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People, places and the evolution of recruiting

Tags: Recruitment Trends

Social recruitingOur guest blogger, Bill Boorman, talks about the evolution of recruiting and how technology is making life easier at attracting talent.

As long as there’s been work there’s been recruiting and recruiters. In the medieval times the lords on the manor employed the services of people agents, who attended the country fairs and promoted opportunities to work in the local houses and estates. Where people gather, recruiters have never been far behind. In those days it was word of mouth. It was a very social process, about who you knew and were connected to, and the opportunities you had to talk. These days its word of mouse, but the approach and method is much the same. Recruiting happens when people gather and talk.

Jump forward a few centuries and the people are gathering in numbers, and are keen to talk. They gather for other reasons, and in the process of gathering are open to talk recruiting. The key word here is talk. Recruiting has come full circle from the days of the hiring fairs, through the days of newspaper advertising, writing in and attending interviews, through the transactional days of the internet, and now it’s coming back to talking. Having conversations. Companies creating reasons to talk, and social media providing the channels. It’s back to being a social business, about who you know and who you are connected to.

I define social recruiting as talk to rather than apply to. Over time recruiters got pushed further and further away from their candidates. The volumes and indiscriminate applications that came with the internet and e-mail meant recruiters went in to hiding and technology, like the ATS moved in. The human moved out of human resources, and the candidate conversations stopped until the very last stages of the application process. Things are changing. The candidates are demanding it. Some talent is in short supply, and the people in short supply are in jobs. They need reasons to come and talk.

Recruiting strategy is now about creating opportunity for conversation, for the company to woo the talent and take them to the application process. These days we call that talent attraction. The convergence of recruiting and marketing. It’s all the activity that promotes employer brand in places like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, as well as on career sites and other web pages. The ultimate objective of all this activity is to get candidates to apply, but the primary objective is to get the right people to talk to you. Targeted talent having conversations, and they might want to have a few before they get convinced enough to hit the apply button, it is after all a big commitment for the working person. Go back to the medieval days. Create the reasons for people to meet and talk and in the process get to know them. Once they are talking, some of them might just start applying.

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