Recruiting on Social Media is Like Dating – 8 Tips for Getting it Right


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social recruiting datingAs a recruiter, have you ever considered how recruitment is similar to dating?  Looking for the correct candidate takes a great amount of effort, patience, and oftentimes painful trial and error until you find "the one".  It's like a dance that starts over and over again with each new candidate search.  Now, with the addition of social networks, finding the right candidates to fit each assignment can be a real struggle if you don't know what you're doing.

8 "Dating Rules" for Social Recruiters 

While it is just a metaphor, thinking about recruiting in dating terms can be the best way to approach it. Here are some tips to get it right when using social media.

#1 - First impressions are everything

When it comes to recruiting, remember that the way you present yourself is the way people remember you. Therefore, you want to stand out from other recruiters by developing a great profile on social networks. Use a professional headshot photo. Describe the type of recruitment that you do. Show your track record of success.

#2 - Don’t take everything at face value

People can be shady, especially online in their social networking efforts. As a recruiter your job is to weed out those candidates who are not what and who they say they are online. We've all heard stories about recruiters who were tricked into believing a candidate was the right fit for a job, when in fact they were far from it. Instead remember that candidates often exaggerate their skills and they also downplay their weaker points. Never assume anything in social recruiting. Use candidate screening and sharp interviewing skills to get to the true nature of each candidate.

#3 - Let the other person do the talking

Just as you would in a dating scene, you'll want to get the candidate to show you who he or she really is. This requires patience on your behalf. Take the time to listen attentively and take note of verbal and non-verbal language. Get clarification on anything that may seem "off". Ask probing interview questions early in the game. Then sit back, listen, and observe.

#4 - You come highly recommended

One of the key advantages of using social recruiting is that you can check deeper into the candidate's background by reading through recommendations. In some cases, such as with LinkedIn, you will be able to see who has recommended the candidates and backs up claims. Note what is represented across all social networks. Ask the candidate if there is a referral within the company and then follow up with this person to gain added insight.

#5 - It’s all about me

As you are listening to a candidate talk about his or her career background and achievements, take the time to note how many times the candidate uses the word "I" in sentences. Why is this important? Candidates who speak in singular terms are often loners and they can find it challenging to work within existing teams or corporate structures. Likewise, if you want to hire a future leader, you will want to find a candidate who thinks in terms of "we" because management is actually about bringing out the best in others.

#6 - Don't act desperate

If you appear to be too eager to hire a candidate, a large portion of your negotiation power is gone. Therefore, just like the dating world, are better served by not acting desperate. Instead, be selective about the candidates that you choose to move forward with. Be somewhat vague about any decisions you make until you have had a lot of time to think about it and you trust your gut about a candidate.

#7 - Frequent social hangouts

When you want to date someone new, one of the best ways to do this is to be where your ideal person will most likely hang out.  Social media makes it easy for recruiters to accomplish this. Join the groups and forums where your ideal candidates will be hanging out. Then make a name for yourself by standing out as a leader in your industry. Be positive, personable, and approachable.

#8 - Follow up promptly

Perhaps one of the biggest complaints in the dating world is that people feel awkward about following up after the first date. So too, is this a common issue in recruiting. Make it a point to communicate and follow up in a reasonable amount of time with the most promising candidates that you have met – even if they are not currently on the job market. Keep them in the loop about the hiring process if a job offer is in the works. By doing these things you will likely increase your success in social recruiting.

Image Credit: David Castillo Dominici/


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