Hi, I’m Elkie Holland  Director and founder of Prospectus IT Recruitment  and Bill asked me to guest blog for him whilst he is hopefully having a fantastic holiday.

I run a boutique IT recruitment agency that works in a very niche market. A question which I often hear from those involved with Social Media is:  “Why haven’t more recruiters jumped on the Social Media bandwagon and started Social Recruiting?” In their minds, it is fundamentally free (except for time) and simple and gives great results. I’d like to try to shed some light on this question;  Specifically the “when” and “why” more agencies haven’t adopted it faster.

Basically a Recruiter has to get the forces on their side, then traverse the Social Media Universe avoiding the TimeLoss Vortexes and hopefully making it through the Asteroid Information Overload Zone then stop on the variety of planets to set up bases and learn the local language and alignment and can only then get closer to arriving at the promised land of Social Recruiting and Social Media success. Let’s explore this analogy further:

Read the blog below or watch the movie:

Roger the Recruiter has a busy and hard enough job already in that he/she already has three separate forces to contend with that he has to juggle:

- Force 1: The agency boss or recruitment manager – demanding financial targets to be met.
- Force 2: The clients – all want the perfect candidate yesterday.
- Force 3: The candidates – who want the perfect job and constant communication.

As those savvy with Social Media already know, it takes time to plan and implement an effective campaign in Social Media , so it can take quite a while for a Recruiter to learn how to effectively use it to gain results. There is no handbook out there to help them.

Imagine this: Roger Recruiter gets all the forces in agreement with his concept and proposal that Social Media / Recruiting is a great and effective route forwards. Finally, his mission to go into the Social Media world is cleared for launch. Roger Recruiter gets into his Rocket and launches into the Social Media Universe. His voyage begins …

Roger Recruiter first comes up to the Planet of LinkedIn and sets up a base (profile) and starts to make connections : excellent, the SM Mission is progressing nicely.

WAIT … Roger’s radio phone buzzes:

Agency Boss: “…. return to base immediately, do not make any further advances or moves in the Social Media Universe. Your SM Mission has been terminated with immediate effect“
Roger: “Why, what’s the problem ?”
Agency Boss: “Return to base immediately or you risk other things being terminated too!”

Roger returns to base. There is a disturbance in one of the forces: his Agency Boss has contracted “Loss Fear Malady”.   Loss Fear Malady is the Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (also known as the “FUD Factor”) about who owns SM connections and contacts, who can keep what, who has access, etc, should Roger Recruiter decide to change jobs in the future. The larger Agency Boss now goes under “Legalese” Care to try to find a remedy and solution to this problem – the smaller Agency Boss can’t afford Legalese Care so the disease stays with them. Time passes, and some missions into the Social Media Universe are permanently grounded due to “Legalese Care” and “Loss Fear Malady”.

Luckily for our intrepid hero Roger Recruiter, a balance or truce is struck and all his forces are in agreement once again more so another mission is launched into Social Media Universe.

Roger Recruiter reaches LinkedIn and things have changed there already since his first encounter but Roger continues undaunted. He decides that as he already has a base on LinkedIn, he’d better plot courses to other planets (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube) quickly to set up bases in case of a quick recall again.

Danger! Roger now finds himself deeper in Social Media Universe, and wanders into the Asteroid Information Overload Zone. This is filled with loads of free advice, helpful fellow astronauts (social media gurus) all pointing different routes with varying messages, massive amounts of software, free apps, plug ins. There is no clear pathway.

He’s being pounded and bumped around in his rocket: The noise is HUGE … “Go to Facebook” – “Use Twitter” – “Don’t forget YouTube” – “Go back and do Groups on LinkedIn” – “Use x,y,z tool” –  “Agents you must engage” –  “Listen don’t talk to start” – “Facebook is personal” – “Facebook is a recruiter’s goldmine” – “Facebook is purely personal” – ““Agents don’t broadcast jobs”.

Roger Recruiter suffers massive head trauma from the information overload and has to retreat for medical treatment. Fortunately, Roger Recruiter is refreshed after a break and ventures forth again, feeling he’s more prepared this time to navigate the Asteroid Information Overload Zone, but wait! Everything has moved place and there seems to be even more noise than before with even more tools to investiage.

Roger Recruiter stays calm and carefully make his way, but he bombarded by new information and feels he’s making great progress. There is a constant buzzing from his Rocket’s Radio Phone. His Forces back on Earth are disturbed: they are questioning progress and demanding results one way or the other. Eventually one message comes through that cannot be ignored. “Agency Boss says: “ We’ve been patient, we’ve given you time but it’s been 3 months and you have no results. Without results there will be no job. Get results !”. Roger Recruiter is surprised that it has already been 3 months then realises that he fallen into one of the many TimeLoss Vortexes.

Roger still firmly believes that the future lies in the Social Recruiting Land which is at the far side of the Social Media Universe, but now he has 2 choices.

1) Continue to chart the Asteroid Information Overload Zone and try to get results before losing a job.
2) Return to base and continue with already known, tried, traditional and tested techniques.

What’s an Agency Boss supposed to do? Let a Recruiter continue with non-billing periods ? There are agency bills to pay and Recruiters sales are needed.
What’s a Client to do? Continue waiting or go to another agency? He needs to hire.
What’s a Candidate going to do?
Hmmm, what’s a Recruiter going to do? He needs to earn money to eat …

So…. realistically there are many who have tried but fallen at the variety of hurdles along the way to Social Recruiting:

1) Couldn’t start the journey as their forces were not in alignment.
2) Recalled from SM Mission due to Fear Loss Malady (FUD) and then grounded by Legalese.
3) Non-Recovery from Head Trauma caused in the Asteroid Information Overload Zone.
4) Sucked and still whirling in one of the many TimeLoss Vortexes.
5) Forces terminate mission.

So, while there is not an easy answer, there are Recruiters using Social Media for their jobs. It just requires, as all worthwhile things do, time, effort, and luck.