Using Social Media to Source Passive Candidates

Our onsite recruitment solutions have enjoyed great success sourcing passive candidates via social media. Unsurprisingly, our most lucrative channel has been LinkedIn. To a lesser extent we’ve seen some success via Twitter and Facebook as a source of hire however the success via these channels has largely been confined to specific job types/ role families, such as IT related roles in Twitter and entry level Customer Service and Sales roles via Facebook. Our approach to date has been to use these channels more as an employment branding tool than a pure sourcing tool.

The success our onsite solutions have had in sourcing passive candidates via LinkedIn can largely be attributed to two courses we put our onsite consultants through as part of our specialist training program. The point here being, that without specialised training for front line recruiters and sourcing teams, the benefit of a tool such as LinkedIn will not be fully realised.

  1. Open web sourcing – this course was rolled out to all existing Consultants across our solutions. The practical based course covered how to use Boolean logic to search via search engines and in particular mastering the ‘site’ command which enabled Recruiters to search on Linked In without being limited by the size of their existing network. By having this capability it meant our smaller teams without access to a LinkedIn Recruiter license were not disadvantaged in their sourcing activities.
  2. Approaching passive candidates and how to make a ‘head hunt’ call provided additional support and guidance to our onsite Recruiters particularly on the differences in dealing with passive candidates as opposed to active ones.For some of our Recruitment Consultants onsite there was a reluctance to approach passive candidates as they were less confident in how to deal with them. Hence the need to design a program on how to make the approach, what to focus on and tips on how to transition a prospect from a state of indifference to someone who is actively and genuinely interested in pursuing an opportunity with the organisation.A supplement to the practical part of the training included how to position passive candidates with Hiring Managers to ensure a positive candidate experience ensues.

    Feedback from our teams showed many Hiring Managers were still ‘stuck’ in traditional interview mode whereby they felt every candidate wanted the opportunity instead of actively selling themselves as a manager, the company and the opportunity.

As a result of the training we have seen an increase in LinkedIn as a source of hire as well an overall improvement in Recruiter capability.

LinkedIn will continue to be our focus from a social media sourcing perspective as we enjoy such strong returns and we will carry on exploring Facebook and Twitter.

Our objective remains the same when filling positions for our clients — we uncover the right candidate at the right time across the spectrum of both the active and passive candidate market with neither candidate group considered superior to the other. Candidate quality is not determined by source, rather than by a robust and appropriate assessment and selection process.

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