Is Social Recruitment a Fad?

I recently attended a Social Media Technology Recruitment conference in Johannesburg; and while listening to one of the Social Activists I found myself wondering why, two years later we are still being educated on the basics of what Social Media is rather than being presented with successful case studies on how Social Recruitment has benefited South African companies.

To my surprise many recruitment agencies and corporate recruitment managers still do not know what Twitter or LinkedIn is. While most have heard of Facebook, many still think it is only a platform utilised by the youth of today. While we South Africans are still struggling to come to terms with Web 2.0, our international counterparts are already leading the way with Recruitment Web 3.0. This terminology is thrown around loosely by many speakers and columnists in the Social Media space; I am not going to address them in this particular article as it warrants its very own discussion.

How much more education do South African business owners - and recruiters - still need in order to understand Social Media (Web 2.0). How many more alarming statistics on the rapid adoption and growth of Social Media by both Generation X & Y do we still need to have thrown at us before we finally see that Social Media is not a Fad and is in fact growing at an alarming rate?

The contrast in business and recruiter adoption in social media recruitment is, for the lack of a better word, extreme. On the one hand you have those over cautious businesses who fear it and simply refuse to engage with social media because of the perception that they have developed surrounding social media. They continue to convince themselves that it is a fad for the youth and that it will fade and hence, they don't need to adapt their current, tried and tested, ten year old recruitment strategies in order to attract new talent, but then at the same time they question why they are struggling to find top passive talent as quickly as their competitors might.

On the other hand, there are those companies that are too quick to simply jump on the bandwagon without having done their research first. They want to be a part of the hype, yet they don't necessarily understand it. Before companies can simply jump in and start tweeting, liking and sharing opportunities on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, they need to understand the community and the community's particular social language before they can even begin to engage appeal or connect with that community. In addition, companies should prepare their social recruitment strategy first by understanding who their target audience is and what objectives they wish to achieve.


As customers and candidates become smarter, they have started to do their own research about the company or potential recruiter before they come to the interview or entertain a meeting. These socially, internet-savvy individuals will know exactly what is being said about you and your company by other customers, job seekers or employees before they get given the sugar-coated package that you might try to sell to them in the meeting. The question is; do you know what is being said about you. If you do not know what is being said about you or your company on these socially active platforms, then you as a company or recruiter are at a disadvantage.


Things are shifting in the most unpredictable ways. There are so many opportunities available to companies, that failure to embrace it does your business an injustice. Social media has a great impact on what people say about you. If you get a bad reputation, it will be spread very fast and could cause a lot of damage.

Social Media is not about how many friends your children have on Facebook, it is about what the world is saying and sharing about you or your company's brand online. If you don't engage with or listen to these conversations, then you could have a PR nightmare on your hands. If you are not engaging with your target audience on social media, then your brand simply doesn't exist.

As a recruiter, your business is about people, so you need to be where people are connecting and sharing with other people. Don't get left behind, start embracing social media and the benefits that it could offer to your business as part of your integrated online recruitment strategy today.

Should you be interested in attending a workshop on how to attract and retain quality talent using Social Media, then please email for the dates of our next Social Recruitment Workshop.


Author: Gillian Meier, CEO of