• http://www.EngineeringReferral.com Douglas Friedman

    James,

    Another really interesting article. You’ve clearly put a lot of thought into staying on top of trends in social media and your analysis of the possible benefits of developing a presence across social media platforms that are still relatively untouched by mainstream corporate talent acquisition is fantastic. A colleague of mine recently helped a client utilize SnapChat in a very focused university recruiting campaign for software engineers and I have to admit I was surprised by how well she was able to leverage the tool. Clearly a lot of these newer platforms have potential when it comes recruiting. Also, thank you for the link to “Recruiting From Inside The Noise” (in the comment section of the first part of this series) – it was worth reading and provided an excellent sense for the field on which all content marketing initiatives in talent acquisition must now compete.

    It is my impression that most social media platforms, at least in technical recruiting for specialized skill sets, are primarily used as a means to collect information and build profiles of potential candidates with desired skills and experience. LinkedIn, in particular, encourages this approach with the way their recruiter accounts function and I have found that, when combined with supporting information from sources including scientific and engineering search engines, this approach does in fact yield an excellent cost/benefit return. After all, it makes sense to first identify exactly who has the skills that you are seeking and then to reach out individually to these people with personalized messages that have the highest possible probability of generating interest. This saves time and money on the front end (less people you need to get your message to) and on the back end (less unqualified candidates to review and manage). Again, this is particularly true in technical or scientific communities where the total number of people with the required combination of skills might be very limited. But one area where a lot of companies miss the mark is in coordinating these highly targeted recruiting efforts with their employer branding and talent marketing initiatives. I think a lot of this comes down to accurate workforce planning and effective TA leadership. Some of this stuff can seem somewhat abstract but the reality is anything but because individual recruiters seeking candidates to fill highly specialized roles are going to be much more successful if the company they work for is simultaneously doing what it can to position itself as a leader or “up and coming” player in these areas. This is often easier, cheaper, and quicker to accomplish than most realize. Sometimes the most difficult part is just getting everyone to understand and agree on what skills are most likely to be needed in the near and intermediate terms. But that’s an entirely different article.

    Are you familiar with arnetminer.org? This is a cool site that provides a variety of search and data mining services for researcher social networks. It is still a bit of a diamond in the rough but messing around with it and understanding what it aspires to do is really interesting and I think it points to the inevitable future convergence of data rich social platforms.

    Doug Friedman
    EngineeringReferral.com
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/douglasdavidfriedman