by Howard Greenwood, 12th April 2024

Welcome to the 25th edition of The Brutal Truth. In this edition, we will examine how recruiters use social media, whether it is making them money, and why we, as an industry, need to acknowledge more than just placement.

The Social Media Savvy but Recruitment Shy Recruiters

In the whimsical world of social media, where recruiters strut their stuff like peacocks in a digital aviary, there exists a peculiar subset who seem to have mastered the art of attracting followers but are as clueless as a goldfish in a bowl when it comes to reeling in actual clients and candidates. Yes, we’re talking about those mystical creatures who can rake in likes and shares faster than a viral cat video but can’t seem to land a client or a candidate if their life depended on it. Let’s embark on a journey through the absurdity of social media-savvy yet recruitment-shy recruiters and explore how they can break free from the shackles of online obscurity.

The Ghosts of Followers Past

Picture this: a recruiter with a LinkedIn profile that could rival a celebrity’s, boasting thousands of connections and endorsements that would make even the most accomplished professional envious. Their feed is a cacophony of industry insights, clever quips and memes, data-driven analyses, and the occasional witty retweet. Yet, when it comes to clinching that elusive client deal, they’re about as effective as a chocolate teapot. It’s as if they’ve mistaken likes for cash and shares for clients’ or candidates’ relationships, leaving them stranded in a desert of digital desolation, having no relationships whatsoever. If your followers are not in your niche (they do not need your product), they are just cheerleaders. If you cannot email at a minimum or, at best, call your followers, then you need a strategy to take your digital relationship off social media and make it personal. I would rather have one follower that buys from me than 10,000 who will never buy my product.

From Likes to Leads: A Beginner’s Guide

So, how can these social media butterflies transform into recruitment powerhouses? Fear not; I have concocted a foolproof plan to help you turn those likes and follows into tangible leads:

1. Get Personal: It’s time to break free from anonymity and start personally engaging with your followers. Reply to comments, initiate conversations, and show genuine interest in their professional journeys. Remember, people are likelier to trust and engage with someone they perceive as approachable and authentic. Take your conversation from the comment box to a private message, and then take that conversation and turn it into a human-to-human engagement, which is where business gets done. Connect with people who are the same as your target audience, not any old body that pops up on your feed. “Wow, I have just connected with someone with 1,000,000 followers who is a trapeze artist.” But you’re a financial recruiter…

2. Showcase Success Stories: Nothing piques the interest of potential candidates like success stories. Share testimonials from satisfied clients and candidates, highlighting your recruitment efforts and their positive impact on their careers. This adds credibility to your brand and serves as social proof of your expertise. Reputation management and social proof come from your testimonials, case studies and reviews, so show them off.

3. Offer Value-Added Content: While witty memes have their place in your social media arsenal, consider the power of value-added content. Enough with the tired tropes of CV writing tips and interview question banalities (only a tiny percentage of the market is looking for a role at any one time; you are switching the rest). It’s time to embrace the power of data and infuse your social media presence with real-time market insights. Share trends, salary benchmarks, and industry forecasts to showcase your expertise, captivate potential clients and candidates with your finger on the pulse of knowledge, and show your followers you are THE expert of your market and geographical area. The content you produce demonstrates your capabilities.

4. Leverage Direct Messaging: Don’t wait for clients and candidates to knock on your digital door. Take the initiative and reach out to potential prospects directly through direct messaging. Say goodbye to cookie-cutter recruitment messages and hello to client-centric comedy. Tailor your messages to address the pain points and challenges your target clients and candidates with your email marketing. Sprinkling in a healthy dose of humour to keep them engaged and entertained. After all, laughter is the best icebreaker – and client and candidate dealmaker. Ensure your email address highlights their potential issues and how your solution will help them solve them. Then, have two things: one, a call to action, and two (the most important one), have a telephone strategy to actually call your clients; you have attracted them, now engage with them and delight them in person. Humans crave human interaction.

4. Infotainment Extravaganza: Why settle for dry data when you can serve up a feast of infotainment? Blend informative content with entertainment value to create a social media spectacle that leaves your audience craving more. Whether a tongue-in-cheek infographic or a comedic case study, find creative ways to educate and entertain your followers while subtly showcasing your recruitment prowess. Become your own KPI > the Key Person of Influence.

5. The Art of Subtle Selling: Gone are the days of hard sells and aggressive pitches. Embrace the art of subtle selling by weaving your recruitment message into the fabric of your content in a way that feels natural and organic. From witty anecdotes to clever wordplay, find subtle ways to nudge potential clients and candidates towards the dotted line without resorting to overt sales tactics. No one goes on social media like LinkedIn to buy anything, so stop selling solutions and start highlighting capability and service.

