Most of all, social media is for grown-up recruiters

It’s easy to think social media is a trivial diversion, ideal for 20-something’s with an addiction to technology and too much time on their hands.

But I don’t think so. In fact, properly used, it is a highly sophisticated business development and relationship management tool, which has the ability to increase recruiter productivity exponentially.

Twelve months ago I wrote my first blog for ‘The Savage Truth’. At about the same time I posted my first tentative tweet. I already had a LinkedIn page, but my excursion into social media was mostly an attempt to understand it from the inside.

And while I won’t claim to be any kind of expert, I can now point to thousands of blog readers a week, and close to 5000 followers on Twitter, all of whom are in my target audience of Recruiters, Marketers and Designers.

These social media platforms can grow your personal and corporate brand in a way that 1000 client visits cannot. Through my social media exposure I have hired staff, selected vendors, won clients, sourced many candidates, been invited to speak at conferences, filled up seats at those conferences, and generated tens of thousands of dollars of media exposure.

I have also learned a great deal that assists me in my business, made offline friendships and found another way to engage with my own staff, currently working in 13 counties across the world.

Generally speaking, the more senior the person, in years and status, the less they feel social media is relevant to them. That’s a fallacy that needs to be overcome.

Recently, I was interviewed by Jeff Bullas, a highly influential blogger and thought leader on social media, marketing and the web. The short video interview can be viewed here.

If you have even a suspicion that social media might be important for you and your business, please watch it. It might just steer you in the right direction.

View video and blog post: The CEO and Social Media written by Jeff Bullas

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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10 Responses to Most of all, social media is for grown-up recruiters

  1. Justin Hillier August 3, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    Completely agree Greg. What surprises me more then anything with recruiters is the focus is always on talking to as many people as possible to find the right candidates and sourcing clients. Building those relationships and thus generating revenue. Social Media enables all of this at a whole new level. You can connect and engage with more people then you ever thought possible. Find people that you wouldn’t normally have access to and discuss numerous topics with them. And when the time comes for business you have an existing online relationship that you can take offline without the fear of a cold call, candidate or client focus.

    I hope that more recruiters realise this fact as soon as possible. Those who already have are seeing the benefits, just ask Steve Ludlow from Harlow Group who I recently interviewed on The Social Sofa (you can view here They have actually filled 25% of their vacancies in the last 12 months via social media. If that is not enough reason for recruiters to delve in to the social world then I don’t know what is.

    Recruitment is about relationships at all levels. Why then not use the tools that are available to start, develop, enhance and strengthen those relationships.

  2. Mervyn Dinnen August 3, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

    Very true Greg, grown up/experienced recruiters are most likely to use social media as a tool to enhance the journey rather than the destination itself.

  3. Paul Anderson August 3, 2010 at 5:44 pm #

    Absolutely agreed, its a very simple way of engaging people you would never otherwise meet.

  4. Tracey Dunn August 3, 2010 at 6:28 pm #

    Completely agree Greg. Even though I am not a recruiter I am interested in the recruitmentt community and I can point to at least four pieces of business that have come our way during the last few months through the use of social media – Aquent being a case in point!! It would have been unlikelhy that we would have been able to engage with you without twitter. Another client found us because she googfled “pr for recruiters” Our website didn’t come top but our blog posts, linked in profiles and answers to linked in questions dominated page 1 of google – that’s a pretty powerful reason in itself to take social media seriously – there is an ROI!

  5. Steve Ludlow August 3, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    Agreed Greg. Social media: a relationship building tool… I think social media is a very powerful tool if you see it as a ‘source’ for new relationships rather than the relationship itself. I think it’s important to note, the phone is perhaps still the most powerful sales and relationship building tool. If someone wants to connect on Linkedin or you’re in communication through some other sort of social media, if you really want a relationship with this person, perhaps you should pick up the phone and say hello if you don’t otherwise know them! If you have a network of 2000 people on Linkedin, do you really have a quality network of 2000 people you actually know? Have you spoken with them before? Why not? Perhaps you should.

    If it’s relationships you want, take it beyond the text; pick up the phone, or even better; meet up! Once again, social media is a very powerful tool if you see it as a ‘source’ for new relationships rather than the relationship itself.

    Many may disagree, but keep in mind my comments only pertain to ‘relationship building’. Outside of relationship building, social media obviously has many other benefits which don’t require the phone call. Marketing and branding being one of those as Greg has experienced with his blog and twitter account. I’m a big fan of social media. As Justin mentions above, we’ve filled 25% of our placements this year via social media.

  6. Gareth Jones August 4, 2010 at 6:16 am #

    One of the most powerful lines in this post:

    “These social media platforms can grow your personal and corporate brand in a way that 1000 client visits cannot”

    Couldn’t have put it better Greg and i use the very same client visit comparison when trying to explain to people the power of social media in building relationships.

    Great post – im going to share it for sure!


  7. Alconcalcia August 7, 2010 at 4:08 am #

    I agree, social media is a positive boon (and a free one) for self-promotion, networking and gaining new business. The problem as I see it is that too many recruiters think that social networks are just places to sling lots of job links every day and hope for the best. Add in the fact that aggregators upload thousands of jobs an hour and as a result, the social media space is becoming cluttered with poor quality job ads, much the same as happened to the job boards. The upshot? Probably in the not too distant future, hordes of recruiters will write of social networks just as they wrote off the job boards when in fact the problem lies in their naive and amateurish use of the social recruiting space. Either that or Twitter will start charging for the pleasure and off they’ll go looking for the next perceived recruitment holy grail freebie.

  8. Jason davis August 7, 2010 at 4:15 am #

    This is a good motivating post.

  9. Alan Whitford August 10, 2010 at 3:37 am #

    HI Greg

    As usual, you are out in front with your thinking. I have maintained for a long time that social is about the communications channels -and ensuring that you use the channel that your constituency wants to use to engage with you.

    I am trying out a quick poll on LinkedIn to try and assess some real world use of Social Media in recruitment, partly in preparation for #SRCONF in London in November, but also because I am curious to see how many of my LinkedIn and Twitter connections will actually answer a poll…LinkedIin Poll on Social Recruitment

    I also think it is interesting that so many of your respondents are already leading the way in thinking and, more importantly, acting on their beliefs. The true category changers.



  10. Jez Nicholson September 13, 2010 at 2:24 am #

    As a Technical Director who is frequently approached by recruiters either to place candidates at my company or to headhunt me I would say that the best thing Greg said in the interview was at the end: invest time in social media by giving (ideas, opinions, discussions) and build your credibility so that an approach via social media is ‘not just a job ad, but that guy I read his blog is looking, I might think about that’.

    Like all mediums, social media is easy to get wrong if you use it bluntly. For example, I do not want recruiters i’ve never had any contact with infiltrating my LinkedIn network. Its like you came into the pub, shoved into a seat between two of my friends and starting trying to advertise a job.

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