I had a great time presenting at the Recruitment Agency Expo this last week - and thanks to everyone who's been in touch since to thank me for the insights, a lovely start to the week :-)
In particular, there was an analogy that really brought it home to the recruitment business owners why they've not been getting compelling results from the time they've invested in social media. I think this'll help you too, hence why I'm turning this into a blog post for readers to complement what was said at the Expo.
Imagine you're running a recruitment business and it's had a super successful year. There's one client in particular who you've billed for a huge volume of business - and the expectations are that the coming year will be similarly fruitful.
Out of the blue, one of your fellow Directors strongly advocates that the best course of action would be to assign that client to your new rookie recruiter. They've not yet had any training, haven't shadowed anyone, in fact every step of the recruitment process is one where they'll drop the ball relative to one of your most experienced big billers. Sounds like a huge risk for the business doesn't it? Would you have anything like the same confidence of billings being maintained in their inexperienced hands?
This is a tongue-in-cheek question of course. It's sometimes said that recruiting is a simple business. But at the same time, there are dozens of elements to a successful recruiting campaign. Everything from taking an accurate job spec, to candidate sourcing, to job advert copy, to handling phone objections, to negotiating the offer, to closing the candidate, to ensuring their onboarding is a success.... Screw up any one of these things and the chances of a successful placement are materially harmed. Make a fist of several of them and your billings are going to be significantly down over the course of a year.
Which is why, of course, a rookie recruiter learns the ropes before being entrusted with one of your most important client accounts.
Now apply that logic to social media - and getting tangible business results for your recruitment team from social media. Just like recruiting, social media seems simple on the surface. But behind the scenes, you have to have a carefully thought out strategy that is then implemented to perfection if you are to get results. Of all the myriad steps that must be followed and implemented correctly, each one you omit or mess up will drag down the overall results you achieve. Omit or mess up several of the steps and the results you'll get from social media will be pitiful.
From a show of hands in the theatre, it was clear that most recruitment businesses had been disappointed by the results they'd achieved from trying to do their social media in-house. But then most recruitment businesses will appoint an admin person to do their social media, or ask their recruiters to do things on social media "when they can spare the time". This is the social media equivalent of asking your rookie recruiter to assume the responsibilities of your top biller - and then expecting them to produce anything like the same results. It's just delusional.
I share this here, because by the time I'd finished my presentation the business owners had really taken on board their shortcomings and fully appreciated the need to either invest in social media more seriously - or not to bother at all. The half-way house of employing an admin-person or a part-time grad to try and generate results is simply a fantasy option. Hopefully by recounting this here, it'll give you reason to pause for thought about your own social media presence - and reflect on whether it's genuinely been bringing the business a stream of client leads or candidate enquiries. If it hasn't (as was the case for most of those in the room), perhaps it's time to properly reconsider the experience you've been applying to the job in hand.
By way of conclusion, there's the saying that it's madness to continue to do the exact same things you've always done but expect the results you get to be materially better. If what you've been doing hasn't really been working, the only way you're going to get materially better results is to significantly change the way you're tackling social media in your team. Hopefully you've already realised this and are actively pondering how to change things up...
This was just one of a number of topics we covered during the session at the Recruitment Agency Expo - having also gone in more depth into the strategies needed to generate positive results from social media. If you'd like to learn from those other insights, you're welcome to tune in for our social recruiting webinar where this is all covered in far greater depth.