Social Networking In Recruiting? I Wouldn’t Say I’ve Been Missing It, Bob…

Christine LeLaucheur Candidate Pool, Recruiting, Social Media, Sourcing

Are social networking sites the miracle elixir to your recruitment woes?  I’m not buying it and neither should you …until you’ve done your research.  I’m a Facebook user and a recruiter.  If I’m lukewarm on the hype surrounding it, you should be too.

Trying to keep track of all of the social networking sites popping up can be as tough as trying to keepBob1a track of who Scarlett Johansson is now locking lips with.  Not to mention most of the names of these sites –Ryze, Doostang, Bebo, XING, for example—rival Hollywood baby names.  It’s no wonder many recruiters have shied away from using the Internet as a recruitment tool.  Although it can be overwhelming, some of these sites offer a great way for recruiters to target their efforts and their audience and consequently, they can’t be ignored.

The problem is sifting through all the crap.

As a self-professed Facebook addict, I religiously watch the news feeds and will take notice of new groups my friends are joining.  For the right audience and the right company, Facebook can be effective.  Should a new group sprout up with the title “Company ABC is looking for promotional summer staff”, the response could be quite positive.  Should another group sprout up with the title “Company ABC is looking for an Accounting Manager”, the group might find itself with a member of 1: the creator.  Further weakening Facebook’s allure, for the sole purpose of recruiting, is the problem of qualifying users.  Although Facebook is incredibly handy at capitalizing on consumerism and identifying users’ likes, dislikes, music preferences, movie preferences, etc., it focuses very little on the work aspect.  Although you may get interest from users, you’re left wading through unqualified candidates in hopes of finding a few stars.

Investing time with limited returns isn’t in my best interest (or yours).  So dump the lame sites – they aren’t worth your time.

With that in mind, LinkedIn remains the only viable social networking site for recruiting.  LinkedIn is also a true business networking site, as it relies on referrals, and is a real life version of the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game, where you can see how many degrees away from the person you are—which, surprisingly, is usually only two or three.  With sites such as LinkedIn, recruiters are able to target their efforts much more precisely and reach a much more relevant and defined target audience. 

That beats trying to recruit the kids who are looking for (and usually starring in) the party pics on Facebook.

My recommendation: spend your time on the business sites to recruit the qualified candidates, and use the social sites, if you need to figure out which candidates to weed out.