The Social Media Maze

The following is from

Do you feel like a lab rat these days?

As recruiters our job is pretty simple. Find clients, find candidates, and put them together.

But the tools we use to accomplish that end have become increasing complex. When I started in this business everything was paper. Then came the computer, proprietary databases, the internet and e-mail.

Now we are dealing with “the cloud” and social media.

I am computer literate. I can build my own computers. When pressed I can write code (not well) and I keep up with current technology. I have to admit, however, that Social Media has my perplexed. I’ve done a bit of research of late to try to figure out how, or if, my firm should participate in Social Media. To be honest, I don’t know if I have reached any conclusions. Much of what I have read is based solely on opinion and not solid research or anything close to what the average person would consider substantiated fact.

So you might ask, what do you mean by Social Media? Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as “a group of Internet-based applications… that allow the creation and exchange of user generated content.” The books and articles on this subject seen to be written by starry-eyed twenty something’s smitten with anything new and warning, as forcefully as possible, that you will be left behind if you don’t have a the latest social media tool. I’m having a hard time figuring out how these tools contribute to the basic formula that I put forth at the beginning “Find clients, find candidates, and put them together.”

Much of what has been written about the subject is predicated on the notion of “being found” that means, using social media as a tool to raise your profile so that client and candidates can come to you. For those of us who have been brought up in a traditional sales background this is counter-intuitive.  You find clients and candidates by searching for them! (The one exception to what I have said is LinkedIn, an indispensible tool that should be in every recruiter’s toolbox.)

Do other Social Media tools play a role? I’m a sure that they do. But I also think that it may be some time before their role is clear for recruiters.

In the mean time I am going to keep reading and researching.