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Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook have yieldedhighly qualified referred candidates for a handful of pioneering recruiters.But “social recruitment” remains more of an art than a science, andmost staffers and managers at recruitment firms remain in the dark withregard to what practices work and why. The social mediasphere canbe overwhelming to navigate, to say nothing of mining it for qualifiedjob candidates. With a centrally managed framework, agencyexecutives can realize social recruiting’s ROI potential. 2
How Does Social RecruitingDiffer from Social Media?Put simply, social media is a channel educational, interesting and responsive tofor socializing, whereas social the people in their network.recruiting is the practice of cultivatingthat channel to achieve a specific More to the point, it requires angoal: finding and placing qualified investment of time on the part ofcandidates. More importantly, that recruiters — time to regularly check in,goal should be to cultivate a network or to create, post, and share interestingof professionals willing to actively refer content, or to personally respond toopen positions to job candidates on their developments in your contacts’ lives.respective networks. The question becomes how to intelligently manage that time investment so thatAs any recruiter knows, referred “value in” equates with “value out.”candidates tend to be far more qualified And therein lays the challenge, both forfor a position than candidates responding recruiters and those who manage them.to a job ad. These referrals not onlydistinguish social recruiting from social Social media is amedia, they are what make social channel for socializing.recruiting such a powerful, competitive,and profitable, tool for placing candidates. Social recruiting is the practice of cultivatingSocial media makes it easy to pass your recruiters’ socialalong information to one’s followers. media networksBut social recruiting requires more than to find and placesimply posting jobs on LinkedIn or Twitter. qualified candidates.Although that may land a few applicants,it isn’t far removed from posting openingson yet another job board. Social recruitingrequires recruiters to actively engage theirnetworks to build relationships and, moreimportantly, trust. They must be helpful, 3
In many respects, recruiting activities implementing that strategy in anonline are not so different than for intelligent framework.traditional recruiting:• network with the industry A well-run social recruiting• maintain a pipeline of candidates program has three• post jobs elements — centralization,• match candidates to fill orders measurement andBut, unlike conventional practices, optimization.online recruitment is largely invisible tomanagers. This can be disconcerting, evenfor managers at firms that are reaping thebenefits of social recruiting. Managers Centralizecan’t always track the productivity of In today’s social recruiting landscape,individual recruiter networks, or measure each recruiter has a network of contactswhich online practices yield better results to which they reach out whenever theythan others. Are the agency’s collective have an opening to fill. However, beforenetworks growing? Is staff building managers can measure, compare andtargeted connections? Staying engaged? manage performance of these networks,Representing a unified agency brand? they must first gain visibility into them all. In addition, individual recruiters can neitherToday, managers are gaining a vague see nor share each other’s networks,understanding of the potential business and therefore lack the opportunity tovalue of social recruiting. But they’re collaborate and pool their efforts.crystal clear on the importance ofmonitoring and measuring their firms’ Providing this insight to staff shouldonline recruitment activities. The best be as important a goal for managersway to manage an unfamiliar practice is as gaining it themselves. One recruiter,to implement it before your staff does. working alone, can tap his or her ownThe challenge is finding time to develop connections. A team of recruiters, workinga coherent, actionable social recruiting together, can reach a larger network.strategy from the ground up, and This becomes much easier if recruiters 4
have a single portal on which to network. track content and to proactively spotThen they can learn from each other, passive job seekers. To consolidate theseexperiment, and make adjustments based tools makes it easier for management toon which channels and networks are most track and measure team’s individual andresponsive. Plus, this ensures that their collective effectiveness.individual networks point to the same listsof jobs. MeasureMore importantly, combining networksincreases the potential for generating You cannot manage what you cannotreferred candidates exponentially. measure. Today, managers see the endCompared to job board applicants, results of individual social recruitingreferrals not only tend to be more qualified, efforts, but they lack any way to gaugethey are generally more likely to accept a what works, or why.client’s job offer. Once all recruiters are on a centralizedIf colleagues cannot refer candidates, then social recruiting framework, managementoften someone in their network can. And can begin to apply measurement andeven if they or their contacts have fewer tracking tools that are characteristic ofconnections, or only a fraction share a traditional, offline recruiting programs.posted article or job opening, individual Managers need to see what jobs haverecruiters can still reach more active job recently been broadcast to the enterprise’sseekers, passive candidates and hiring collective network of contacts. Thenmanagers than by their network alone. managers can track, in aggregate orSharing job openings on an enterprise- job by job, the number of shares, visitors,level social recruitment platform should and inquiries each job is receiving.be a very simple, beneficial and hopefullyobvious goal. In addition to tracking how job postings fare on the network, managers can gainUniting your firm’s individual social insights into the network itself. They needrecruiting efforts under one centralized to see which recruiters have connectionsplatform can make those collective efforts online, whether or not the firm’s networkmore time efficient. Online tools already is growing, and how many visitors socialexist to post job openings to share and media efforts are attracting. 5
