Anti-Social Recruiters

No ones talking back!

I don’t want to bore you by continuing to bang on about Recruiters and their use of social media (or the lack of it.) We’ve done that conversation quite a few times recently. My concern is how many of those that are active use it in a productive way and how many are actually damaging the whole brand “Recruiter?”

There are a great number of recruiters who have really tuned in to building communities and networks in their target markets. This has enabled them to build a talent pool as well as generating referral candidates. Others have used blogging as a means of raising their reputation as a subject expert as well as improving their S.E.O. rankings. Facebook fan pages also feature in the recruiters mix, and I am hearing more about sourcers using social channels to find targets increasingly effectively. I take my hat off to these recruiters that have been able to work out the best way to monetize these channels. Long may it continue.
At the same time i have been taking a close look at the networks of those recruiters that either champion or criticise social media channels. Largely their networks consist of other recruiters, HR or other commentators. This serves a good purpose for learning and hours of entertainment (The Recruiting Animal would describe this as infotainment!). This is a good use of the channels for self-development and shaping your thinking. It does not however earn dollars or pounds.
Looking at Linked In, my big concern at the moment is how recruiters are using groups. My own group “The good news group recruiters” on Li has suffered from this over the last six months. It used to be an active group with lots of posting but this has become almost non-existent recently. In turn, the number of new members have really slowed up accordingly. Speaking to some of the members, this is because they have become board of repeated job postings appearing in the e-mail update. (I think this should be a content request item rather than included as standard. Take note Li!) and as a result have stopped receiving the mails. the result of this is that the new posts are not seen or commented on and the group has become largely forgotten. Equally, vendors have been guilty of posting blatant ads vaguely disguised as posts.

Next week i will be introducing new group rules that we will only allow job posting by members that have placed 3 or more posts or comments per ad slot in the group, and banning repeated vendor adverts from the group. (A 3 strikes and your out rule.) Hopefully this will reactivate the group and get things moving again.
My reason for making this point is that if other recruiters operate this way in other groups and make untargeted “spam” approaches to members with jobs, without first looking at the relevance of the profile, how much damage could this do to those recruiters that make the effort and network effectively?
This is not a “Lets bash the recruiters” rant. I just believe we should spend more time educating on the effective use of social media channels for recruiters and encourage best practice by those that use it. If more recruiters follow the pressure to jump in will this increase the brand damage and should we be singing a different tune, encouraging only those willing to learn and take part over those looking to make a quick buck?
Be ambassadors for great networking!

5 comments on “Anti-Social Recruiters

  1. Bill, im right with you on this one. Here at Stopgap we set up a group for our marketing community but from the very beginning we challenged ourselves on the purpose of the group. We saw the group as an opportunity to extend our value add, not simply replicate what we were doing elsewhere. We wanted to start building an online community where we could really add value and get feedback, not just a list of names to target.

    Consequently, from the beginning we decided that we would not post any of our jobs in the group nor would we allow anyone else to post jobs- we have our own website for that and there are jobs on linked in itself if you want that. We also don’t allow anyone to sell their services in the group. We do allow the odd value added event to be advertised but thats about it. Otherwise, its all about the discussion.

    As a result, the group is beginning to find its own momentum without us having to drive it – discussions are active and we continue to attract new members (110 last week) with 1500 in total. Modest compared to some groups, but when you enter our group you wont see long lists of jobs or spam. We also closely vet all applicants so only marketers, or relevant ‘friends’ of stopgap make it in. At the beginning, even some of our own consultants were not convinced, but they are all converts now they can see the quality of the conversations and how its shaping up overall they are on board.

    There are a lot of groups on linked in, either started by recruiters or populated by them and you are quite correct when you say that many have not got it right in terms of behaviour, purpose or etiquette, which comes back to why they are doing it in the first place.

  2. Bill, I echo this entirely – but without the rules you are suggesting, Linkedin is a etiquette-free platform for merchants to list their jobs or spam their services or other already overpopulated groups. (there’s another bug-bear of mine, right there…) People will say “I have paid my subscription, I can choose how I like to act on LinkedIn”
    Group owners control the content of their groups, and as they set the rules, should be free to delete unwanted content, remove unwanted members, and warn anti-social members.

    Recruitment Industry Groups such as The Recruitment Few, and The Recruitment Lounge for Professionals have been set up with excellent control, and fruitful mature discussion amongts recruiters and recruitment contacts.

    Its a good message Bill.
    Getting benefit out of LI from a business generation sense is tough and requires good communication, discussion and interaction with the active members, otherwise it is fruitless.

  3. I really admire your passion Bill, but am becoming a bit concerned recently by posts like this.

    Businesses exist to make money – surely that is all that matters at the end of the day? Posts like this appear like you yourself are setting out ‘groundrules’ for the industry, putting yourself up as some sort of ombudsman. As recruiters make or lose money, the market will dictate how best to recruit people, the industry does not need someone dictating how it should be done.

    Having said this, from a personal point of view, I think what you say is spot on, and 100% the right way forward. How you position your views however I disagree with.

  4. In Australia, the service provided by recruiters is pathetic. And as someone who has recently sold their business and is returning to the workforce, I can tell you that poor service is not appreciated. At all.

    Due to bad experiences, I am now only applying for positions by going direct to employers. And a number of people I have spoken with are taking the same approach.

    There is a lot of people feeling disenchanted with being pigeonholed by recruiters. Being told their ‘experiences and skill sets do not match xyz criteria,’ when have been doing the same or more senior work for a decade or more.

    I get the distinct impression the entire industry is nothing more than a giant con. The so-called ‘consultants’ working for commission must deliver a result to keep food on the table. The candidates mean nothing.

  5. Jim, your comments are understandable, and reflect much of the challenges for both the jobseeker and the recruitment market. The bad news is there are just not enough jobs to go round.
    Recruiters have always had to submit to an xyz criteria, and sometimes that criteria is not kind to the best of us – and of course, only 1 person can get the job – however that is not the recruiters fault. Remember the recruiting company pays the fee, and sets the criteria – furthermore the fee is only paid, when that criteria has been 100% met and a suitable person recruited by the recruiting company.
    So the fee is only paid, when a recruiter has done their job correctly and effectively.
    For jobseekers, the service is free – so I’m not sure who is being `conned`?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: