This past week, I had the great privilege of visiting with a large group of recruiters in Southern California for the inaugural BarCamp Recruit event in Newport Beach, CA.
Gretchen Benes and Chrisa Mott conceived of the event after attending something similar for the Real Estate industry. In summary, it was an unconference for recruiters that had a pretty intense focus on the use of social media. Topics ranged from SEO to Twitter Best-Practices. For the participants, it was a jam-packed day of valuable information!
Gretchen and Chrisa threw an excellent event! Keep your eyes open for a BarCamp Recruit close to you… it’s coming!
The more I travel the country and meet recruiters, the more I enjoy teaching about how social media is becoming a force in the area of recruitment and HR. Perhaps it’s because the more time that passes, the more the topic becomes relevant. iStrategyLabs just reported last week that Facebook is trending to pass Google in unique visits per month by September… do you know what this means for the recruitment industry? Are you planning to embrace this change?
During the training at BarCamp Recruit, I said to the group that any recruiter who does not familiarize themselves with social media over the course of the next two years will be a dinosaur. I meant it. In fact, in retrospect, I should have said “over the course of the next year” – it would have made more sense.
No one can deny that this little phenomenon that we refer to as social media is growing. I just wonder if people realize how fast it’s growing. And, it’s not just about Facebook. Think about how many people are adopting Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogging… just to name a few routes for social interaction online. Are you improving your recruiting game as it applies to these tools? How?
So, what does this all mean and how can a recruiter start to make sense of this online frenzy?
Here are a few suggestions…
Getting Started In Social Media
- Decide on an available user ID – This should help… http://www.usernamecheck.com
- Register your accounts (at least Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Flickr)
- Put together a short and interesting bio that you can use across multiple sites… be consistent.
- Go have 50 pictures taken of yourself and pick one that you like… make sure your face is central.
- Edit your pictures in http://picnik.com – Great for cropping pictures to the necessary size for social media.
- Start being curious… poke around, read what people say and how they interact online.
- Read a few blogs that have to do with social media from general and recruiting specific perspectives… here are some:
- Chris Brogan – Lots of valuable information on approach, strategy and processes
- Mashable – Lots of nitty-gritty on the tools (good for if you’d like to be “in the know”)
- Boolean Black Belt – Constant exploration of sourcing topics… very valuable information
- (Feel free to drop your suggestions in the comments… there are many great sources, but I’m blanking at the moment.)
Social media should not consume your life. Perhaps it’s our natural curiosity – we love knowing what’s going on. When we get that first sweet taste of being informed all the time… it can be a bit intoxicating. You’ll ultimately do whatever you’d like… just remember that it’s important to balance the online with the off. Spend time away from the computer and develop a fresh perspective. It will make you that much more interesting when you return to exchange thoughts with your online friends.
Do Something About Social Media
No one is expecting that you are going to wake up tomorrow and be a super-savvy social media user. However, you are going to be expected, over the next year (or more), to have a grasp on this topic. If you are banking on it being a fad… wake up! It may change and evolve, but it’s not going away. Getting familiar with how things work will only benefit you and your career.
What did I leave out? What would you suggest for an HR pro or Recruiter who is just starting out?