8 Reasons Why Recruitment of Employees Needs to Change

Recruitment is undergoing a change. You can thank technology for part of the change.  But much of the credit must be given to social media. The change isn’t just cosmetic or incremental. It’s revolutionary. However and whenever you look at it — Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter — the growth stats and usage is phenomenal. People are talking, 24/7. Word of mouth is spreading like wildfire.
But management at most organizations, particularly human resource professionals and recruiters, fail to grasp the importance of social media and engaging and building talent communities.  Why are so many companies not adjusting to this reality?

The primary reason in my opinion is ignorance or as renowned psychologist Abraham Maslow described it – unconscious incompetence.  Many senior and middle managers just don’t know what they don’t know.  They equate social media to Facebook and Twitter and say “they just don’t get it.”  Neither did the leaders in Egypt, Iran, and Yemen and look what happened to them.  Social media isn’t just about sharing feelings and gibberish. Beneath all the noise coming from social media is a fundamental change in the way we communicate. And recruiting is about communication. It’s about branding, marketing, and public relations.
A second reason management and recruiters fail to adjust is a mindset that time is on their side. What’s the rush?  The experienced leader thinks that he or she has seen things like social media come and go, and the business weathered the storm without being the first to jump on the bandwagon. But that was when we lived in a world where yesterday’s news was tomorrow’s headline. Today we’re talking real time coverage all the time.

Social media is changing everything.  Social media isn’t like the keypad replacing the rotary dial on the phone.  It’s not about the fax replacing mail delivery. It’s not about the PC replacing the typewriter.  Social media isn’t a tiny step of innovation but a giant leap in how we communicate.   Social media also highlights how quickly innovations pervade our daily lives compared to just the gradual changes just a few decades ago.

For example, while it took nearly 38 years to get 50 million TV viewers, it only took 3 years to have 50 million tuned into an iPod…and nearly 200 million new members joined Facebook in 2010 alone.  Traditional forms and methods of recruiting are becoming the 8-track relics of finding and hiring new employees.  The 8-track might still work but no one is buying them.

Let’s get to the point. Social media is not about putting butts in seats. A recent article on the ERE website describes the situation perfectly.

“Social media will not lead to immediate mass new hires or pipeline. It is a vehicle to take people on a journey. A journey that people will board at different junctures. But when reaching the destination, the goal is that they are either someone who wants to work for your company or that they are a Brand Ambassador. Brand Ambassadors are people who may not want to work for you, but they engage in your community, participate in discussions, sing your praises to friends and act as a champion of your brand.” (Source: ERE.net)

The current global recruitment landscape is changing. The Perfect Labor Storm is real – a war for talent is the result. The ERE article offers 8 reasons why recruitment of employees moving forward will never be the same and businesses need to respond to the change today.

1. Talent is geographically mobile and happy to move for the best job;
2. Talent is more demanding, not only in pay but career progression and training and development;
3. The experienced talent pool is shrinking in volume;
4. The convergence of talent, as recruiters fighting in a smaller talent pool attract candidates across different sectors;
5. The graduate pool is scarily becoming “less skilled” as graduates come out of universities with watered-down degrees, ill-preparing them for working life;
6. Talent is less loyal and happy to switch companies every two years on average;
7. Competitors are getting smarter in mapping out talent pools and attracting your staff away;
8. Recruitment agencies are failing to be creative in attracting unique talent to their databases, hence perpetuating “recruitment chess” of the same talent across companies.

The time for pondering is over.  Recruitment 3.0 is not coming – it’s here.


Ira S Wolfe


  1. Ira Wolfe July 21, 2011 at 12:11 am -

    @Will – thanks for the comments. I have used Faceook with a few clients. I had little success with one client but a great match with another. Of course the latter client was looking for a young college grad for sales. Ultimately I’m really keen on Facebook for recruiting. But a company has to build a brand and community around their community to generate a word of mouth campaign when they announce an opening. Just using the ads will be hit or miss. I persoanlly haven’t had success with Twitter but I do know others have. And from what I’ve seen of Google+, it will be another opportunity but along the same strategy as Facebook.

  2. Will Russell July 21, 2011 at 12:06 am -

    An interesting insight into how social media effects recruiting. Obviously LinkedIn can be great for this, but have you had much success trying other platforms, such as Facebook or Twitter, for recruiting? Also will be interesting to see how it can be incorporated into Google+.