Understanding Social Recruiting – Interview with Mr. Sarang Brahme

 

While many know that social media can be an effective marketing and communications tool, it is also an equally effective recruiting avenue for hiring talent. Social recruiting, as it is commonly know as, when carried out intelligently can help populate your organization with talented individuals.

Contrary to what most may think, social recruiting is not just limited to checking the potential candidate’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profile for the usage of any unacceptable posts.

In this interview with Mr. Sarang Brahme from Capgemini’s Recruitment Sourcing ‘Center of Excellence’, you will learn what social recruiting is and how it can help your organization.

Please note, however, that Mr. Brahme has answered the questions below in his personal capacity and these are not the official responses from Capgemini.

How do you hunt for prospective employees on various social media platforms?

We use social media channels for recruitment by attracting talent as well as hunting proactively. In the first approach, we create an “engaged” environment through talent communities to attract target audience to share knowledge, discuss current / future trends, exchange views. This allows us to enhance our employer brand as well as create a proactive talent pool for long term.

Our recruiters also use social networks to connect with their target audience proactively which give us headway into their social graph. Networks like LinkedIn allow us to create these networks and proactively search to head-hunt specific candidates.

What are the drawbacks of conventional recruiting process that necessitates the use of social media platforms?

The present classical recruitment process does not have “ears”; thus making it a one way process. It does not allow us to listen to our target audience; proactively engage them into meaningful dialogue and thus helping us to reach bigger audience. The current process also relies too much on job portals; Social Media allows us to think “bigger” and “wider”.

Can you briefly the explain the social recruitment process?

  • We have built social media communities on various sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc across various technologies.
  • Our recruiters send their requirements to Social Recruiting team.
  • We post those requirements on our communities.
  • Responses are received by recruiters through ATS.
  • Apart from this, our recruiters are encouraged to create their own talent networks based on their areas of specialisation and connect them through Social channels.
  • Recruiters also proactively search social media networks like LinkedIn to find suitable candidates and approach them to explore career opportunities with us.

Once you find a person with an impressive social media profile, how do you go ahead and engage with them?

We try to connect with him/her with a common interest areas like technology, domain market etc. We also invite them to be part of our social media communities to show them a glimpse of our offering and capability and connect with our experts online. Our recruiters start having conversations with him/her to explore career opportunities with Capgemini. In case, he/she is not interested at that point of time – we still have them connected with us on Social channels for future opportunities.

What are the negative instances you look for in a candidate’s social media profile that leads to his rejection?

We respect the candidate’s personal space in their social media profiles and do not necessarily create a negative perspective due to certain elements. The online networking spaces like LinkedIn have a higher professional appeal to a candidate’s profile and we expect candidates to follow professional protocols while maintaining professional profiles. We do not reject candidates based on their activities on social networks and encourage other HR professionals to avoid this practice.

Do you use social media to recruit only junior to mid-level employees? Or do you also use it to recruit senior execs?

It really depends on different kinds of social channels that we use and the candidate-mix of these channels. Some channels like Facebook and Twitter may be more suited for Fresher / junior level hiring due to Gen-Y factor and LinkedIn for senior level. However, as recruiters we should make ourselves visible and engaged in all the places to attract our target audience.

How many employees have you hired via social media? How has the trend been over the last few years?

This is a relatively new initiative for us and it will be too early to measure the results. Though we have hired a few candidates, the overall number is not too significant at this point of time. However, the effects of social media are rather difficult to track fully as it also plays a vital part in creating a great employer brand. It creates a positive impact on candidate’s decision to choose their preferred employer in the age of  the “Talent Wars”.

What tools do you use to help you with searching and engaging with the candidates?

We primarily use tools like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to search and engage with candidates. We also use social media tools like Sendible in our community management efforts.

Compared to the employees who were recruited through the conventional process, how are the employees who were recruited via social media are faring?

It is too early to comment for now.

As a social recruiting channel, how are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn different from each other?

Facebook is great attracting people through talent communities and broadcasting the requirements. You may also look at some applications like BranchOut in Facebook. However, it is not user-friendly for direct candidate searching.

Twitter is good for identifying and engaging target audience through hashtags and RTs. It is also a good tool to create events like tweetups to gather your target audience with a common interest topic.

LinkedIn is by far the most effective and useful tool for direct searching. It has recently developed hiring solutions to provide direct access for recruiters. You may also want to look at their branding solutions like Career pages, work with us ads.

Do you think companies asking the candidates for their Facebook passwords during the hiring process is ethical?

Facebook is personal and companies should respect the privacy of candidates; hence we do not think it is ethical to ask such information in the interview stage. We do not follow such policy in our interviewing process.

What would you suggest a job seeker who wants to use social media for job search?

  • Be active and visible on social media
  • Actively participate in discussions and connect with bright minds in your technology / domain.
  • Share interesting news, views, and articles about your areas of interest to meet like-minded people.
  • Follow interesting companies on social networks including their fan / career pages, twitter handles and LinkedIn groups.
  • Showcase your “expertise” through social channels and engage with new people.

Do you look for candidates in other places too (such as Quora, developer forums, the blogosphere etc)?

Yes, we do search  for niche candidates through other channels like discussion forums, online groups, associations etc. We are also proud to be among the first in using upcoming channels like BranchOut, TechGig, Bullhorn etc to keep innovating new techniques of social recruiting.

What are some of the mistakes that you see various companies making when it comes to social recruiting?

  • Using social media as job broadcasting channel only and treat it as job portal.
  • Lack of proactive and two-way “dialogue” with followers.
  • Policing / deleting negative comments.
  • Not listening to your followers and not responding in constructive manner. Engage!!
  • Improper training to recruiters about best practices to use these channels.
  • Looking at Social Recruiting as a “Quick-Fix” tool  and not as a long term solution.
  • Ignoring the importance of Employer Branding through Social Media.

Takeaways from this interview:

  1. Use social networks to connect with your target audience proactively while engaging in meaningful dialogues.
  2. Do not reject candidates based solely on their activities on social networks.
  3. Facebook is personal and companies should respect the privacy of candidates and not ask for login details.
  4. Actively participate in discussions and connect with bright minds in your technology / domain.
  5. Use upcoming channels such as BranchOut, TechGig etc.

I hope this interview added to your social media knowledge.

If you want us to interview your favourite brand or expert please feel free to share their names in the comments below. We will do our best to bring their thoughts and opinions to you.

 
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