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Is Your Recruiting Strategy Suffering From Facebook Overload?


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Just a few years ago, a typical recruiter’s day may have started with perusing inbound resumes and open requisitions while a job seeker would splay open the Sunday classifieds, ready to circle opportunities. Today both are likely to begin their morning on the social networks.

Facebook has become an important part of many individuals’ daily routine, with the average user spending more than seven hours a month on the site. With more than 900 million active users it’s not surprising that Facebook is a happening spot for social interaction, job searching, and strengthening connections and conversations. LinkedIn also remains an important tool for connecting recruiters and hiring managers with job seekers.

But is relying on mainstream social networks as a long tail recruiting strategy a critical error? It may be – especially as users start to suffer from Facebook fatigue and look to move onto the next destination.

It’s not just that Facebook, LinkedIn and other major social networks are at risk of losing relevance; today’s largest networks are untargeted destinations with so much noise that they aren’t helping to solve the talent challenge. Too much information and too many untargeted job opportunities make it hard for job seekers to identify relevant opportunities and difficult for recruiters and hiring managers to uncover talent that matches business needs. And, if you don’t think another sea change is coming, perhaps a little history will help:

When the job search moved from classified advertising to job board postings, Monster seemed like the answer to the recruiter’s dilemma. With a central location for open positions, job seekers knew where to go to look for work and employers could capture a broad audience when advertising for open positions.

But over the last 15 years Dice and other niche specialty job boards have eroded Monster’s preeminence as the leading job board. Now a similar trend may be occurring with Facebook, LinkedIn and other major social sites — making the future is bright for niche communities to be the next rising star.

A focused, purpose-built community benefits all parties in the equation: Job seekers are exposed to hiring managers and recruiters in their area of interest, and companies gain access to a more relevant community of job seekers. How can a purpose-built community support sourcing strategies?

It eliminates distractions

A purpose-built community, such as one specifically targeted to finance professionals, is clear on its intent and the market it serves. As a result, recruiters waste less time on candidates who are not the right fit for their positions and job seekers get a better candidate experience, because they can connect with companies that have opportunities in line with their experience, background and career goals. And, a community with no advertising, marketing or other social networking eliminates visual overload, enabling users to get right to the business of finding work or identifying qualified candidates.

It delivers high response rates and effective business outcomes

When you have a highly engaged audience that shares information about their past and preferences, and a system that uses structured data, those details can be used to generate more precise matches. The result is higher and more relevant response rates, enabling organizations to get to the right talent, faster.

It enables job seekers to conduct their search with confidence

Passive candidates don’t want their job search exposed and with niche talent communities they not only can conduct a more targeted search, but they can have more control. A private, niche community is an effective tool for candidates who want to see opportunities but prefer to keep their search hush-hush. At the same time, unemployed individuals or those actively searching can make their profile available to everyone.

Niche communities have a clear purpose and deliver better matches, better response rates and ultimately a more efficient process. There’s also compounded value in being able to stay in touch with and continually market to a targeted audience. How are you planning for the next evolution in your sourcing strategy?

Brin McCagg, co-founder, president and COO of Onewire, has more than 20 years of entrepreneurial and executive management experience. Between 2005 and 2007, McCagg served as Executive Vice President of Control Point Solutions, a telecomm expense management company owned by ABS Capital Partners. McCagg helped restructure the operations and position the business for a sale. Between 2003 and 2004, he served as Executive Vice President of Flight Options, Inc., an $800mm private aviation company owned by Raytheon and Monitor Clipper Partners. McCagg helped restructure the business, reduce losses from $40mm to $6mm and position the company for a sale. From 1998 to 2002, he founded and served as CEO and Chairman of TradeOut Inc., a 240 person, online industrial asset management company, which was financed and partnered with GE Capital, Goldman Sachs, Chase Bank and eBay. After filing to go public, the company was ultimately sold. From 1991 to 1997, he co-founded and served as President of Full Circle, Inc., a hazardous waste recycling company, which merged in 1995 with EVTC, a NASDAQ listed company. McCagg started his career as an investment banker at Drexel Burnham Lambert and received an MBA from The Wharton School. You can follow him on Twitter at @Brin_McCagg.
  • Elli Sharef

    Brian,
    Great article. I agree that the marketplace is broken. Monster and CL aren’t the solution and niche sites are often a better fit. I love what onewire does.

    But the problem is that these approaches make discovery much more difficult for the job seeker. I work with a lot of job seekers 1 – 6 years out of college and they don’t really know what they want or where to go. They might have a vague interest in marketing but probably wouldn’t know to go to mediabistro to search for jobs. How do you see niche sites playing a role in helping less experienced candidates in the discovery process?