In this Forbes article, Jeanne Meister offers some intriguing insights on recruiting trends and how they’ll play out in 2014. But what I found more interesting were the ten comments:
One was a rant about UK politics.
Another was for one of those “busy mom – work at home” schemes.
Another was a different kind of “work available” job posting.
At least three were actually advertisements for products.
The rest were the kind of harmless, nearly pointless comments that you find on LinkedIn.
None of them were in any way attempting to engage with the author, nor did any even attempt to address her suggestion: “Are you and members of your team ready for a year of Social HR? Readers sound off in the comments section and I will respond.” The vendors who were attempting to leverage the traffic this article garnered probably came the closest, although, let’s face it, they were only interested in providing some context to get folks to visit their site.
My point is that commenting is supposed to be a social experience, but with rare exceptions, it seems that people are more interested in talking AT an audience rather than conversing with each other (“All the World’s Indeed a Stage” to quote Rush’s Limelight (which itself is taken from a scene in As You Like It…but I digress).
Even worse, when people do engage, it’s often hostile–just look at the comments section of any news story that has even the slightest political slant. But even non-political conversations can turn nasty. I’ve watched many LinkedIn discussions devolve into name calling because someone was trying to protect their brand and had to be the authority, had to be right, had to be “The Man”.
So, if 2014 is going to be a year in which social recruiting drives more into mainstream recruiting, then it seems to me that a lot is going to have to change. But it won’t, certainly not in 2014, so I think a rethink of my thinking about this aspect of social recruiting is in order.
What about a more intimate approach, such as searching for candidates who look “interesting”-if not for an immediate need then for sometime down the road? Certainly, this pipeline building is all the rage in social recruiting. So let’s see. LinkedIn offers various premium accounts in addition to the basic free version most of us use. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that they offer premium accounts for recruiters. However, the “Recruiter Lite” version is $99/month, while the full version is nearly $800/month! And it’s precisely their capabilities that you would need to network most effectively for social recruiting. Sure, LinkedIn offers lots of tools you can use for free, but the most effective, obvious ways to connect seem prohibitively expensive-particularly if social recruiting is going to extend to everyone in a company ($1,200/yr/employee). No, if this is going to work, I think LinkedIn is going to have to change its model. Somehow, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
So now I’m looking for networking events in the physical world. You know…old school.