In last week’s blog we talked about taking the plunge into social media — not waiting for permission — just doing it. I asked our CEO and fearless leader, Ryan St Germaine, what he thought about the subject and in true Ryan-style, instead of bragging about himself, he expounded on our clients and best practices of social recruiters:
“From speaking with clients I’ve noticed that people get overwhelmed by social media and see it as this big, daunting task that requires a masters degree to understand. It’s not. All of the best social recruiters got started by putting one foot in front of the other and just going for it. They didn’t ask for permission or write a 40 page report. They created a social media account and started having conversations with their target audience. They engaged their audience by being of service and providing value. You can start right now if you want to with just one comment, message or post. The only thing stopping you from building your talent community… is you.”
I thought I would follow his lead and bring you some cool examples of people and companies who have done an awesome job of getting social with their recruiting, despite not having a masters in social (as if that even exists!?!)
I’ll start with someone who Ryan references often: Bill Boorman. Bill is a great example, in part because he has been doing social recruiting since before social recruiting was a thing, but mostly because he’s one of the most respected authorities on the subject. An early adopter of Twitter recruiting, he was the first person in the UK to register a business with an @ symbol in its name, and his trailblazing attitude towards recruiting didn’t stop there.
Bill started out as a traditional recruiter, but when faced with a lack of clients due to a recession, he decided to differentiate himself by going social with his recruiting. When he made this decision, the field of social recruiting was still in its infancy. He had no flashy social strategy infographics to follow, nor any of the impressive statistics showing the importance of social for recruiting that we now have, but he took the plunge anyway. This daring decision jump-started an illustrious career as a social recruiter, advisor, and public speaker.
Bill’s story is an awesome one, but wait, the awesome continues. An example I’ve used before, and will probably use again, is Stacy Donovan Zapar.
This is one connected woman — the most connected woman on LinkedIn to be exact. Stacy started her social journey with a focus on LinkedIn. She used the platform to become an early adopter of social recruiting, and then leveraged what she had learned to transform her own career. There was so much demand for her advice on social recruiting, that she began a blog which quickly became successful. This snowballed into a career as a public speaker at recruiting events, and now she has even launched her own social recruiting training business, Tenfold Social Training. Cool!
Our final example of social recruiting ingenuity is Jessica Lee and her work with Hotel Marriott.
Jessica Lee has taken Facebook recruiting to the next level with Hotel Marriott, but even before this campaign, both she and the Marriott brand were early adopters of social. Bill Marriott has been blogging since 2007, and the brand has been very active on Twitter and Facebook for almost as long, but they didn’t stop at conventional social recruiting. Hotel Marriott’s clever use of gamification for Facebook recruiting, with their My Marriott Hotel, has won them multiple awards and tons of press.
Jessica Lee has been using Facebook, Twitter and blogging to further her career in social recruiting since 2008 and is now considered one of HRExaminers top 100 influencers. In 2012, Lee signed on as Marriott’s Director of Digital Talent Strategy and has taken the company to new heights with innovative social recruiting projects like their recent Best Foot Forward campaign. Hotel Marriott and Jessica Lee have shown just how beneficial taking a chance on social can be.
All three of these examples took a risk on social recruiting back when it was still new and unproven. Today, Facebook is at over a billion users, LinkedIn is one of the first places recruiters go to find talent, and Tweeting for jobs is common practice. In the current social media focused landscape, as Ryan so elegantly put it, “The only thing stopping you from building your talent community… is you.”
Now, just so we don’t leave things on a cheesy note, I’m going to give you a teaser for next week’s article.
We’ll be sharing some firsthand advice from Reg Hamilton, a specialist in Interactive Media with over 18 years of tech experience. Reg represents Phoenix Group on the Board of Saskatchewan Interactive Media Association, serves on the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada’s Mobile and Social Media Council, and has one of the most viewed LinkedIn profiles of 2012.
In our interview, Reg shares some amazing tips for better social recruiting and explains how Phoenix Group has run extremely successful social media campaigns.