I was excited to participate in a new blog duel this month with Rita Jackson and Jessica Merrell because I had so much fun the last time around! When Rita recommended the topic “How Valuable is Lead Nurturing Communities for Recruitment?” I was a little apprehensive but thought I’d take a stab at it. Well, take a stab at it I have, and not sure I’ve done much else but learn what not to do.
Since I’ve always participated in recruitment only from the technology side of things, I thought I would jump in by recruiting leads for a hard-to-fill job for one of our applicant tracking system customers. Erin Campbell with Merchandise Mart graciously gave me free reign to recruit for an opening for a Convention Sales Director for Piers 92/94 in New York City.
I was ready to put my technical skills to work. I was confident. I was prepared. And I was clueless.
My first step was to apply google analytics to the job opening. Although I can already report on which web site an applicant came from, I wanted to be able to get detailed reporting about exactly which tweet or facebook post an applicant clicked on to view the job opening.
The next step of my plan was to artfully send tweets about the job opening through twitter, requesting retweets. I mean, people everywhere are looking for jobs, right? I tweeted from my own account and researched twitter accounts that were related to New York City, meeting planning, and sales.
While I was waiting for some of my tweets to make their merry way around twitter world, I went to facebook. I started searching for groups, places, and organizations related to New York jobs, meeting and convention planning, and more. I was very disappointed in what I could find. Most of the groups or places I came across had less than 100 followers. I was only able to find a few groups that allowed others to post to their wall, that had significant users. So I posted to New York City Area Jobs and Jobs in New York, New York. Then I sat back and waited for the applicants.
After 24 hours, I didn’t get one RT (re-tweet), nor any activity from facebook. No, wait, I take that back – 7 people did click on the link to the job posting. None went any further.
Next step – LinkedIn. I plugged the job on my profile in LinkedIn, then searched for groups related to New York and/or CVBs and/or meeting planning. I found a few and was able to add a post under the Jobs tab as a “Career Discussion” for each of the groups. Many of the groups I found, but didn’t use, required that I be a professional meeting planner/ sales director.
I checked the list of applicants in the ATS, and still no new applicants. I was starting to get desperate and sat drumming my fingers on my desk until I thought of something new. That’s when I remembered that one of my good friends lives a NYC and she might know someone who needs a job. So I posted to her facebook wall. Then I posted to my wall. Who knows, someone I know might know someone who knows someone!
My co-worker recommended that I source resumes, so I went to LinkedIn, Google Plus, and just plain google to try to find folks in those industries looking for jobs. After trying a variety of different boolean searches, all I was getting were paid job board sites or people who looked pretty established in their existing jobs. I felt very out of my league as I looked through the information, and really did not have a clue on how to choose who to approach about the job opening.
As an aside, I do notice that people don’t really keep their LinkedIn taglines updated, at least based on my friends who are unemployed and whose profile still states they work at their previous job. I started out searching for terms like “sales director unemployed” and “sales director job seeker”, and got nothing. Either there is a smarter way to do this, or people need to announce more loudly that they are out looking.
So now, a couple days into my experiment, I have one applicant to show for it. I see 11 total clicks on my link, 3 of which are from LinkedIn, and the rest have no significant source information.
Which brings me to my conclusion… no matter the technical tools, the online communities, and the social media sites, you need to have knowledge and relationships. You need knowledge about where people are gathering; relationships with organizations who might be interested in the types of jobs you’re offering, and relationships with people who know people who want a job in that field, in that location. Social media and online communities are just tools to help communicate among those groups of people. But without the know-how, the tools can be pretty pointless – like throwing a bunch of hammers and nails on the roof and hoping it gets built.