A Sourcer’s Love-Hate Relationship With Social Media

Social recruiting in the past few years has become a force to be reckoned with. From the tools that help source and to the types of information that are collected social media has become an integral part of a recruiter’s life. Understanding the good, the bad, and the ugly of social recruitment helps explain the depths of a recruiter’s love/hate relationship with social media. There are so many good things to love, but at the same time, there are rules and regulations that recruiters and sourcers must follow to avoid pitfalls that can get them in a world of trouble.

 

The Good

Social recruiting has given recruiters and sourcers unlimited access into the lives of potential candidates that they’re looking to hire for any current job requisitions. Tools out there like Prophet, Entelo, 360social and Rapportive help recruiters pull and source data straight from a candidate’s online social profile. The access to this information is on the Internet and waiting for a recruiter to scrap with a simple click.

Social media has become a powerful tool to help not only build a personal brand, but it has also become a place where recruiters can find better hires through an employer brand of their own. You’re also able to build relationships with candidates much more efficiently which could give you the edge when trying to woo a candidate over a competitor.

 

The Bad

Social media in the past has been used by companies to screen applicants. When candidates are prescreened on Facebook or LinkedIn, a company is opening themselves up to a lawsuit. By reading posts or looking at pictures, recruiters can indirectly make assertions into age, race, national origin, sexual orientation or other things that are protected against in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The gray area when sourcing off these platforms and digging into a candidate’s personal information can be tricky if not navigated properly. While social media has become a favorite channel for recruitment across the board, it’s important to realize the potential lawsuits that can come from any misdoings on the number of platforms out there that recruiters use to source.

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The love/hate relationship between social media and sourcers

While there’s plenty of good to combat the bad of social recruiting, the act of recruiting on social platforms and having a presence is important in staying relevant across the board. Candidates want to be able to find information about jobs, tweet out questions about the culture, open job requisitions and talk to recruiters at the click of a button. Recruiters and sourcers are always “on” and whether a candidate messages you at 8 p.m., or 5 a.m. in the morning it’s important to be diligent and create a relationship with candidates if you want them to work for your company eventually. It used to be a competitive advantage, but social recruitment has now become a staple and a necessary practice. A good recruiter understands how to look at a candidate’s profile and experience and make a snap decision at their viability for working at the company.

The love/hate relationships between social media and sourcers stem from the necessity of being active and always being on. Social media helps give recruiters and sourcers access to the data they want but at the cost of getting unsolicited messages about jobs or messages about why a candidate didn’t get a particular job. There’s no such thing as ignoring a candidate, whether past or present because each interaction you have affects not only the candidate’s experience but both the employer and consumer brand.

What do you like about social recruiting and what do you hate about it? Share your opinions in the comments.

Will Staney is the founder and principal consultant at Proactive Talent Strategies, LLC and the former head of global talent acquisition at rapidly-growing startups Twilio and Glassdoor. Prior to that he held recruiting leadership roles at enterprise software leaders VMwareSuccessFactors and SAP. 

During his career as a recruiting leader, he developed a passion for building what he calls "modern recruiting machines". With his consulting firm he is helping clients like GoDaddy, Realtor.com, and others optimize their recruiting strategy and build a content marketing approach to talent attraction.

In his free time, he enjoys riding his motorcycle, trying out the newest gadgets, and spending time with his wife, Mallary, and their two kids, Foster and Felicity.

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