Social Media is Not Doing What Too Many Recruiters Are Doing

social-mediaSeveral months ago I tuned into a Twitter conversation coming out of a conference Greg Savage held, the general gist being the importance for recruiters in having a social media strategy.

The point of this article is not to regurgitate what he discussed or argue whether social media is important or not. I will let you check out what Mr Savage has to say himself. I don’t want to be accused of copying off the bright kid in class!

But it prompted me to dispel some myths about what a social media strategy actually is, or more importantly what it is not. From what I see, a lot recruiters and their employers think they have a social media strategy in place, but in reality they don’t.  So, what is not a social media strategy?

1. Having a Twitter or LinkedIn account, or a FB page.

My Dad has all of the above and last week he tried to buy something online by putting his credit card in the CD drive! No point buying a ticket to the disco if you don’t turn up.

2.  Just ‘liking’ or re-posting things without adding any new content or comments.

It’s a nice thing to do but what’s the point? Unless you are the lovechild of Pitt and Klum, you are going to struggle to pick up someone, spending the whole night on the edge of the dance floor and admiring the talent from afar.

3. Mindlessly sending messages and spamming just because you can.

The various social media platforms, especially LinkedIn, make it super easy to ping out an email to hundreds of people at once. In the time it has taken me to write this I have been sent five spam mails, one from a competitor advertising their jobs. No one is going to be impressed if they are the 50thperson you chatted up that night.

4. Assuming just because your employer is active, you are covered.

Great if your employer is all over social media and pushing their brand out there. But you still have to build your own identity and presence.  You might get some interest because your friends are hot, but if you look like you have been dragged through a hedge backwards then it doesn’t really matter.

5. Focusing on how many people are following you or are in your network.

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It’s not the size that matters; it is what you do with it. Enough said!

6. Doing it for a couple of weeks or months.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is your social media profile. I have been at it for a couple of years and only recently am I reaping the benefits. You might get lucky on the first night, but the good ones usually take a little longer!

…and the biggest mistake of them all…..

7. Posting endless streams of jobs on these sites.

Check out the Twitter stream for QPL a company that recently brought in the administrators (although they have traded out of it now apparently). And I couldn’t find one for HJB who recently went under. (This is where the disco analogy runs out…!)

There are plenty of blogs out there that will give you the “how-to” when it comes to building a successful social media strategy. In my experience there is no magic recipe and it really comes down to trial and error. Just don’t kid yourself you are doing it properly if you are doing the above, you may as well not bother.

Luke Collard is a director and part-owner of Scott Recruitment Services, Australia's oldest Rec-to-Rec firm. He is also co-author of the popular blog The Written Reference which is a lighthearted look at the recruitment industry. He has over 10 years recruitment experience working with global and boutique agencies before moving into his current role. Luke works with clients in Australia and globally, providing consulting and advisory services across the entire recruitment spectrum. Originally from Manchester in the UK, Luke is now a dual British / Australian citizen and currently lives in Melbourne with his partner.

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