6. Reality Checks and Revelations: Break free from the echo chamber of recruitment clichés and offer your followers a reality check they won’t soon forget. Share behind-the-scenes glimpses of the recruitment process, including the highs, the lows, and the downright absurd. By lifting the veil on the realities of recruitment, you’ll humanise your brand and foster deeper connections with your audience.

7. Measure, Analyse, Iterate: As you embark on your journey to social media stardom, keep an eye on the metrics that matter. Track engagement rates, conversion rates, and client acquisition metrics to measure the effectiveness of your crusade. Analyse the data, refine your approach, and watch as your social media antics translate into tangible client wins.

So there you have it, a roadmap to transform your social media prowess into recruitment success. Remember, it’s not enough to simply amass followers and likes; the true magic happens when you harness the power of social media to connect with clients and candidates and drive real results. 50 to 90% of the buyer’s journey happens online. However, the conversation of the sale in recruitment happens via face-to-face activities. Happy recruiting!

Why Recruiters Should Acknowledge More Than Just Placements

Recruiters often find themselves in a perpetual pursuit of placements – the ultimate win, a deal. However, in the relentless quest for placements, it’s crucial to acknowledge and celebrate the journey leading up to those wins. While placements are undoubtedly what all recruiters strive for, the activities preceding them hold immense value and deserve recognition. Here’s why recruiters should celebrate not only the wins but also the steps leading up to them, as each step is a significant achievement.

  1. The Journey is Pivotal: Every placement is the culmination of a series of activities—turning clients from strangers to prospects to customers, negotiating, sourcing candidates, screening, negotiating, interviewing, chasing the client for feedback, setting up and coaching the client interview, negotiating, handling the offer stage, and finally, closing the deal (drop me a line if you want to add to this list). Each step in this process contributes significantly to the eventual success. By acknowledging and celebrating these steps, recruiters can appreciate the effort, skill, and dedication invested in each placement.
  2. Learning and Growth Opportunities: The activities leading up to a placement provide invaluable learning experiences. Recruiters encounter various challenges, refine their strategies, and develop new skills along the way. Celebrating these experiences fosters a culture of continuous learning and growth within the recruitment team and inspires personal growth and professional development.
  3. Acknowledging Effort and Persistence: Recruitment is a numbers game, and not every interaction leads to a placement. Recruiters face numerous rejections, setbacks, and obstacles before securing a successful placement. Recognising the effort and persistence required to navigate these challenges is essential for maintaining motivation and morale. The key to success in recruitment is quality and quantity in equal measure; however, consistency and having no time gaps between producing your quality and quantity outputs creates consistent results.
  4. Building a Positive Culture: Celebrating the journey creates a positive and supportive work culture. It boosts morale, fosters camaraderie among team members, and promotes a sense of accomplishment. A workplace where achievements—big or small—are acknowledged and celebrated is more conducive to productivity and employee satisfaction. You might be new to recruitment or an old hand, but being recognised for doing a great job, no matter the results keeps that ambition alive.
  5. Emphasising Quality Over Quantity: While recruitment is a numbers game, quality should never be compromised for quantity. Celebrating the journey allows recruiters to focus on delivering quality outcomes at every stage of the process. It emphasises the importance of building meaningful relationships with candidates and clients rather than merely chasing numbers. It is different from the number of followers, likes or clicks you receive on social media or the number of calls you make daily (are people still being made to make a set number of calls per day or produce a set call time?), it is about creating faithful followers of your services who buy from you consistently. Clients and candidate numbers always ebb and flow; the art of recruitment is ensuring that your ebb and flow has the correct quantity and quality to consistently achieve the required results.
  6. Motivating Performance Excellence: By celebrating the journey, recruiters are motivated to excel in every aspect of their work. Whether improving sourcing techniques, honing interview skills, or refining negotiation tactics, every effort contributes to overall performance excellence. Recognising and rewarding these efforts encourages recruiters to strive for continuous improvement and excellence.

While placements are recruiters’ ultimate goal, celebrating the journey leading up to them is equally important. The activities preceding a placement represent learning opportunities, perseverance, and dedication, all of which deserve recognition and celebration. By acknowledging the journey, recruiters foster a positive work culture and inspire performance excellence and continuous improvement within their teams. By consistently highlighting what good looks like, you create good habits, and habits create consistency in performance. On the other hand, bad habits, or having no habit for success, lead to average and poor performance. Remember, you are a product of your environment, so what is your environment doing to help you succeed?

Wow, I hope you enjoyed reading that as much as I did writing it. Feel free to agree or disagree or simply leave a comment. Thank you for your support.

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