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Are you a Social Recruitment wanker?

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 9:47am Monday 07 December 2009    Print Article

There may come a time where you are so immersed in social media you become a wanker. You forget about the real world. Real relationships. A world where you pick up the phone to call a candidate or catch-up with a client for a coffee. For all those who know me, I would rather communicate over the phone than correspond via Twitter.

Social media commentators don't understand the Online Recruitment industry. Forget the hype and talking from the overseas markets, the Australian online recruitment market is not quite shifting yet. Yes, I know there are many recruiters who are finding candidates via social media, but overall the majority of hires is coming from other mediums.

Job seekers USE job boards. In fact, job board traffic is at a all time high. Just have a look at the latest Job Board Statistics for November 2009. Job seekers use job boards because they are a one stop shop to conduct a job search. The latest RCSA survey shows that 96% of Recruiters source Candidates through mainstream Job Boards.

Social media is not a fad, and it is very important for recruiters to understand each of the different types of social media and how they can be used in the recruitment process - a process where you need to automate as much as possible. If not, you are wasting your time and resources. Maybe no one wants to follow your recruitment agency on Twitter?

If you answer yes to any of these, you may be a social recruitment wanker.
  • At every opportunity you get, you retweet or tweet a "thank you" to your followers with a link back to your blog/website
  • You have attended more than 1 "social media in recruitment" conferences in the past 12 months
  • You attend "tweetups"
  • You are a member of a social media club
  • Your email signature contains more than 5 contact points - phone, email, web, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook
There are a lot of people who think job boards are dying, and will be replaced by social networking sites. Unfortunately, they tend to forget about the underlying dimension of a job board. It is a type of classifieds - like Carsales, Realestate, etc where 2 parties meet - the advertiser and the job seeker.

Last week, Google released the 2009 Year-End Google Zeitgeist for Australia and the 10th most popular search term was SEEK just behind larger more dominant online sites including Facebook, Google and Youtube. 

Job boards are already connected with social networking sites. In fact, they are more connected then ever. SEEK was the first to launch a sponsored Facebook group in November 2007 and CareerOne has powered MySpace Jobs since January 2008. Statistics I produced last week show that 45% of the job ad links on Twitter click through to SEEK, followed by 15% to the Recruiter/Employers website and ATS. 35% of the job ad links on Facebook have no URL or email address listed, followed by 20% to the Recruiter/Employers website.

So before you go out and cancel your job board subscription for social media. Start small, dip your toes in the water and give it some time to work. The more channels you are on, the harder it is to control. Remember to measure the ROI and compare the difference.

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Article Tags: social recruiting social recruitment twitter facebook myspace seek job board statistics social recruitment wanker social media club online recruitment online recruitment industry job boards carsales realestate online classifieds future of job boards

Comments Hide Comments (29)

Feel free to join in on the conversation. All comments are moderated before publishing. Comments posted by subscribers don't necessarily reflect the views of Recruitment Directory.

 Bill Raskin (12:20pm Monday 07 December 2009)

What a refreshing look at the subject. Everyone is still caught up in the hype; just look at last weeks "Recruitment Revolution" conference. A conference that is 18 months too late.

We have been measuring all our marketing mediums for the past 12 months and job boards still come out on top for both number of applications and placement ratio.

Always good to read your blog posts Thomas. Keep up the good work

 Please help me (12:26pm Monday 07 December 2009)

I have a confession to make. I am a social recruitment wanker.

I went to last week’s conference
I attend many social media tweetups for social media club Sydney
I have no life

Please help me.

 Industry Observer (12:33pm Monday 07 December 2009)

Geeze you have some balls. I love it!

There is soo much crap coming from the US and UK markets. Job boards rule and social media will not hurt them at all. Social media sites need classifieds as a revenue stream.

 Anon (12:36pm Monday 07 December 2009)

If you use social media in moderation you will not be a wanker. Only use a small number of channels else you become a "recruitment whore". Maybe you could use that term next time.

 Social Media rules (12:40pm Monday 07 December 2009)

You are wrong and you know it.

 Thomas Shaw (12:45pm Monday 07 December 2009)

I will allow anonymous comments this time only. If the comments get out of hand they will be moderated. Keep it clean.

