Sep 19, 2011

What Recruiting Needs to Learn from Social Media Marketing



I have long believed that HR and Marketing are different sides of the same coin - which have not learned much from each other :)

Where recruiting can learn from Social Media Marketing is to start building talent communities to engage in conversation with people interested in their firm. Take a look at the following diagram



In traditional recruiting the focus has been to chase the orange circle – and spam them. Even in the current model of “social recruiting” these remain the focus. However, in a talent community the organization actually focuses on first attracting the blue circle, and then identify the overlap in the two groups to focus on the people who are really relevant as well as pre-disposed positively towards the company. Hence the way an organization would build its Talent Community would be very similar to its Social Media Marketing efforts.

It would consist of

  1. Identify and Attract – Organizations have two approaches to build this – firstly rely on their own databases to ask candidates to join their talent community. They can leverage email, careers website, twitter updates and Facebook page updates to do so. Then they can use campaigns on search advertising and social advertising to attract new talent to their community 
  2. Content – Companies are publishing a lot of content, from blog posts, to Press Releases to video uploads, to tweets and job postings. On a talent community platform (that BraveNewTalent provides) it is possible to integrate all this content to present a wholistic view of the organization) 
  3. Community Engagement and Facilitation – This would consist of building conversations between external talent and internal experts, answering questions of talent and triggering discussions. 
  4. Development – The focus of the engagement should not be just to focus on the people in the talent community who have the skills, but to build the overall skill levels of all people in the talent community, by sharing resources with them as well as helping them learn from each other and from subject matter experts in the organization. 


The prerequisites for making Talent Communities a success


  1. To really benefit from Talent Communities they have to be sponsored by the business leadership of the organization that is innovative and willing to be open and transparent. 
  2. The role of recruitment needs to be focused on attraction of talent and building a relationship with them rather than being reactive and chasing candidates. 
  3. The organization has got to be willing to lift the firewall and letting real employees connect with job-seekers without trying to control the conversation. 
  4. A willingness to be vulnerable and deal with tough questions and not be defensive. If a company is willing to try these, they will move the conversation to things that really matter like the work, culture and nature of the job from the one large aspect that is currently the focus these days – the salary.
Update: Based on a conversation with my colleague James Mayes - I came up with this diagram to explain talent communities

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