It’s easy to feel at home at the ERE Expo. It’s a vibrant & friendly, yet surprisingly intimate, atmosphere. In her post I Heart Recruiters, China Gorman calls it the best conference she’s attended all year.
Yet the overarching theme of the conference was anything but comfortable. The world of recruiting is moving so fast, if you stay on the couch at home and practice “recruiting 1.0″ as Matthew Jeffrey, opening keynote speaker, quipped, you will fail.
What does leaving home mean?
Home is attracting applicants, managing your applicant tracking database, pushing applicants through as quick as you can, and making a competitive offer that you hope sticks.
Leaving home means getting out there – making yourself vulnerable, building relationships, and developing emotional connections. It means leveraging social recruiting in a way that goes beyond lobbing job postings over to Facebook and tweeting job openings. It means meeting potential candidates where they are and finding a way to connect.
What are the most important tools in social recruiting?
The most important tools are free. What matters is how you use them. Tiffany Peery, virtual recruiting manager at Intel, shared her personal experience and insight with blogging, LinkedIn, and more. Blogs, that are authentic and convey true stories of working at your company, provide the anchor to your social recruiting strategy. On the other hand, blogs that are cleansed and corporate will be a turn-off. You can grow a LinkedIn group that engages a potential talent pool by putting in the time to answer questions and give feedback. This has worked particularly well for Tiffany as she interacts with college students.
Meanwhile, Beth McCormick, recruiting manager at Lawrence Livermore Lab, led a discussion with her peers on leveraging emerging social tools like Glassdoor.com, Quora, Foursquare, Zynga, and Yammer to run more effective recruiting departments. The liveliest discussion centered around Foursquare and whether it was ok to “stalk candidates.” Recruiters in the room shared their personal experience with Foursquare, noting that it was about sharing their own location and making themselves accessible to candidates, rather than the other way around.
What’s worth paying for?
Social recruiting was all the buzz on the showroom floor, but not all solutions are going to get you out of the house. What is?
Finding passive candidates
Job aggregation is necessary and plentiful, but making it easier for active candidates to find your job postings is not going to give you a competitive edge. Solutions are emerging that target passive candidates (individuals that are currently working, not actively looking for a new job, but generally interested in progressing their career). These solutions advertise employers and job opportunities where career-minded individuals go to read the news, network with friends, and live their lives online. For example, Work4Labs, featured on the HRHappyHour Live stream, places ads on Facebook, using a statistical algorithm to match candidate characteristics to job postings. Meanwhile, Simply Hired places ads on Fortune Best Places to Work articles and the New York Times.
Connecting and tracking passive candidates
LinkedIn Recruiter was the number one cited tool providing value to recruiters. It provides a massive, live candidate pool, with opportunities to engage via groups (like Tiffany Peery has done) and targeted communications. Find.ly, brand new to the market, takes things a step further and enables creation of employer-specific, live candidate pools with a low barrier of entry – connecting via LinkedIn, Facebook, or MySpace. No longer do recruiters have to live, at home, with a stale applicant tracking system.
Measuring candidate sourcing
Analytics and effectiveness metrics are plentiful. There is no reason, at this point, to engage a solution that doesn’t offer this. Jobs2Web is a standout in this category and was cited multiple times in sessions as providing the necessary insight into spend and effectiveness.
Bottom line: With the right strategy and the right tools, recruiters can accelerate their productivity and effectiveness beyond what was imaginable a few years ago. ERE is the place to develop this competitive advantage. Don’t miss the fall expo in Florida.
Your POV: what did you get out of ERE Expo? What social recruiting tools do you find the most useful?