 James Cozens (1:04pm Monday 07 December 2009)

Great post Thomas. I guess I qualify as a

W as around in recruitment 30 years ago
A m still learning and have..
N early learnt how to Tweet
K an spell Social Notworking (joke)
E ndeavour to listen to clients and candidates
R ead as much as I can - whether a tweet, a paper or a book

There are a couples of very recent blogs totally backing up your thoughts, the first is mine, the second is Greg Savage

Plus Ca Change

And Twitter and Facebook are cool but get real

 Jubal Ince (4:27pm Monday 07 December 2009)

Good post. Social media recruitment is just another tool in the online recruiters toolbox. Tons of "low hanging fruit" on the job boards, so why not start there while your social efforts are running in the background?


 Ris (5:41pm Monday 07 December 2009)

I am sick of "social media consultants" it's about time they got a real job.

I have to agree with you, most people do not understand the online recruitment industry. Pity, because it is worth a lot of money.

You should add this to your wanker checklist...
- Uses the words "social media" in their profile pages

 nahiaali (5:47pm Monday 07 December 2009)

Nice information update. I like it

 Paul Jacobs (9:41pm Monday 07 December 2009)

According to your criteria Thomas I may be a social recruitment wa*ker, not that there is anything wrong with that.

I wonder if you are asking the right question though? eg:
Are recruiters wa*kers?
Are recruiters who only use LinkedIn wa*kers?
Are the job boards wa*kers?
Are people who post on job boards wa*kers?
Are people who post anonymous comments wa*kers?
Are people who don't spell wa*kers in full wa*kers? etc etc

 Master Bates (12:48am Tuesday 08 December 2009)

"Keep it clean" you said and you are the one who used the term Wanker! Now that is priceless!

 Raymond (1:40am Tuesday 08 December 2009)

People visit the supermarket to buy food
People visit a car yard to look for a car
People visit job boards to find jobs
People don't trust recruiters?

Who has ever heard of job seekers searching YouTube to find a new job? In my recent dealings with recruiters, I have seen many wankers.

I was laughing to myself about your comment "Your email signature contains more than 5 contact points - phone, email, web, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook" I couldn't think of a worse way of promoting yourself.

What is the point of having the same comments, conversations, content across all the networks. Surley the message looses value each time you post it on every channel?

 Gijs Notté (9:36pm Tuesday 08 December 2009)

The thing with social recruitment is that it doesn't cost anything but time. Last year all in house recruiters had lots of time and no budget. I can imagine that this has helped social recruitment grow. But what happens when these recruiters need to fill 50 in stead of 2 vacancies? will they keep on chatting on twitter with a potential candidate, hoping to trigger him to visit their website? My guess is that they start optimizing they websites and look for traffic generators like to get as much reactive traffic as possible and if this isn't enough, the recruitment agencies will get their chances again. The role of social media can still be useful to inform potential candidates once they have shows interest in the company.

 Louise Hale (5:05am Wednesday 09 December 2009)

The pen is mightier than the sword (they say) and the spoken word mightier still. Thankfully we can choose either or both these days and thankfully a phone approach conversation is not a dying art form. Is it??

 Luke Sampson (9:09am Thursday 10 December 2009)

Thanks Thomas, I think this is the first post I've read on social recruiting that I found interesting! I think most of us understand social media is great, but with all the hype its refreshing to hear someone be realistic about its limitations with recruiting.

 Niall Kelly Ireland (1:27am Saturday 12 December 2009)

while im biased as i run some job boards, i think that we will see linkedin as the main social recruitment service along with job boards and recruiters own databases. who has the time to tweet, etc...I have been monmitoring social media closely and feedback from "power" SM recruiters is that they dont get any placements or v few but enjoy using the get to rub their own ego's and its free.

Good point above re when market picks up, who will have the time....

job boards are ready for their next level....better technology, more focussed advice.

 Justin Hillier (1:46am Saturday 12 December 2009)

Ah people, what can I say. Thomas I don't know what intention you had for this post but something quite ironic has stuck out to me. Whilst there are many things I could say to those people above who provided negative comments regarding social media as a recruitment tool the craziest thing is Thomas has actually highlighted how effective Social Media is.

You see for those who understand truly how powerful social media is and can be for your business, you will know that Blog's generate more business traction then any other form. The reason being is that they are informative, personal, engaging the list goes on and on.

