The Cedar Crestone 2010 HR Systems Survey found that organisations using social networking for recruiting and branding have experienced double the sales growth than organisations without these tools.
- A Deloitte study found that 23% of Australian companies already use social networking as a hiring aid.[i] This number will only get higher.
- Reminder: online users spend 22.7% of their time on social networking sites; that’s twice as much time as we spend on any other online activity[ii]
- Gen Y, the youngest candidates, fresh from uni and ready to take on that exciting new role, have never lived in a world without social media(!)
- Industry is social. Take a look around. Coca Cola’s Facebook page has over 11 million fans and Starbucks over 13 million.
* JXT Consulting ‘Social Media Info Pack’ 4/02/2011
Take a look at our slide show presentation “Leveraging Social Networks” and decide for yourself if the mythical Godzilla online recruitment monster can be a reality.