Yesterday saw me head off to the APSCo Marketing Forum in London. The impressive Paul Harrison and Jon Fernandes from Carve Consulting were the keynote speakers speaking fluidly and enthusiastically about integrating social activity into the candidate and client experience. The ideas and examples that were presented were excellent, yet I came away with the feeling that as an industry, more often than not, we are putting up unnecessary barriers preventing us embracing the ever engulfing social world that is right in front of us. The classic ‘excuses’ (which I know I can be guilty of exerting in instances) came up in terms of consultant trust of usage; jobs are the most important focus, no ROI…..
Picking up on the issue of trust – how on earth can we not encourage, let alone trust our consultants not to be more active in the social world? Think about it. The lifeblood of recruitment agencies are consultants (and the marketing functions of course…), they are the ones who are in regular and relevant contact on a daily basis with candidates and clients alike, they get a feel for the market, they know the breaking news in their industries and they are the ones that can add value to the recruitment process more than anyone. We should be empowering our consultants to be more social through education, examples and concentrated effort.
Linkedin is now fully embraced by the majority of recruitment agencies who have shaken off the nervousness that the platform “will make our jobs redundant” and use it is as a positive networking tool – not only to search out the elusive line manager or the ideal candidate for a Java Developer role which requires language skills in Polish, English and Inuit – but to post news updates, company updates and interact with their target audience.
So is it just a matter of time until the take-up of other platforms such as Twitter, YouTube and the Facebook? Quite possibly. As the integration of these platforms gains speed alongside the development of new “social” technology (HTML5 and Apps (take a look at the Guardian’s new app)) recruitment should not get left behind and the only way we will is if we let it happen.
Looking specifically at Twitter, many companies have a corporate twitter account (including my firm), yet who wants to speak to a brand? People buy from people so get your consultants involved. There is a simple test to see whether it’s worth it. Sign up to Twitter, click on ‘Who to Follow’ and link to your LinkedIn contacts. If more than 50% of your connections have active (i.e. tweeting) accounts then don’t you think you should be involved in those conversations? I do. Paul gave a great example of “back in the day” (I’m not old enough to remember!) when people in the office used to go to a single, central computer to send an email – it’s unfathomable now ,so why do many still take the same approach to social and let the corporate brand do all of the hard work? Integrate individuals into a social strategy and I’m certain you’ll see.
As an industry, let’s stop putting up these recruitment stereotype – like barriers to being social online and start creating architectures for our people to become social, become trusted and add value to clients and candidates. There was a view from the floor yesterday that there is not a single recruitment firm that has “nailed the Big 4” of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Linkedin but if you have got any examples – please drop a note below.
The team from Carve Consulting also spoke about the recent introduction of Apply with Linkedin, Mobile Recruiting, Apps, Facebook pages and how the corporate website will become redundant. Far too many topics for me to drone on about so if you want to hear more please do get in touch with myself, or indeed the experts at Carve.