I had the distinct pleasure of joining Michael Kelemen on the Recruiting Animal Show yesterday to talk about Facebook. If you've never listened to the show, prepare yourself. It's a call-in show of rowdy miscreants and the occasional unsuspecting guest, all run by the Recruiting Animal himself. Yesterday's show had some technical difficulties, but the callers jumped in and grilled me, argued with me, and asked a lot of great questions.
There's a segment of the online recruiting world that just doesn't buy into the social media hype. My hope is I was able to acknowledge their concerns, but also point out there is an incredible amount of value in social media for recruiting, and in the end, that value will begin to creep into even the most stalwart oldtimers.
Here's a short synopsis of what I said, and the major questions.
1) Facebook's new search update will make it possible for recruiters to finally use Facebook as a sourcing tool, but it will require recruiters to build up large networks of candidates similar to what we've done in Twitter and LinkedIn. The current method of scrolling Facebook updates is inefficient, but with a large enough network and stream, the updates become real time knowledge for sourcing.
This allows you to combine your personal and professional networks, as before the key was adding only professional contacts so you didn't clutter your stream with personal comments.
2) The addition of the Facebook fan box allows you to port Facebook content out to your career page, but it also allows you to divert traffic into your Facebook fan pages. The major problems with fan pages is getting to them. The embeddable widget gives you a portal to people who like to use Facebook, and this is a major development for all Facebook marketers.
3) The change happening in internet marketing from Facebook's challenge to Google's targeted traffic will have major implications for marketing and technology recruiters. Finding people who understand Facebook marketing, and being able to filter them, is a lucrative new niche for recruiters in those industries.
4) The changes aren't there yet, but in abotu six months, we'll start to feel them. The time to build your network in Facebook is now. Previously, Facebook was only a messaging platform. It is now a third site for your marketing efforts.
From the questions:
1) Yes, I recruit regularly, and have been doing so since February of last year after a short hiatus.
2) You are not required to play the games or involve yourself in silly activites. Block or ignore those applications.
3) If you're not getting value from your Facebook friends, you have the wrong Facebook friends. You're not going to find top executives at Chucky Cheese, and you're not going to find them if you only connect to high school ex-girlfriends.
4) That said, many salespeople and executives are connecting old business connections on Facebook, and driving large amounts of revenue their way. If your business connections are on Facebook, consider adding them as friends.
5) If you're going to use Facebook for business, add your vanity url to your email
6) The point of social media training is to accelerate your knowledge level. Yes, you can do it on your own, but you can also learn to play golf on your own. Or you can take training.
7) If you aren't making money from your social networking as a recruiter, you shouldn't be using social networking as a recruiter.
8) Social media does not replace the skills of recruiting. I would train recruiters with a bag of quarters and a phone book before I let them use social media.
9) That said, personally, I would use my current skills over phone sourcing for sales and recruiting (and do). That's only because I have a solid base of recruiting experience.