Forget the hype. New Zealand Recruiters do not use Twitter!

Over the past week I have conducted RCSA seminars for over 150 New Zealand Recruiters in Auckland and Christchurch. The topic was “Riding the Recovery” and part of my session was on Social Media and how we need to build that technology into our talent sourcing strategies.

Well, I grabbed this opportunity to conduct a little mini-survey on the Twitter habits of attendees. It was totally unscientific and very impromptu, so take from this what you will, but I was somewhat surprised to find that only 5% of the attendees (by show of hands) in Auckland, and probably even less in Christchurch, actually have a Twitter account at all.

I am not sure what I expected. Having done a similar survey in three large Australian cities late last year, I should have been prepared because the Australian average was only between 5% and 10% as well. But on the other hand, Australians and New Zealanders are massive early-adopters of technology, and at the general level have swarmed into Social Media use. Why not recruiters?

I think this is going to have to change – and fast. New Zealand recruiters won’t be able to rely on job boards for candidates going forward. The cream of candidates, especially passive ones, will need to be sourced through an increasingly fragmented variety of channels. In my view Social Media will be one of those channels.

But for recruiters, Twitter will be far more than a simple source of candidates to fill todays’ job order. More important than that is that smart use of Social Media is an opportunity to be perceived as an expert in your industry niche. Recruiters are going to need to use Twitter to foster relationships (and not to spam people by the way), build credibility, and actually interact with communities of people they might want to place in the future, or who are influencers in their area of interest. That will be increasingly powerful for those who get it right.

In my view it’s like this. Social media remains a TOOL – not a strategy – to reach people. There are still tons of people who will not be found on social networking sites. Recruiters don’t want to be seduced by Social Media and the hype surrounding it — but equally recruiters must acknowledge its’ role, and figure out how to work it into the talent acquisition mix

So Kiwis (and Aussies, by the way) get to it! Build social media into your communications armory. When that talent shortage comes roaring back, you are going to need it!

About Greg Savage

Over a career spanning thirty years, Greg Savage has established himself as a global recruitment leader. Greg is a regular keynote speaker at staffing and recruitment conferences around the world.

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3 Responses to Forget the hype. New Zealand Recruiters do not use Twitter!

  1. Sophie Menzies February 25, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    After attending a Techie event last night at Microsoft I just realised the power for recruiters to have an Iphone, a twitter account, a linkedin account and a word press account. These are a must and those who don’t engage will fail themselves and the industry. Technology in recruitment has always been changing it in the part of a recruiter’s job and interest to keep up and adapt. Those who don’t fail themselves, their companies, their clients and their candidates – Make an effort and engage it is worth it. My suggestion is Rec companies management need to do training and walk them through the value of how and why to use social media. I know one Rec Company that made a $15,000 from their first tweet. Note to others I am not even a recruiter or recruitment owner. 🙂

  2. Jenny Durno February 26, 2010 at 1:36 pm #

    On the comment that NZ/Aussies are not picking up on social media, (is it just recruiters who are falling behind?) I wonder if it is just that we have been trying to survive for the last 2 years and haven’t had the luxury of free time to check it out. I appreciate that it might actually HELP the survival but tell a drowning man to duck his head under the water to get more forward motion…

  3. Gerry Crispin March 1, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    Not just NZ and Australia, Jenny’s visual about a drowning man resonates with US. Too many recruiters in the US have been treading water waiting for…what? US Corporations filled 50% fewer positions with external candidates and even then needed help from non-company recruiters for only 2%, of the openings, fewer than ever before. Time to learn some new strokes.

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