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!