This is an ongoing series discussing the strategic role of social media and technology used in hiring and recruitment. Click here to read the series from the beginning.
Social media has brought about a new importance and access to news and information available at our fingertips and in real time. Using social networking sites like Quora I can pose questions and look for research and information while discussing and learning from experts, I didn’t have visibility or access to before. Twitter happens to be my favorite news and information tool. On a call with a client six months ago, they asked if I knew of any companies who were using wiki’s for internal information sharing and resources. I quickly tweeted her questions form my Twitter account and within 5 minutes I had several examples and opportunities to connect with Fortune 200 companies. I consider Twitter to be my live, crowd sourced Google search where I share information, news and resources with my audience, and they also do the same.
Social media and its high adoption rates also serves as an opportunity for internet sources who use social media to find candidates who are a fit for a hard to fill position at their company or one that they work with. As professionals flock to social media sites to engage, share and talk shop, sourcers can use the information they provide as an internet playground in which to snatch top talent long before they update their resume on a job board or even their LinkedIn profile. One of my favorite ways to source candidates is using the mobile photo sharing network, Instagram.
What is Internet Sourcing?
Internet sourcing is not new but the rise in importance, popularity and its creativity surrounding social media has brought about a renewed importance in role of internet sourcing to company’s recruiting. While still in new development, recruiting technologies and algorithms exist that monitor changes and updates to the social profiles of candidates and connections your company is looking to recruit, engage and develop relationships with. Sourcers can use these tools and their own techniques to find those hidden gems through search techniques and strategies on the internet.
Prior to social media and the popularity of LinkedIn, sourcers used online directories and search tools called Boolean to find a specific list of keyword and criteria to locate a hidden pool of very targeted job seekers for job openings their company was recruiting. With Boolean search, you to combine words and phrases into search statements to retrieve documents from searchable databases. This downside of any type of internet search including Boolean search prior to the popularity of social media was that databases and candidate information was often old and cold. Websites and information weren’t updated as frequently or on a regular basis within member databases or other online lists. The creation of a content management tool called WordPress and social media has changed all that.
In the old days of 1997, if you wanted your website updated, you put in a call to your friendly neighborhood website developer or corporate IT guy. It might take days, weeks or months to make a website page change or update your site. The blogging platform, WordPress.com changed all that and made websites and blogging easy. Millions of blogs flooded the internet by potential candidates and businesses could update their online content making the indexing and evaluating process of websites, blogs and internet pages more important than ever. Social media makes updating, sharing and promoting even easier as information can be updated in real time and candidates as well as employees are sharing more information online than ever before. A target and strategic use of sourcing that evaluates, monitors and captures potential candidate information is more important than ever before.
Introducing Strategic Internet Sourcing and Recruiting
Strategic sourcing which is the forth tier of the Hierarchy of Social Media in Recruiting (seen above) is for the purposes of driving long term recruiting results. Using online internet search techniques for the purposes of just in time recruiting such as searching for a candidate on LinkedIn is not what I consider “strategic.” LinkedIn makes this process easy depending on the type of LinkedIn product your company uses as part of their recruiting efforts. In highly competitive industries like programming and engineering in Silicon Valley, qualified candidates are deleting their LinkedIn profiles because they are inundated with InMails for recruiters looking to fill a job using only LinkedIn.
An example of strategic sourcing is building a list of 10-15 engineer candidates in your target city or industry with the purposes of building a relationship with them and recruiting them for the long term.
This is an ongoing series discussing the strategic role of social media and technology used in hiring and recruitment. Click here to read the final installment of the series.