Like Gardening, Growing Your Candidate Pool Requires Pride, Precision and a Personal Touch

I’ve always had a green thumb. As my father has been settling into his retirement, he’s developed different hobbies. One is gardening. During the summer of 2011, my dad and I built a raised garden in his backyard; and during the early spring of 2012, we started planting fruits and vegetables. We were met with some failure, but the yield was quite respectable. We’d done our research prior to planting. We knew where and when to place each plant and how much water and sunlight was needed. We worked at it, and we definitely learned from it.
Like gardening, entering into the world of social recruiting requires work and research. Andy Hedworth, author of the Sirona Says Blog, understands this better than most. In late March, he wrote the entry You Reap What You Sow with Social Recruiting and, although there wasn’t a tie to gardening other than the title, the dots started connecting. As social recruiters, you need to know when and where to post, what to post, and how often to post in order to maximize your efforts. Simply stated, you’re going to get the results out of social recruiting that reflect the level of effort you put into it. If you use your networks only as job boards, you’re not likely to get more than you would posting to sites like CareerBuilder and Indeed. You’re wasting your time and energy if you fail to use social media socially.
Hedworth’s article pushes you to evaluate your social recruiting strategy. And really, you should be doing this on a regular basis: look at what’s working, what’s not working, and then move forward. We did this constantly while gardening—we found out at one point that our tomatoes were overwatered and had to cut back. We made changes and moved forward with what was helping our garden flourish.
For example, if you’re a recruiter sending out LinkedIn InMails but have a poor response rate, it is time to revisit your strategy. The personal human touch is essential to growing your network and being successful at social recruiting. It certainly takes more time than sending a pre-crafted message to 20+ people, but a personal connection or personal touch can make a huge difference—and may give candidates more of a reason to respond. Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes; if you received both InMails, which would resonate more? To which would you be more likely to respond? You’re going to see higher response rates using InMail with a personal touch.
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Look at what you’re already doing (or not doing) on social media and recruiting. If something isn’t working well, take a look at the mistakes Hedworth discusses and see if you fall into these categories. Much like gardening, great social recruiting effort is often met with great results. It is, however, going to take some time and effort, and you’re likely going to have to dig through some weeds before you can reap what you sow.
Post contributed by Andrew Rojahn, Pinstripe Social Media Specialist.
Connect with me on LinkedIn.

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