Relationships in social recruiting


DSCN2842  There have been some fairly consistent views about social recruiting expressed this morning at Alan Whitford and Vic Okezie’s social recruiting conference…  Views which I think contrast to the way many if not most organisations looking at social recruiting are trying to do it, and to those expressed in a few different articles recently, eg this one from John Sumser.

Basically, it IS all about relationships.

The first presentation which reinforced this fact was given by Matthew Jeffery at Electronics Arts (pictured rather fuzzily above).  Matthew emphasised the need for recruiters to move from a 1.0, post and pay approach to one based on 2.0, social media and relationships.


DSCN2849  But we had more detail provided a bit later from Jennifer Candee from SABMiller.

Jennifer spends 50% of her time on ‘talent interviews’ with future talent who are top notch, usually senior level, people but for whom SABMiller don’t have a current position (sort of like an agency meeting someone of the side when they’ve not got a role).  But often she’s kept up a conversation and two, three or four years later she’s placed them.  Job postings are still a part of the mix but Jennifer’s not hired from them for the last four years.  As a result of this, the company has saved between £1.2-£1.8m.

One of the interesting things SABMiller is looking at is a CRM type tool to manage the relationships with their future talent (Avature CRM).


I’ve posted before about the head farming (vs head hunting) approach used by Ernst & Young while I was an HR Director there.  This was in 2000 and no other organisations seemed interested in this approach at the time.

And I wrote about this too in my book during 2005.  And when this was published, the approach still didn’t resonate that well.

Moving ahead to 2010, and as shown by the two case studies above, it’s become an increasingly popular strategy.  The difference of course is social media and perhaps also recruiting CRM.

So I still maintain social recruiting is about relationships, not about technology, but the technology certainly does help!



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I graduated from Imperial College, London in 1987 and joined Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) as a systems development consultant. After ten years in IT, change and then HR consulting, I joined Ernst & Young as an HR Director, working firstly in the UK, and then, based in Moscow, covering the former USSR.More recently, I have worked as Head of HR Consulting for Penna and Director of Human Capital Consulting for Buck Consultants (the HR consultancy owned by ACS).


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