I was recently invited to sit in a on a demo of a new social media tool created by an ATS provider. The topic of social media for recruiters is a big part of this applicant tracking software company’s focus. They have been working to make social media recruiting easier for the recruiter.
It got me thinking about the complexity of the tools and the likelihood that the typical recruiter has the time and knowledge to leverage all the social media tools that are available. It also made me consider the probability that the average recruiter has a strategy for their social media recruiting. Without a strategy, it is impossible to effectively leverage the existing tools and the new tools may make a strategy even more necessary. It made me realize the project this ATS provider is involved in is very valuable to the recruiting community. It also became obvious that the creators of the native applications like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, just to name a few of the social media tools for recruiters, were missing the way the tools were being used by this sizable and paying audience of users.
So where will the next generation of social media tools take us? Will the makers of LinkedIn figure a way to integrate with ATS tools like PCRecruiter, Bullhorn and Taleo. Or will it be the ATS providers that need to integrate with the social media for recruiters? Or worse yet, will LinkedIn resist the interface and make the tool less usable? The time and talent being wasted by recruiters doing the interface on their own is significant.
It seems that one of the big issues to address is the ability to target the appropriate recipients of social media recruiting messages at the appropriate time. I think we all view social media tools as intrusive when they are used to spam a message to an uninterested audience. I don’t want to know about engineering jobs in Russia or nursing jobs in Brazil. So the next generation of social media tools needs to allow the social media recruiting message to be to targeted to those with an immediate connection, a relevant network, or a pending piece of news that makes the message connect.
The next generation of social media for recruiters might also acknowledge the difference between friends and a business network. Seems that the two are blending but I’m not sure everyone likes the blended use of social media tools. It might just be me, a generational thing, or a style thing but I really do not have long business discussions with friends. Likewise I don’t invite my business network to let loose at parties with friends. Yes there is a blend at times, but some things just don’t need to be connected. Do I really need to see a job opening in the social media tool that captures pictures of family vacations, letters to lost high school classmates, and a health update from Granny? Not too be overly dramatic on this issue, but there are reasons you don’t put power outlets in the shower, as there is a good reason the washroom and the kitchen are kept in separate spaces.
OK, maybe it is just me? What do you think the next generation of social media for recruiters will look like? Do you see anyone making it happen?