Oct 5, 2011

Skills The Social Recruiter Needs to Build



Recruiting has traditionally been of three types.

One is typified by the Old Boys Club persona. These are typically the ones working on retained searches, placing CEOs, COOs and whatever are the other CXOs. I met one of them a couple of years ago and when he heard that I was working in the intersection of HR and Social raised a distasteful eyebrow and said "I don't need social media. I am exclusive. Most of the leaders of India Inc. would give an arm to reach me." They command usually high fees (to the tune of 33% of candidate's salary - and take usually 11% before the search is commissioned, 11% when the shortlist is given and the remaining when the candidate is selected)

Then there are the third party recruiters working on contingent searches - trying to be the first one to push that CV that they have sourced, talked to the candidate (and sometimes not even that!) to the corporate recruiter before a rival does. Always yearning to reach the standard of the earlier described Recruiters on a retainer. They typically get lower commissions (8.33% in lean times to 12.5-20% in better times) and only when the search is complete.

And then there is the corporate recruiter. Some focusing on middle and top level recruiting. Others on entry level and campus recruiting. They juggle the third party recruiters and headhunters on one hand and the hiring manager within the company on the other. They also have to manage their own performance measures like being under-budget, tracking metrics (time to hire being the easiest) and chasing line managers (for things like job description, to taking interviews)

Insert into this ecosystem something as disruptive as "Talent Communities & Social Recruiting" - moving from transactions to relationship, from secrecy to transparency - and then one realises the skills that need to be built by the Social Recruiter:


  1. Community Building and Facilitation: This is critical and encompasses a whole lot of skills that focus on putting the needs of the community paramount and recognizing the various social roles in the community and supporting each of them appropriately
  2. Content Creation and encouraging others to do the same: Recognizing which kind of content is most compelling for the community and adds most value to the members. And encouraging such content from them by ask questions.
  3. Storytelling: Had posted about it earlier - and now its the turn of stories to be "trans-media" from videos to text to mobile to real world.

What other skills would you add?