I find the buzz surrounding "social recruiting" kind of amusing.
I began my recruiting career in 1994. At that time, the only "job board" was Dice.com and even it was a dial-up BB. Online recruiting wasn't even a common concept yet. From 1995 to Y2K the online recruiting space exploded. Nearly every corporate environment became familiar with online recruiting through the use of job boards, primarily. Those were pretty great for a while, because they were extra hands helping to source people from a space we weren't familiar with and they provided value.
Over the years, recruiters became smarter about online recruiting with the help of companies like AIRS and people like Shally Steckerl. By and large though, corporate America continued to rely upon job boards. Recognizing this, the job boards continued to get greedier - each year charging more money and each year delivering less value. I don't know about you, but I got tired of sifting through the hundreds of resumes from Monster that were not at all what I needed.
I eventually turned inward to my own training and knowledge to source candidates. In the beginning of my career, I had been taught the value of networking and creating connections. I was taught the value of helping others in my network and the return that it would provide. I was taught that this network was to be taken very seriously because it would take much time to build but only a moment to tear down. My network was a living entity to me; I cared for it accordingly.
As such, when I came to the realization that job boards were simply a waste of time and money - I just quit using them. I discovered through my own sourcing efforts that I saved money and sourced more successfully using the skills I had been taught about networking - only I took it to the online world. I used my AIRS training and boolean capabilities and I harnessed my inner search queen. It was a risk that paid off. I became highly sought after for very specialized IT positions. I made a career out of sourcing this way, teaching others to source this way and managing recruiting teams that sourced this way.
I used my networking skills and applied them to things like online communities and groups - back in 1995 I was using Newsgroups to network and source from which was a concept completely foreign to most recruiters. My boss was pretty cutting edge - he liked technology and encouraged the use and exploration of it. Who knew it would shape the entire foundation of my recruiting career and even this phenomenon called "social media".
Recruiting through online networking and social sites isn't a new concept. It started more than 20 years ago, people. Before my time, before your time - it's still going on and it isn't going anywhere. In fact, networking as a whole is far more productive and lucrative than you may think. If you choose to ignore it, you may get left behind. How you address social networking and social media is critical to your success. Be an innovator, not part of the herd. Get used to this revolution and tap into it's potential. Your wallet (and your hiring managers) will thank you!