Social Media and the end of recruiters?

Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+ … much has been made of the future of Social Media and how it will change the way we do business. But naysayers predicting it will mark the end of any need to engage recruiters (or at the very least are fore

casting it will fundamentally alter what we do), are reminiscent of the doom and gloom that was created around the Y2K computer situation. Remember when our machines were going to turn on us, and a whole new service niche was spawned just to reset computer clocks and to write disaster recovery plans? Yet how many 747’s plummeted from the skies? None.

There are many ways to identify and source potential candidates – new ways, old ways, creative and quirky ways; but in the end, candidates only ever fall into one of four categories:

Looks right, is right
Looks wrong, is wrong
Looks right, is wrong
Looks wrong, is right

The real skill lies in accurately assessing where to ‘fit’ each candidate, and this has always been a hallmark of the very best recruiters. Social media can’t deliver this part, nor can job boards, company career websites, word of mouth referrals, or ‘shoulder tapping’. In fact, nothing can replace a recruiter’s experience, commercial nous, objectivity, intrinsic understanding of both the job brief and person specification, and how they both fit together.
So really nothing much has changed with recruitment; we just have more tools we can use.

A few thoughts from a Baby Boomer about changing technology

I set up my new Recruitment business about 18 months ago. I had previously worked for two Corporate entities – 15 years at UDC Finance (owned by ANZ Bank), and nearly 10 years at Hudson Recruitment, headquartered in the USA.

There was a sta

rk contrast to being a small cog in a rather large international wheel. Namely, in a small business, you do not have “departments”, or their “people” to call upon to do your “things”. You are, in effect: – Lawyer, Accountant, HR, Sales and Marketing, along with being CEO, chief, cook and bottle washer.

Further, like a lot of Recruiters who leave the KPI based mutli-national Recruitment Agencies to set up their own empire, we are mature in age which is great for having the experience to deal with the challenges of business. However, this can also be a detriment in this ever increasing Gen-Y led Social Media based world where mobile phones and all manner of i-things have more computer based capacity, than the Apollo moon landing spacecraft that we saw landing via our black and white TV screen.

Having teenage children though is certainly an advantage, as they can give you the Dummy’s Guide to the next new thing. It is imperative though that you do keep up, and stay ahead of the pack.

The distinct advantage of having your own business is that you can react quickly to change. There is no corporate bureaucracy or capex procedure to wade through. So if you see the logic in utilising an iPad to assist your Recruitment process, you go out and buy one!

…And so it is we have had to recently learn and master Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter (still working on that one) on our i-things, which all have their place in the grand scheme of things. This is done in the same manner that we had to previously learn how to use a PC, or find out what the Internet was all about.

This may mean going outside your comfort zone, especially if you do not initially see the point of the advancing i-world, but just doing what you always did, will not return the result you always got. If today’s fad disappears, it will certainly be replaced by another and you will have needed to master the building blocks of technology along the way. As I said earlier, in your own business you are the “people” of the organisation. You have to do the thinking for yourself, but you have the opportunity to act to embrace change and keep ahead of the corporate pack.