The Power of Connectivity – if done right
“In the long history of humankind those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” -Charles Darwin
Whether you believe in his theories or not, Charles Darwin knows a little something about survival. We are at the brink of a business communication and publishing boom. How we share information has changed more rapidly in the last ten years than during any other time in history. Social media has the power to increase collaboration but also has the potential to de-civilize as people become less shy and more brave about sharing their own ideas or meeting new people. It has been noted that in the UK, Facebook is cited as the reason for 1/3 of all divorces.
I believe no other industry has embraced social media quicker or with more prowess than recruitment. Marketing is a very close second. Recruiters saw opportunity and their jobs rely on knowing the right people at the right time. In the early days, recruiting was a bit more cutthroat and very few collaborated as an individual recruiter’s success relied on his ability to deliver candidates quicker than anyone else.
I’ve asked Jerry Albright, an IT/Engineering Recruiter out of Indiana – the heartland of America – to comment on the impact of social media on recruiting. He hasn’t always been the biggest fan of social recruiting. As a matter of fact, he has been downright grumpy about it. What do you think, Jerry?
Jerry Albright: Recruiters – want to make the most of Social Media? And, by make the most, I mean, actually make anything? Something? Even just the tiniest little bit of return for all the time you’ve spent building your brand?
Ditch it. Ditch it all and start again. You know it – I know it. Nobody really has the nerve to say it though.
RT: Jerry, er.., umm – you just said it. And you say it often. And I don’t believe you really mean that. What about the networking value of social media? Haven’t you seen value in having other recruiters in your network?
Jerry: Being connected with thousands of “us” (recruiters) is about as worthless as collecting business cards at your family reunion. #Pointless.
RT: I notice you hashtagged something in the middle of blog. <smirk> Some of this social media stuff has actually gotten under your skin, huh? Don’t you see a tie between social media and recruiting? Recruiters need to include social media in their quiver today. You are old school, I get that you don’t like it – though you use it, often I might add. Isn’t there a way that you think social recruiting could work or benefit an old school recruiter like yourself?
Jerry: Are you dead set on staking your claim in social recruiting? OK then. Here’s all you need to do: Start over.
Delete every person from your Linkedin and Twitter accounts that is not someone your INTEND to do business with.
“But what about community?” you ask. It has nothing to do with your mission in life. “What about sharing? And all the RT’s? What about Follow Friday?” Also – bunk! Worthless streams of conversation that have nothing to do with your job. (This is assuming your job is to identify, qualify and ultimately attract talent to your open position.)
RT: But…, that isn’t what you did?
Jerry: I wish I would have done things differently. Sure I’ve met some interesting people, but was that my goal with all this? Did I jump at the chance to call myself an “early adopter” just to increase my friend count? Nope.
RT: But isn’t recruiting about building a network, so that each search, each requisition, each assignment is a bit easier – you have built a database of your own, from which you can draw?
Jerry: I’m in sales. Funny thing about sales too: You need to sell your product to someone. Frequently. It’s not happening out here. At least not with anyone I know, and I know plenty of people trying their best.
RT: I think some people might be finding benefit, Jerry. With over 200 million professional profiles on LinkedIn, doesn’t that say something about the direction we are going? You don’t believe that LinkedIn is social media, I know. Do you engage on LinkedIn? Are you having conversations there? I know you are. Just yesterday you posted on Facebook that you love LinkedIn.
Jerry: … no answer….
RT: Come on Jerry, you know there is value. Say it. Just say it.
Jerry: Look, if you feel you’ve just GOT TO incorporate social media, then by all means go ahead. <getting frustrated>
RT: That’s it? You don’t have any advice?
Jerry: Think twice about what you’re building. You’ll find very little return if you’re just out to put together another mutual admiration society. Follow ONLY candidates you’d hope to recruit. Sprinkle in ONLY potential clients. Then – and only then – might you have a real shot at squeezing something out of it.
RT: Thanks, Jerry. We spend a considerable amount of time on line. And I agree with you – for the most part. That time we spend should benefit us, should help us grow and develop – individually and our companies or businesses, too. But sometimes, there can be a little fun.
Jerry: …no answer…
As you build your network, whether you are jobseeker, recruiter, hiring manager, business professional, or student, it is important to know what you are building – identify the purpose. Social media will not benefit your work if you are not mindful and purposeful about what you are creating.
“Those who insert themselves into as many channels as possible look set to capture the most value. They’ll be the richest, the most successful, the most connected, capable and influential among us. We’re all publishers now, and the more we publish, the more valuable connections we’ll make.” -Pete Cashmore, Founder of Mashable
by Rayanne Thorn and Jerry Albright
|Rayanne Thorn is VP for Communications Branding at Evenbase US. She is an avid writer in the recruiting and job search space. She writes BonusTrackDaily.com for Blogging4Jobs and contributes often to the Huffington Post. Please feel free to follow Rayanne on Twitter and connect with her on LinkedIn.
Ms. Thorn is the editor and a regular contributor for the Jobsite.com Blog and News
|Jerry Albright is the Lead Recruiter and Owner of Professional Search Group, Inc. Jerry has been recruiting for 25 years and during that time he has placed hundreds of IT professionals throughout the United States. With a majority of his work in the Midwest, he provides both contract and direct staffing solutions. During his free time, he enjoys helping other recruiters. Jerry Albright is a regular contributor to the Jobsite.com blog. Feel free to follow Jerry on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.|