The talent acquisition process until recently was completely outdated, saturated and more importantly, emotionless. Technological advances emerging every day have managed to forge a new way of recruiting to up and coming industries that before didn't even exist.
Social recruitment is here, and it has been for quite some time now. It’s also here to stay. My only problem is that too many recruiters think social recruitment is about bombarding Twitter with spammy job links and skimming through job titles on LinkedIn. In reality, it’s also not about finding the right candidate; it’s about finding the right person.
I’m going to talk about how you, as a 21st century recruiter, can use elements of human psychology, scientific studies, social media recruiting techniques and not forgetting those all-important dating skills, to help you become the best recruiter you can possibly be.

Finding your date

Identifying where your potential candidates hangout is imperative to distinguishing what channels to use to help aid in your candidate search. Now I’m not suggesting you go on a major stalking prowl throughout your potential candidates’ social media channels. You don’t need to know what their cats look like on Facebook, how many selfies they take on Instagram, or even what their dream wedding will look like on their Pinterest board. However you do need to know who they are on a basic level, find out what interests them and see if there’s any opportunities where you can make an emotional and real life connection.
Now LinkedIn is the obvious channel choice due to its vast user base of professionals and the extremely easy to use search functionality. It’s also a fantastic way of expressing yourself and marketing yourself as a recruiter who cares about finding right people for the right roles. Too many times has a recruiter wasted not only my time but their own by getting in touch about a job that I’m either lacking in experience for or actually has nothing to do with my current position. I totally understand that being a recruiter isn’t an easy job, and the majority of you do take time in finding the right candidate, but sometimes you are let down by the ones who don’t care, the one’s who don’t put in the required effort it takes to find the right person for the job. LinkedIn has its fair share of recruiters, and it is competitive, so mistakes can be costly.
There are other channels out there that can help you form a well-rounded social recruitment strategy.

Twitter can also be a fantastic place to recruit with detailed bios to analyse, an advanced search feature that can target right down to location and not to mention the means to really understand what your candidate is like by looking at what they post. As mentioned earlier, connecting with your candidate on an emotional level is something to really think about. Now I don’t mean fake an emotional relationship/connection, I mean take a genuine interest in what they have to offer. Comment on a piece/article they have recently published, or a view they have expressed. Engage with them and really get to know them before swooping in for the kill. This is where the ‘first date’ analogy comes into play. You would never, in a million years, ask someone on a date with zero knowledge of who they are, what they’re interested in, at least at a very basic level. And if you did, I’d take a guess you don’t have much success with it.

You need to have as much confidence in the candidate as they do you.

First impressions count

Genetically, we’re hardwired to make quick decisions. According to the Business Insider, it takes just 7 seconds to make an impression on somebody. Whether it’s in email form, on social media or face to face, you need to make those first 7 seconds count. Just like they would on a first date.
The very first thing a potential candidate person will see when you approach them on social media is your profile picture. Luckily for you, there has been various studies and psychological tests conducted into how you can take the “perfect profile photo”.

Obstructing or hiding your eyes, with sunglasses, for example, can have a negative impact on how “likeable” you look. On the other hand, according to the same study, it can also increase how “influential” you look, but only slightly!!! (I’d ignore that though, likability is much more important, so don’t wear sunglasses on you profile picture or on a first date.)

“The study was based on over 60,000 ratings of perceived Competence, Likability, and Influence for 800 profile photos in our PhotoFeeler database.”

Another absolute essential thing you need to think about when taking your profile picture is how friendly you look. The same study above found that profile pictures that have a natural, friendly and warming smile tend to be perceived as very likable, competent and influential. With an emphasis on natural here, pulling out a cheesy grin as wide as your face will do you absolutely no favours.
Another important element in making first impressions count is impeccable manners. Manners play a significant role in building human relationships. It lays the foundation of a stable social pattern. Having no manners on a date will get you nowhere fast, and it’s exactly the same when speaking to a prospect. You need to romance them, but in a polite manner, never ever seedy!

Sell yourself

Selling yourself on a first date is imperative to its success. Your date needs to know exactly who you are, what you’re about and what type of person you are. As a recruiter, you need to sell yourself as much as your services. As mentioned earlier on, the journey of social recruitment depends on the human element and nurturing relationships. Show your candidate your personality, this will help them trust you and build a persona around you, after all, they are relying on you helping them find and apply for a job.
What’s your experience in placing people into similar roles? What companies have you worked with and successfully placed people in? Have you any feedback or recommendations from previous candidates that you have placed? These are all things candidates will be thinking about and looking for, so why not make it easy for them to find the answers.
Do this by showcasing your work, your thoughts and your experiences. Complete your LinkedIn profile with as much detail as possible, after all, who doesn’t want to be an All-Star right? Think about how you can turn any feedback into a case study and encourage successfully placed candidates to endorse and recommend you on LinkedIn.

Don’t expect the perfect ending…

If life and dating have taught us anything, it’s that sometimes it doesn’t go the way you want or need it to go. You have to work with it, rather than battle against it. The same goes for recruiting; sometimes you have to cut your losses. This is the hard part. As humans, we hate saying no and in recruitment terms, telling somebody that they aren’t successful is a hard task, especially when they are clearly excited and enthusiastic about the role.
Whatever you do, don’t leave your candidate in the dark. You may think that by not emailing back it should give a hint, but sometimes, no news can appear to be good news.

Communication is key here. You need to know when it’s just not going right. The perfect person for the role on paper may not be perfect in reality usually because the personality is the wrong fit.

Recruitment, just like dating, is a hard nut to crack. Social Recruiting is the way forward if used properly and effectively, it can make the process easier and sometimes enjoyable. This whole process rings true for more than just recruiting and dating, it’s all about forming real relationships, being trustworthy, honourable and most importantly, being someone people want to listen to and spend time with. As with most things in life, you get out what you put in. Work that bit harder to build your social profile, work a bit later to curate content that the relevant people will be interested in and it will come to fruition.

Here at Ph.Creative we’ve worked with an impressive portfolio of recruitment clients and honed our skills in finding the right candidates. Using our skilled team we’re able to quickly understand your audience and start building a strategy for the perfect ‘first date’ and find you the success you need. To get in touch with us about starting your journey into effective recruitment marketing click this link and speak to one of the team.

Have I missed any other important parts of the dating process that you think matches perfectly with social recruiting? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @PhCreativeRob