Social Recruiting + Infinity

For those who don’t know, I do this little presentation called Social Recruiting MacGyver Style.  I’m doing it in a couple weeks for a thousand HR Pros in Michigan.  I have some fun with it, and poke fun at some of the things we do in our industry with Social Recruiting.  From questions I get, at that presentation, I came up with this concept:

Social Recruiting + Infinity = Bad Recruiting

Here’s the math logic.

How many followers do you in your full social stream? Think all Twitter followers, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook Page followers, etc. Everyone who could possibly be in your network that you could potentially connect with to source.  Big number, right?  Mine is probably in the millions.  The impresses my teenage sons, but that’s about all the ‘klout’ I get from it.

In this social age of recruiting, for the first time, most of us come face to face with the opportunity of limitless.  Social recruiting gives us access, seemingly, to an endless array of candidates.  No one else can handle limitless.  A hospital has a limit on patients. Restaurants have a limit on patrons.  Most things in life have limits.  In recruiting, we have a limit to how many open requisitions we can handle.

But in the social recruiting world, the pursuit of infinity has become that goal.

The question I have to ask those who embarking into this world of social recruiting is, what price are you will pay for this pursuit?

It’s a question most recruiters don’t even consider when they start down the social recruiting path.  When your recruiting pool is ‘everyone’, it changes the way you work. That what social recruiting tends to be like.   Most begin believing they have a new ‘pond’ to fish in, and find out that pond is an ocean, an ocean where you see fish everywhere, but can see the fish you want to catch.

The corollary of infinity (an endless amount of candidates) is zero (so many candidates you can’t even find one).

Social recruiting works really well the smaller you target, not the bigger.  Why is this important to you?  Let’s go back to the math.  We get caught up in the numbers.  The number of followers. The number of people who ‘like’ us. The number of people who click.  When those numbers are worthless, if they are not the people you want.

Social recruiting is not about more numbers.  It’s about using tools to uncover a very specific skill set you are looking for, and networking with that skill set.  Rifle versus shotgun.  Unfortunately, most recruiters start by trying to connect with everyone and anyone and find no one.


7 thoughts on “Social Recruiting + Infinity

  1. This piece has me really thinking! In my world (mostly recruiting teachers), I am constantly trying to get my hiring managers to consider different types of people beyond their narrow ideas of what makes a good teacher, for a variety of reasons, including research that shows that a diverse team is what makes schools work. So to that end, I am constantly advocating the concept of “the big wide pool” because I believe choice comes from having people to choose from (quality can come from quantity) and social media has been a tool for that. I think you’re spot on, but it can be a fine line where people can also over target toward a very narrow idea of the ideal candidate (purple squirrels).

    Thanks for getting my mind going so early in the week!

  2. If that is true, then why are all other recruiting metrics based on big numbers?

    X calls = Y interviews = Z hires

    Targeted approach is important, until you have to pivot to a new skill to recruit. If change is the constant, than agility is the real competency. How do you adapt to change or better yet, how quickly do you read the writing on the wall and anticipate the next movement?

    We can’t all be social rockstars, but we can diversify and establish authority. At some point in the equation you reach diminishing returns. That is when you should look to expand your skills, experiment, and get ahead while your competition is playing catch-up.

  3. Good post. It is just like solopreneurs who use social media to expand their business. They try to get on several platforms to get their voice out but end up stretching themselves out. Concentrate on sites that suit your needs.

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