The State of Social Recruiting, Part 2: What Employers Can Do

In “The State of Social Recruiting, Part 1: Candidate Expectations,” I explored how the emerging candidate collaboration solution market seeks to propel organizations into social recruiting strategies. But if employers are hoping that these technologies will intrinsically improve candidate experience or engagement and help them find the talent they’re seeking, they may be missing the mark.

Candidate collaboration technologies are most valuable to employers not in their ability to replace recruiter interaction, but for the ways they advance employment brand and automate some processes to free resources to engage directly with talent.

But what problems are candidate collaboration and social recruiting technologies trying to solve? Are we getting it right, or just adding to the frustration in new and “groundbreaking” ways?

When it comes to recruiting, employers are essentially seeking an accurate representation of candidates’ capabilities, insight to their availability and desired compensation, and ways to validate those capabilities and value. They also want to be able to measure which sources and recruiting tactics yield the most qualified individuals so that they can repeat those practices and continue to recruit great talent.

Combined with the information required through assessments, background checks, employment verification and more, the volume of necessary information becomes a massive monster to manage and make sense of — something that also makes meeting candidate expectations more challenging. With recruiters receiving 75 to 125 applications for each open position on average, social technologies can be leveraged to help employers gain the insight on fit, skills, interest, education and experience quickly to make better-informed hiring decisions sooner. They can also provide the automation that helps them do this more efficiently.

But what recruiters don’t want in the talent acquisition process is feeling pressure to provide equal attention to all candidates regardless of their qualifications and fit. They also don’t want to be a career coach to every candidate that’s not a great fit for their company. And just like their job seeker counterpart, they certainly don’t want to log into multiple systems — from ATS and CRM technologies, to separate background screening and assessment systems, to scheduling and emailing programs for example — to perform their necessary recruiting activities daily.

The end goal should be a technology that enables the best candidates to get their information in front of a recruiter in the best format for a recruiter to do something with it. It should facilitate communication and feedback from both parties and present opportunities in ways that are easily accessible to the people who are good at what they do. It should make applying quick and simple and help recruiters collect the necessary information to make a quality decision quickly. They should help us better understand how candidates want to be contacted, so that we don’t waste valuable time and resources inundating with emails, or frustrating them with our silence. Certainly collaboration tools can solve for that.

Do candidates really need their own portal to 10 different potential employers, or do they need accurate and complete information and the ability to manage their recruiting efforts within a single portal of choice?

Do employers need to reach their network’s networks’ networks with one job posting, or do they need better ways to identify the handful of individuals who would be a great fit for that hard-to-fill position?

It will be important for employers to ask themselves questions like this as they evaluate which social solutions make the most sense for their organization and the candidates they’re seeking. It will also be important for the vendor community to be mindful of what challenges employers need solved so they can interact more meaningfully with talent as they continue to develop the technologies that shape tomorrow’s recruiting processes.

Hiring the right individuals depends on your ability to know who a candidate is and what he or she is capable of, but your ability to win those individuals will rely on ways in which your organization learns that information and what you do with it.