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Anti-Social Media?

Posted 07.04.2011 by Elsie Rutterford

Since posting my last blog about social media in recruitment, this hot topic has become increasingly discussed and debated as employers and employees try to get to grips with this new medium as a form of job hunting. I recently attended a panel debate, hosted by Like Minds in aid of Social Media Week, which was prominently made up of two parties; those for and those against the use of social media in recruiting – from both an employer’s attraction perspective to candidate’s use in promoting themselves and their CV. Whilst recruiters hailing from new digital recruitment agencies praised social media, there were those who deemed themselves more “traditional” and therefore sceptical about the success of social media recruitment initiatives. The debate surrounding this, and recent actions taken by employees and employers alike, shed light on the direction that recruitment could be moving towards.

My technically advanced colleagues at FreshNetworks, our sister social media agency who are at the cutting edge of all things digital, posted a fantastic blog last week outlining some of the coolest, and most successful, uses of social media within recruitment:

An insightful blog demonstrating 5 of the top ways to use social media when hunting for a role or candidate. The thought and creativity that has gone into the likes of Graeme Anthony and Laura Tosney’s CV videos are outstanding and it is immediately clear to see why they were both successful in landing their desired roles. Despite the fact that, since 2008, the job market has improved dramatically, there is still a feeling that it’s a buyer’s market and standing out as a candidate can be a tough job. So innovative and original like this, as well as the brilliant Google campaign by Alec Borwnstein, immediately elevate candidates among what can be a sea of CVs and generic applications.

In theory then, a fantastic way to be noticed and give yourself a head start in a heavily competitive market. But are employers ready for, and willing to accept, social media within their recruitment strategies? The Like Minds panel debate certainly hosted many a recruiter ready to fight for a yes in answer to this question; yes this is what employers are looking for, yes this is the future of recruitment. But on the other side of the fence the party was stubborn in their views, insisting that CVs and face to face interviews would always be the way that candidates would secure a role. A representative from Nokia described a weak Facebook campaign as the only initiative her team had taken that year to attract and source candidates.

So perhaps it’s the case that certain areas of the recruitment industry just aren’t ready for integrating social media within their strategies? I came across an interesting discussion on a LinkedIn group in which in-house recruiters heatedly debated against agency-side consultants, the latter adamant that video CVs and social media are the future of recruitment. One of the points an internal recruiter made was

‘I have a number of real reservations about video CVs. I think they are a legal and discrimination minefield and…busy recruiters don’t have time to read full CVs now, what better chance will people stand with a 5 or 10 minute video? Nice idea, just not practical or cost effective’.

So perhaps the answer is no, the industry is not ready, and does not have the time, to accept change. Funny that, considering that the industry has the time to express this view through a social media channel…

Elsie Rutterford is an Account Manager on the FreshMinds Talent Graduate team

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