Much of what passes for social recruiting is neither social nor recruiting. The high value pieces of the recruiting process involve judgment, assessment, selection, evaluation, interaction and conversation. Most internet eased recruiting tools don’t do much more than publicize opportunity and collect data.
Ultimately, the recruitment advertising model is going to change. Job ads, regardless of the setting (your website, a job board or in the flow of social media) have a very low conversion rate. As other methods mature, the generation old practice of matching traffic with opportunity will give way to better targeting. It’s not clear whether any of that evolution will have a meaningful social component.
There are glimmers of new models at eLance and BountyJobs. Both companies are a part of a wave that imagines work as an auction and reputation process (ebay for individual projects or recruiters). Demographic targeting projects from enticeLabs portend a future in which candidates are actively hunted as they browse the web. Jibe makes it possible to convert your facebook network into job hunting information. StrictlyExecs (a new project from visionary Hank Stringer) focuses on relationships in small batches (and therefore gets closest to Social Recruiting)
For the most part, innovation is a slow and halting process in our neck of the woods. Rather than a leap into the unknown, most HR buyers prefer tools that look like the stuff they are already doing. Job Boards are more like newspaper classified ads than they are like network objects. Social Recruiting really means placing job ads on social media sites. Getting the market to fully embrace something new is an uphill battle.
That is why the market will go towards offerings like WorkForUs (reviewed recently) and JobMagic in the short to medium term. Familiar functionality set in newer, hipper communications channels is a key to fast market traction. While the ultimate shape of Recruiting is not an extension of the past, it’s much less risky to embrace something familiar. There’s not much in the way of early adopter advantage but there’s not a lot of downside either.
Where WorkForUs has a focused set of functions, JobMagic is growing to look increasingly like a fully featured cross posting tool for all social media. The WorkForUs integration with Facebook is cleaner and simpler. The JobMagic approach resembles more fully featured tools that cross social media property boundaries. Where WorkForUs is a Facebook job board application, JobMagic has broadcast capabilities that reach 300 different social networks.
Years ago, job posting services differentiated themselves based on how many outlets they reached. If social recruiting were simply another variant of traditional recruitment advertising, it would be a fine thing to post your jobs, like blanket bombing, across hundreds of networks. It will probably work very well until the downturn is over (that may be a decade!)
Meanwhile, the rest of the advertising industry is getting clearer and clearer about the importance of targeting precision. You really don’t want to waste your employment brand on people who are not interested in the message. As people get used to very targeted advertising, they will come to expect it from Recruitment Ads as well. Job Board style broadcast techniques are spam regardless of the context.
If you are experimenting with Social Media as a recruiting environment, try WorkForUs. By focusing on a single environment (Facebook), you can control your investment and costs. If, on the other hand, you are committed to broadcasting your way into the hearts of your future employees, JobMagic is right for you. Both tools will provide a smooth transition from Job Boards to Social Media without requiring new skills or much in the way of change.
If you want to get a real bang for your buck, you’ll need to get on board with some of the more visionary operations we mentioned. Like all decisions, next generation platforms offer risk and reward. The greater the risk, the greater the reward.