So for those who have made a negative comment regarding Social media consultants (which Thomas is one of himself) or saying that it is a limited tool and just all hype you have you are in face the wankers. This is a blog and you have felt compelled to engage with Thomas and his business. You now like him and might even want to work with him moving forward.

Clever Thomas, very clever.

 Thomas Shaw (12:04pm Saturday 12 December 2009)

Niall.... Agree, the job boards I am dealing with are currently integrating (or preparing to) with LinkedIn, Have a look at this post on Integrating your Job Board or Recruitment system with LinkedIn

Justin....Traffic from social media sites - Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc to the blog is less than 10%. The main traffic source to the blog is via search engines and our weekly email newsletter.

 Industry Observer (9:47am Monday 14 December 2009)

Who is this Justin guy?

 post jobs lover (8:23pm Monday 14 December 2009)

What ever happened to those consultants pushing Second Life? LOL

Can you look into the relationships between job boards and advertising agencies? I reakon you might find a ripper of an article on dodgy business practices.

 Moderate social media user (12:27am Monday 21 December 2009)

I do think there is a danger of getting too immersed in the subject of social media/recruitment. There seems to be a gravy train (or a social media circus if you will) of a few self-designated gurus doing the rounds as speakers, conference attendees and radio show hosts/guests, eulogising and philosophising about what might be in store. It's interesting, but you can get too much of a good thing, even wanking!

 Michelle (11:43am Monday 21 December 2009)

Thank you! Lets just all grasp that Social Media is an additional resource which is gaining momentum - yes; but will not make every other medium obsolete. Snail mail is still around and what was the predictions when e-mail first came about?

 somaie (9:29pm Friday 01 January 2010)

Often we forget the little guy, the SMB, in our discussions of the comings and goings of the Internet marketing industry. Sure there are times like this when a report surfaces talking about their issues and concerns but, for the most part, we like to talk about big brands and how they do the Internet marketing thing well or not so well.

 Simon Taylor (11:42pm Tuesday 05 January 2010)

Ok, I hate the Snake Oil types as much as the next guy but...

"You attend "tweetups" " - That makes someone a wanker? Knowing your community is networking. Same as any conference, just more human.

 Brad (11:05am Wednesday 06 January 2010)

Crap. I should have read your blog post before we engaged a someone to help with our social media strategy.

You know the company I am talking about. Complete waste of time and resources.

Well done on posting this. It's true, in Australia if your job is not listed on SEEK you will have little chance of finding candidates.

 J (3:47pm Thursday 10 June 2010)

I thought you were a wanker the first time we met when you tried to setup a Facebook App for us, but now realise you are smarter than the rest.

 Steve Ludlow (12:28pm Friday 06 August 2010)

I don't know any social media 'gurus / consultants / evangelists / wankers' that would deny that SEEK is almost essential to a recruitment agency, unless you’re purely head hunting. We've filled 25% of our jobs last FY through social media, Linkedin being the most effective SM tool for us. But in almost all of those scenarios, the phone was the key to securing the talent and the social media was the source. Of the remaining 75%, more than half is SEEK. I use social media for recruitment, branding, marketing, learning and engaging with our target audience. You might even call me a fan of social media, but I own shares in SEEK (they’ve doubled in price for me in the past year) and I’ll continue to hold the shares. They’re onto a very good thing at SEEK and they’re not going anywhere any time soon. I don't think it is, or ever will be, job boards versus social media. Everyone is and will continue to use both, with the social media side being used as way to gain an edge on your competitors and a way to engage with your target audience without having to sell to them; a powerful marketing tool I believe. BTW, what’s a tweetup? Am I a wanker for not knowing?
I was interviewed on the subject of social media in recruitment recently. The video is on our blog

 frustrated jobseeker (1:27pm Tuesday 31 August 2010)

What a waste of time and effort and now I realise that as a recent jobseeker my theory that all recruiters are wankers is completely true. I have used many mediums to search for the right position so firstly why limit yourselves in addition I always wandered in this age of technology, why it is not possible to get a simple reply from recruiters or HR departments that my application of which I painstakingly took time to write and adapt for each job had been received. Now I realise the answer, because recruiters instead are spending the time they could send a generic email to applicants arguing on blogs or surfing networking sites.

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