Haunted by the Ghost of Old School Recruiting

Remnants of A Wreck

One thing I never quite understand is how a traffic jam persists after the wreck has been cleared away. For example, I was driving to work the other morning and traffic was just stop and go. I kept wondering what was going on was on. Then we got to a spot in the road about two miles down the freeway and suddenly I was going the speed limit. Later, I heard on a traffic report (timing is everything) that the remnants of an accident that had been cleared an hour ago. In short it was a traffic jam caused by residual backup. My day was impacted by the ghost of a wreck.

Sometimes I think that moving into social recruiting is haunted by the ghost of old recruiting.

Residual Backup

Here is what I mean. There seems to be putting more expectations and outcomes on social recruiting than perhaps is warranted. A recent article by Raghav Singh (http://www.linkedin.com/in/raghavsingh) , citing a Harvard Business Review Article (http://blogs.hbr.org/haque/2010/03/the_social_media_bubble.html )discusses how social recruiting as being a bubble (http://www.ere.net/2010/07/06/the-social-media-bubble/) because we cannot have a meaningful relationship with all our followers, friends or networks. While I agree with the ideal that relationships are deeper than the multitude of casual connections, I am not certain that it necessary to be successful in social recruiting. Consider that in recruiting we need to identify and engage the target talent and that in fact that relationship can deepen over time. It really doesn’t take a strong relationship for a prospect to take our call or respond to an inquiry.

Doug Berg (http://www.linkedin.com/in/douglasberg) calls this approach building ambient relationship; that is we create an environment that is conducive to a conversation. The relationships that are built on the respective social platforms facilitate the building of trust, rapport and community. Part of the art of social recruiting is nurturing and engaging talent and cultivating a top of mind consideration when the prospect is considering a job change.

Echoes of Old School Recruiting

All the congestion, horn honking, and frustration how we possibly move forward? It is that transition from Old School Recruiting that is actually slowing progress. While I believe much of what we do in recruiting and sourcing in terms of core techniques and thinking has been consistent for the past 40 years, 21st Century Recruiting is unique to our age. Those core recruiting technologies are being utilized on new platforms. Glen Cathy (http://www.linkedin.com/in/glencathey ) added to the conversation (http://www.booleanblackbelt.com/2010/07/how-social-recruiting-has-n... ) in pointing out what is unique and what is not distinct in social recruiting. At some point I believe social recruiting will simply become recruiting, but we still have some road to travel.

Navigating the Traffic Jam

While there is the tendency to hang on to the old and familiar, there is also the other extreme—“energized incompetence.” I see energized incompetence in people that attend a seminar or an event and are given a sudden burst of enlightenment. Upon returning to the normal situation, the person attempts to implement the new knowledge into practice. Sometimes driver’s training is in order.

Recently, Paul DeBettignies (http://www.linkedin.com/in/mnheadhunter )tells of a client who wanted jump on the “band wagon” (http://www.mnheadhunter.com/mh/2010/07/social-media-recruiter-wtf-i...) without really knowing the type of powertrain they needed. Fortunately, people like Paul are available to assist folks in navigating the noise around social recruiting. I think that is the beauty of the community that has evolved among recruiters and sourcers. Our profession is openly sharing best practices and sharing our respective experiences in social recruiting.

http://marvsmith.wordpress.com

Views: 13

Comment by Eric Larsen on July 23, 2010 at 11:57am
Sure this highspeed driving course called social networking/recruiting is fast. Heck, it can be easy at times. If recruiters want to be used car salesman, dig up a porsche for some client that wants one but doesn't really look under the hood, sells it to the client and it turns out to be a lemon dying on the freeway... that'll come back to haunt you as traffice slows up again.

I'll use social networks to open the door, yes, but its my reputation that's on the line and you better believe I'm going to use my solid old school techniques before I sell that car off my lot because I don't want my clients to be the ones being slowed down by accidents that I could have prevented.

Social networking is here to stay but it'll always be the only tool for the 'make a quick buck' used car salesmen and not a reliable, depending car lot that has the same repeat customers time and time again.
Comment by Charles Van Heerden on July 26, 2010 at 2:34am
Hi Marv, your post compliments my recent post on Finding Top Talent With the advent of technology, top talent are empowered to research their target company beyond annual reports to a level of granular detail where they will research the profiles of their future manager and the interviewer."

To use Eric's example of buying a Porsche, today buyers are able to quickly do research and use it effectively to negotiate the best deal. This is a fundamental shift in power.

The biggest change will be a shift from transactional recruitment to building talent pipelines so they can have more talent in the right place at the right time.

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