All too often I hear recruiters say how enthusiastic that they are about using social media channels, but still find it difficult to maintain, whilst keeping up standards and essential activities of their long established recruitment methods. They just don’t feel confident enough to make the jump, and potentially lose out on placements, let down clients, and have a fractured picture of communications with candidates.

What many recruiters usually don’t realise is that social media is already a big part of what they do. This, in turn, means that they are currently struggling to juggle their communications with clients and candidates through these networks, and at the same time record that activity on their in-house recruitment software.

Recognising how integral social media channels currently are to your daily work as a recruiter is key to smoothing out the kinks and embedding it in a way that causes less hassle, and pays dividends. In too many cases we feel that social media is what we do on the side, almost as if we are being somehow unfaithful to the traditional methods of recruitment.

Forget for a moment the different platforms, and recognise that all these channels are simply new ways to find candidates, to communicate with them and, vitally, to record that activity in a way which was never possible before. Emails (of course), applications, tweets, DM’s, inMails, Follows, Connections and Likes are all interactions which can form the line which flows through every recruitment assignment, stretching from the placement and start date, right back to even before the job order was taken. An immense amount of work goes into most assignments, much of which the client never sees, and the candidate is never aware of. Recruiters themselves are often oblivious to the lengths they have gone to, to fill each vacancy. It certainly feels like hard work, but it’s usually difficult to quantify, never mind to analyse in real-time which paths are working, and which are not.

The ability to record activities and interactions made via social media alongside your established methods is crucial to ensuring that you know for a fact that you are getting a return on your investment. The difference between recruiters who THINK social media works, and those who KNOW it works, is the essential data to trace successful placements through the full recruitment cycle.

At the #TRULondon Conference this week, I’m going to be asking recruiters what systems they have in place to record and keep track of all interactions with their clients and candidates via social media. I will follow up next week with a review of #TRULondon, which is always packed with surprises.

Firefish-Logo300x150As of today, I will be working alongside the very excellent FireFish Recruitment Software, in Glasgow, evangelising on their behalf, and helping bring their products to a much wider audience.  

Stephen O'Donnell is a lifelong recruiter, internet enthusiast, fadgadget and peripatetic writer.

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