The art of social recruiting

Shyaam Sunder K, Vice President – HCM Solution, Ramco Systems, shares the advantages of social recruiting processes.

Julius Caesar is said to have offered a tidy sum to anyone referring soldiers to his legions (his army). Referrals close a big majority of all jobs that ever come up. Recruiters and business managers were always having these conversations; “Hey do you know someone who could do this job for me?” By the early 90s, Job Boards had appeared and the Internet was well on its way to become the hub of commercial activity. Since then, social media platforms have emerged, sporting user counts that parallel populations of countries and data articulation fit for a recruiter. And so, is it a surprise that recruiting has gone social? Hardly so.

Social Media platforms enable systematic recruitment. Advertising jobs, locating skills, profiling candidates, connecting, etc.; typical recruiting activities are all enabled today and practiced widely. These platforms connect into mainstream talent management systems on the cloud. The connections are technically web services and are seamless. Typically, some instances of these web services include: (a) Publishing an open position into the social media platform (LinkedIn, etc.); (b) Candidates who spot these advertisements may follow the links and apply automatically.

In instance of a client using HCM on the cloud, candidates may use their LinkedIn ID to login into the client’s career portal (supported by most HCM applications) and passing their interest in candidature and background automatically. In Ramco’s experience, this has worked well for the so called “white - collar” jobs from the fresher to mid management level.

HCM systems also support internal job advertisements. Employees may apply to these positions themselves or refer them to their contacts on their social networks. This opens up the subject on what is called as spatial data, data that can tell us who our employees are connected to and how engaged they are. It is understood that the more the referrals an employee generates the more engaged they are. Though there is some monetary benefit for referrals, the amount is insufficient to create any sense of avarice in the employee.

Recruitment processes executed through social media channels can kill biases in recruitment. Spatial data creates the visibility necessary to know the veracity of biases caused by self-interest or saliency. If a recruiter finds himself saying that “Recruitment Source A” is working the best or if a particular employee generates more referrals, spatial data can show why the recruiter or employee in question are doing better as their networking skills are exposed through social data (their contacts). The recruiter’s (or employee) actions can also be monitored as all networking actions – connecting, communicating, posting, appreciating etc. can be analysed today.

The key to the success of a social recruiting program is in the articulation of organisational policy that contains the “dos and don’ts”, a social culture that encourages networking, and in the wide acceptance of the same. Incenting employees and recruiters alike (as has been the case through human history), creating opportunities to network etc. will naturally encourage adoption.

In a recent blog that appeared in the HBR site, a blogger has suggested, since 50% of the jobs are never advertised, media platforms must find a way to bring such opportunities out as well. The concept of crowd sourcing has also been widely adopted in the recent times but could do better with formal infrastructure, which has platforms or market places that enable easy crowd sourcing. Both these points will go a long way in helping the recruit.

It was Martin Luther King Jr. who aptly said, “All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality”. Enablement and an open mind is the key to the future.

Contributed by: Shyaam Sunder K, Vice President – HCM Solution

Ramco Systems

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