When thinking about the benefits of Social Recruiting, I think one of the most compelling is the positive effect on controlling the quality of candidates that enter the talent funnel. As a development engineer, one of the fundamental lessons I learned is “Garbage In, Garbage Out”. It didn’t matter what software tools I applied to make sense of the input data, if one of my collection channels was faulty; the entire experiment would have to be scrapped. This example is not to suggest that prospective candidates are garbage. Rather, this is to illustrate the need for getting the right candidates to enter the talent funnel in order to maximize the chances of achieving the desired output (making a quality candidate(s) selection).
Entering The Talent Funnel
Companies currently have a wide variety of sourcing channels at their disposal. Whether prospective candidates are identified through job board postings, industry conferences, Google search, employee referrals, or career fairs; the difficulty is typically not related to finding enough candidates. The challenge is finding enough quality candidates. When using channels where candidates are able to apply for open positions without a pre-screen, organizations are often inundated with applications from under qualified individuals. This requires members of the recruiting team to sort unqualified applicants from those who are qualified. Technology-based services such as: keyword filtering and assessment testing have been helpful. However, these services add additional expense and complexity to the recruiting process without addressing the underlying problem. The real question is, “How can an organization create an environment where only the most qualified candidates enter the talent funnel?”
For companies focused on populating their talent funnel with the highest quality candidates that fit their selection criteria, Social Recruiting can help. However, companies must be willing to put in more work up front to educate prospective candidates. Companies must focus on first communicating the values and benefits of the organization. Prospective candidates can then engage in a period of discovery with former employees, current employees, peers and members of the recruiting team. With the wide range of available social media tools, the ability to directly engage prospective candidates in dialogue at web scale has never been easier. When both companies and candidates have established mutual interest through candidate request and company acceptance into the talent community, targeted job invitations can be made to prospective candidates.
Since candidates have already demonstrated interest (opt-in) in the organization, the response rate will be higher. In addition, during the period of mutual diligence, the company has a baseline understanding of candidate quality and the candidate has a good feel for how he/she can best contribute to the success of the company. Now, the well-defined screening and selection process can take over to determine which qualified candidates are the best fit for the positions under consideration.