With the right tools, managers can dig Plus, everyone benefits when the firmdown and see how their firm’s networks benefits. Recruiting from a centralizedand social recruitment practices online platform allows managementcompare — both between individuals, to capture interested applicants if andand collectively over time. Managers when the recruiter decides to leavecan stop reacting to the end results of the firm.individual social recruitment efforts —however positive — and start proactively But most importantly, managementmanaging them. can get the jump on the competition by turning social media into an entirely new channel for finding highly qualified candidates more quickly. In the end,Optimize social recruiting’s value must be measured by the same metrics thatOnce all social recruitment activities talent agencies already use to measureshare a unified platform, managers move their business. This gets back to thefrom measuring to optimizing. In other “value in” versus “value out” issue.words, managers can exercise some Can social media improve your firm’sleadership over their agency’s social bottom line?recruiting efforts.A firm’s administration should convertbest practices into institutionalknowledge to train less connectedor new recruiters. Managers can alsoensure their teams stay engaged withtheir networks and continue to addcontacts, so the firm can maintainsustainable value from social recruiting.Even veteran social recruiters can takeadvantage of management support,such as interesting content generated toshare with their networks. 6
33 views for 10 jobs 15 applicants 4-5 qualified candidates 1 placement One out of every ten jobs you fill will be sourced from social media.Social Recruiting’s Return on InvestmentSocial recruiting has an impact on your time between opening a new job orderbottom line. More connections in a and placing a candidate. It also reducesrecruiter’s network lead to more views sourcing costs by minimizing your reliancefor new job posts — and subsequently, on using job boards to find people, andmore applicants, qualified applicants and cutting the phone time necessary toplacements. More placements translate into screen out unqualified candidates. Themore revenue. more qualified candidates you add to your pipeline, the more your firm will quickly fillAdding more qualified, relevant candidates orders and make money.to your pipeline will accelerate the cycle 7
The question is, how does social media A recruiter trying to fillcompare to conventional channels 10 job openings wouldfor filling the pipeline with qualified attract about 330 viewscandidates? Does it help produce better and convert an averagecandidates? Or fill orders more quickly? of 15 applicants fromSome real-life numbers, derived from these views.observing more than 100,000 recruiters But how many of those applicants willwho have used the Bullhorn Reach online be qualified candidates? That numberplatform, can help. could be anywhere from about one to two percent, which is the return thatThe data shows that the average job many recruiters expect from job boardposted by an active Bullhorn Reach user applicants, or as high as 40%, whichgets just over 33 views. That number studies have cited as the rate of qualifiedrepresents people who clicked on a candidates from referrals. Depending onshort link that directs them to a Bullhorn how motivated a recruiter’s network isReach job portal with a job description. in recommending the post to theirJust under half of these postings on network, those 15 applicants shouldthe Bullhorn Reach portal elicit an generate between 4 and 5 qualifiedapplication — in fact, they average three referrals candidates.applications each. These are visitors whosend an inquiry to the recruiter about the That leads to another question: Howopportunity, submit a resume, or apply via many of those well-qualified candidatestheir Facebook or LinkedIn profiles. need to be submitted to the client to win a placement? Like all numbers here,Crunching these numbers, it turns out this may vary by industry and vertical.that about 4.4% of all Bullhorn Reach However, the industry average is aboutjob views result in an application. This four, which finally translates to oneis where the comparative value of social placement secured through social media.recruiting begins to appear. 8
To recap: One recruiter actively using social The biggest variable is how much yourmedia can expect to fill one out of every 10 company earns for each permanentjob orders completely through their social placement. But in terms of “value in” versusrecruiting efforts. This ratio was recently “value out,” the time and money required tocorroborated by one recruitment firm, which implement a social recruiting platform cancited similar numbers one month after begin to provide returns after onlyimplementing Bullhorn Reach. one placement.It could be argued that a recruiter might haveplaced that candidate using conventionalmeans. But this misses two key points. First,only social media allows a recruiter to reachbeyond his own network and tap into histeam’s network. Second, highly qualifiedreferred candidates are more likely to findrecruiters on social media, which is the exactopposite of how things work when an openingis posted to a job board.Conventional recruitment practices do notallow a team of recruiters to easily combinetheir networks. Social recruiting means moreconnections scanning each job posting andsharing postings with their own networks.It means more referrals, either to active orpassive job seekers, and more qualifiedcandidates applying for an open position.Faster placements means more revenue withina given time. 9
CONCLUSIONSocial recruiting delivers more qualified candidates more quicklythrough the power of referrals. But, to date, adoption of the practicehas been scattered and non-strategic. This creates an opportunityfor firms that get on board early by first implementing a centralizedplatform for their recruiters to build and pool their social medianetworks. Once firms take this first step, they can begin to intelligentlyadvance along social recruiting’s learning curve to measure andoptimize the impact of social recruiting on their bottom line. Stayingcompetitive amidst these trends isn’t impossible, or even difficult. Butit requires firms to take quick and intelligent action, as the history ofsocial media demonstrates how rapidly an effective business practicecan go viral. 10
ABOUT BULLHORN REACHBullhorn Reach is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) social recruitingsolution, designed to help recruiters leverage social media to sourcecandidates and identify potential movers more efficiently. Launchedin February 2011, the Bullhorn Reach social sourcing suite offersrobust recruiting solutions that empower recruiters to engage asthought leaders, enhance their personal brands, and increase theirvisibility online.With more than 100,000 registered users worldwide, Bullhorn Reachdelivers advanced technology that brings recruiters and job seekerstogether more efficiently than ever before. Bullhorn Reach is a division ofBullhorn, Inc., the global leader in software-as-a-service for recruitment.Headquartered in Boston, with offices in London and Sydney, Bullhorn’srecruiting ATS/CRM and social recruiting products serve more than130,000 users across 126 countries. 11
®33-41 Farnsworth Street5th FloorBoston, Ma 02210 TMWWW.BULLHORNreach.COM1.617.478.9110@bullhornreach TM