Its easy to put numbers ahead of quality in social media. Its natural to add people to your contact lists when its as easy as a click of a button, or a quick e-mail. Many recruitment agencies judge you based on the number of contacts you have on your LinkedIn page. Its understandable. But I believe the recruiter with 50 contacts-- people they have well-established professional and friendly relationships with--is more valuable than the one with 500 loosely affiliated connections. I think the challenge in 21st century recruitment is: how do you meet the needs of a database of 500-1000 clients? You're going to need systems that send out automatic holiday and birthday e-cards. You need constant updates and the time to make a quick gesture of congratulation or offers of "how can I help you" without the expectation of reciprocity. It can be done.
Bottom line, I LOVE social media, and the possibilities it offers to recruiters. But the ones who are going to flourish in the long term, I think, are the ones who are using it to build authentic relationships, and that's hard when you're juggling massive databases. What are your thoughts and suggestions?