Thursday, December 22, 2011

Are You Missing Out?

I recently conducted a search for a Professional Recruiter that needed to be experienced using social media. I wrote about my good fortune here with the person who has joined our team, but thought it might be interesting to offer some examples of applications I received and what that showed me about the state of social media adoption with experienced HR pros.

I Said Social Media, Right?
Call me crazy, but since I basically used social media exclusively to advertise the position, and mentioned it in the blog post, I thought it would be safe to assume that those interested in joining my team would have some level of comfort with social media tools. (Or at least would have read the requirements.) Right?


Good Try, Better Luck Next Time
As might be expected during a difficult economy, we had a number of people apply who didn't meet our requirements. What was surprising to me though were the responses from many experienced recruiters when reacting to my "social media experience" expectation. A few examples follow:

“No, not really – we had a dept that posted job ads on various sites – have never done it myself."

"I have a LinkedIn account, but it’s 'personal' – I believe social media should be 'from the company' because the information is 'out there forever'.”

"No – but it sounds awesome!"

"Not yet, but it seems okay."

"I have a Twitter handle but don’t use it much – my company’s 'not there yet'.”

"My company is 100% against the use of social media in recruiting, so I’ve done some 'on the side' myself."

"Twitter?  I’ve never had a need to use it, but it’s fine – I’m all about it!"

...and here is my favorite...

"I have become a subject matter expert on sourcing talent via social media, including LinkedIn, Taleo and Twitter, but have no personal twitter handle (I had a bad experience with inappropriate comments and getting a computer virus from tweets)."

How About You
Are you one of the HR pros that are still anxious about social media? If so, you're missing out. Social media is a tool for business. Every business. Now is the time to get started. The HR social community is incredibly supportive, so do not be afraid. We all had to take that first step...I did.

I'd love to hear from you .

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of bizznesscard


  1. That is amazing to me. Millions and millions of members and professionals still don't see the value in Soc/Med.

    Oh well, more opportunity for me.

  2. All I can say is 'wow" at some of those comments. BUT, also need to add that I'm not surprised. I've heard much of the same when hiring Communications/PR/Marketing professionals - you know, the ones we EXPECT to be at the forefront...

  3. What the heck?

    Jay, you were supposed to tell them how tough the competition was and how difficult it was choosing one ‘kick ass recruiter”. And how I won you all over because I’m so awesome and you needed someone who could rise to the current level of awesomeness because your ninja recruiter team has set the bar so high.

    On a slightly more serious note, I experienced a similar situation a few years ago when recruiting for a marketing person. I couldn’t believe that I had to explain social media to marketing people. What blew my mind is that I had all levels of experience from coordinators to directors/vp contact me about the position and 95% of them didn’t use social media at all. A few were on facebook. Some were on linkedin. Most had never used any of the applications for business. I expected resumes full of links to social media profiles, web content, blogs, etc. I was shocked. I kept thinking, “I work in HR. We are supposed to be stuffy and behind the times - the risk managers screaming about the sky falling because people aren’t following the dress code. Why do I know more about this than you??”

    When asked about his SEO/SEM experience, one applicant asked me what it was. I reminded him that it was stressed in the ad that candidates need to have this experience. I managed to find a diplomatic way to tell him that if I had to explain it to him, he probably didn’t have the experience. He could have at least googled it first. Show some initiative and willingness to teach yourself new skills. Make Google your friend. There is a how-to video on YouTube for everything. Self-suffiency goes a long way in the employment market.

  4. Chris - I's hard to believe, but it's true.

    Robin - Surprising, but I guess taking risks that are more "public" just scare some people too much!

    Jennifer - Oh, yes, that's what I meant to say. :) Seriously though, your comments are well made. We clearly have lots of room for growth in the social media space...lots and lots of room!