Setting the Stage for Growth

In January when our organization decided to hire a new national channels team to aid in meeting our key strategic initiatives for 2012 we knew we had a big task ahead of us. The new team would consist of 4 high caliber individuals with a background in collaboration technology and we wanted to have the team in place by March 1.

As a smaller organization we don’t have a large HR department to handle screening, first interviews, background checks etc. In our case we are part of the process and when we are busy working on hiring, it can often be a distraction from continued attention to what needs to be done day in and day out.

Knowing that we were making a substantial investment into the future we knew what we needed. First and foremost we needed to make great hires as turnover here wouldn’t work.

We needed a plan to find and sift through great talent quickly so we could get interviewing and more importantly on-board the new team members quickly.

A Lot of Options, Not Many Good Ones…

Thankfully (for the most part, I believe there still is a help wanted section) we have moved beyond the help wanted ads in the local paper. The internet has certainly made this possible, however, for all of the technology out there a lot of the recruitment methods haven’t advanced that quickly.

So when the decision was made to make these hires we had to review our recruiting options.

  • Traditional Job Boards (Monster, Careerbuilder, Trade Association): For the past several years this has been the recruiting tool for small business and corporate HR alike. Huge numbers of job seekers and a rapid medium for gaining applicants. The problem with these methods is they attract far more irrelevant and unqualified applicants than they do targeted highly qualified candidates. So with little time to waste this wasn’t an option.

  • Headhunters: For some very specific positions I can see the value of headhunters. However, with the information available nowadays on the interwebs, I see less and less need for this. For us there was no way I was going to pay 10% plus of the budget for the new hires to a headhunter as I would rather have those dollars to negotiate the best possible candidates. Therefore this also didn’t make the final cut.

  • Social Recruiting (LinkedIn, Facebook): With 100 million plus on LinkedIn and nearly 10x that on Facebook there is a great opportunity to use Social Tools to recruit. Connections of connections with great skills as well as a Job Posting capability via both platforms this had to be the medium. We decided to post a very specific position description for 2 positions on LinkedIn and away we went.

The Results

After two 30 day ads we have finalized our team and in my opinion we were able to obtain talent that far exceeded even what we had originally anticipated. We additionally posted the jobs to our update statuses on LinkedIn and Facebook as well as several specific groups.

The LinkedIn advertisements and other social posts yielded more than 400 applicants of which 300+ were qualified making the resume reviews tricky, but giving us no shortage of great candidates.

While the success of the hires is to be determined, I can’t begin to tell you what a relief it was to see the success of these platforms for successful recruitment.

Degrees of Separation

We are all familiar with the degrees of separation that are created via Social Networks. As it turns out, of the 4 hires we made, 3 of them were known entities to at least 1 member of our current team.

While I’m not surprised, I was simply amazed that we really do seemingly know everyone.

Using the Social Recruitment method we were able to hire highly qualified candidates from a tremendous field of applicants and we even ended up with the benefit of hiring relatively known entities which often limits the risk of a hiring mistake.

An Observation and a Prediction

I don’t think I’m making any great prediction here when I say that Careerbuilder, Monster, and other traditional job boards are in big trouble. Between their minimal Social presence and the sprawling reach of Social Networks to bring together candidates and companies, I simply cannot find a need for these types of sites.

I feel comfortable saying these sites will end up a skeleton of what they once were and may very well end up as parked URLs sooner than later.

The Next Hire(s)

Few things in my world warrant a solid recommendation (Reputation is key!). Social Recruitment however is one that does. I cannot say enough about the potential ROI that can be attained through a well planned out Social Search for your next team member.

While this may not be a new concept to many people, I still hear horror story after horror story about finding and hiring great talent. For those that have experienced this, it is time to get Social with your recruiting efforts.

While I have flirted with it in the past, I can now say after doing it that I’m definitely a believer!