The recruiting world is being “socialized,” but not only in the ways you might think.
It’s no secret that the big social media networks, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, have seemingly taken over much of today’s talent recruiting action. Yet, according to one expert and entrepreneur in the space, while those behemoths dominate overall, new social network and social search technologies are driving even more change in the ways employers source top talent.
"Social media recruitment is one of the most effective ways for employers to reach both active and passive job seekers," says Jonathan Kestenbaum, executive director of Talent Tech Labs, a New York City-based talent technology incubator. "However, scenarios such as LinkedIn's user agreement, which restricts data scraping on user profiles, mean niche players catering to industry-specific networks are popping up left and right to meet that need."
The power of niche
According to Kestenbaum, who launched and ran two successful businesses before the age of 21, these niche companies are providing talent acquisition leaders with more social networks to utilize. Some are even more effective at bringing in top talent than LinkedIn.
For example, he mentions that companies like Github and Dribbble are amassing a significant volume of data and providing more relevant screening in highly technical job categories than a traditional resume.
“This new approach to how social networks are modeled gives job seekers and tech recruiters a better way to make contact,” he says.
Kestenbaum explains that LinkedIn's limitations have also spawned players like Masterbranch, a web development community that allows users to create a profile with their projects and accomplishments, rank their skills locally and globally, and connect them with recruiters for jobs listed on the site. It's similar to LinkedIn, he says, except more specific and with more advanced user features.
Kestenbaum notes that another invaluable tool in social recruitment is social search, which aggregates all of an individual's information that resides in the public domain and provides search access to employers so they can get a more detailed overview of who a candidate is.
‘Social search’ companies
He says these technologies leverage innovative algorithms to produce search results which provide significantly more data on the candidate being searched. For example, social search companies can scrape and capture data around the individual to better understand his/her preferences and goals and create hyper-focused or personalized recruitment campaigns, similar to how advertising technologies are able to target prospects based on individuals' online behaviors, searches, and posts.
"What makes social search companies so invaluable in social recruitment is in large part thanks to LinkedIn's user agreement that restricts data scraping," Kestenbaum says, adding that social search companies give recruiters the ability to explore candidates across many social platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Github, Google+, about.me, Xing, etc. “As these unique companies continue to grow, job seekers will have the opportunity to create digital profiles that take the place of the resume as we know it."
Kestenbaum says the talent acquisition landscape today is fast-paced and ever changing. With the advancement of hiring tech, how employers seek out top talent has become more focused and specialized, even among large enterprises.
“The biggest trends today revolve around customization, creating an unforgettable candidate experience, personalizing recruitment campaigns and job advertisements, and cultivating relationships with active and passive candidates alike,” Kestenbaum says.