What’s all the fuss about social recruiting?

I’ve seen a number of blogs and news articles about the rise in the use of social recruiting recently. And, in particular, there’s been a lot of debate over whether recruiters should focus on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter as their main social recruitment platform.
As someone who’s worked in recruitment communications for 26 years and seen the marketing mix change from adverts in local papers and the trade press to careers websites, job boards and now social media, I have to say that one thing has always been clear: if recruiters rely on just one marketing channel, they’ll end up selecting from a limited shortlist.
So, the argument over whether recruiters should be looking at Facebook or Twitter over LinkedIn is, to me, missing the point. Recruiters need to use a mix of marketing channels in order to find the very best people. And that means using all three, but with more focus on the one (or more) they think is where their audience is most likely to be.
In my experience, recently, many recruiters have approached their ad agencies with one request more than any other: “We want a Facebook page.” Why? It tends to be a kneejerk reaction to the news that social recruiting is the next big thing, with no thought for whether Facebook is the right platform for either their recruitment brand, or their target audience. (With recent reports, I’m sure more agencies will soon be getting requests for LinkedIn profiles instead.)
I think the problem is that social media is so new that it scares many recruiters, because it involves a totally different approach and, in many cases, new skills. But if they focused less on the ‘social’ aspect and more on the ‘media’ side, I think they’d see that it’s not so different.
In using social media for recruitment, organisations still need to analyse the audience reach of each platform. They still need develop messaging that’s going to attract the right candidates. And they still need to manage the candidate journey effectively so even those people they don’t eventually recruit leave with a positive view of their organisation.
In fact, they still need to follow most of the same processes that they’ve used for many years. Plus ça change.