Commentary -Top talent, the kind already developing the technology that will revolutionize our children’s lives, are driven by more than just a steady income. They want to be part of something – they want to be at Sifteo making 100% unique, physical, educational tools; Idle Games creating beautiful flowing Pixar style games; or Sojo Games making the world a better place. Tapping into those desires and pairing the right skill and motivation with the right culture and environment can only be done socially.
The average placement for the digital entertainment industry is a 27-year-old, social networking guru. He’s picked up and dropped technology before most people have even heard about it. Finding talent like that through LinkedIn is a bit like placing a want ad in the Penny Saver – antiquated. Recruiters have to be committed to playing in the same sandbox as the talent they’re seeking, whether online or in person. I recommend using the tools below and diving deep into niches to be able to speak the same language as talent you are after:
Most companies ban Facebook, seeing it as a productivity killer, even recruitment firms. Recruitment is about creating relationships. Why on earth are you ban the largest network tool available? It’s like banning the steering wheel from a car. There are currently 800 million-registered users on Facebook and 50% of them log in daily. That is rather a large potential candidate pool. In fact, 33% of all jobs last year were found on Facebook. This tool is uber powerful. Take the community pages alone. Search for your chosen niche. You will find a plethora of groups to join, ask questions and engage to locate that perfect candidate. Facebook is constantly evolving so new avenues can present all the time. If you’re blocked from this valuable site, make the argument to your boss.
The best tech talent are early adopters. Meet them while the barriers are low and information is accessible. Take, Google+. Instead of complaining about technology and pondering its future in the social media cosmos, jump on board. Search for that niche skill, discover the new user groups, reach out and make contact.
Don’t forget plain old blogging. As new technology emerges the first in the door normally blog about technical issues, success they have had, or projects that intrigue them. Take the time to read their blogs then reach out and introduce yourself. You’re building a valuable network.
Here’s one many recruiters aren’t using well. Quora is a collaborative answer and question site that accumulates knowledge and ranks answers. Each question and answer is tied back to one person. Recruiters are really able to hone their search. You can join relevant groups and discussions and await the answers. Quora is fresh and can provide a stunning amount of information if used correctly.
Twitter allows you to interact with other people through 140 character messages. Instead of thinking of these as short messages, think of them as a way to cut through the bullsh*t. Using Twitter you can actively build your following and create a personality for your brand or company. As a recruiter or recruiting agency, this is especially important to create stickiness. You want to be memorable, so you are the first to come to mind when a great candidate starts looking for new opportunities.
Taking the social recruiting offline can be a valuable tool as well. Employing a community manager can create bridges into niche pockets of skill. The passionate talent will congregate to help each other on technical issues, education, or simply to connect with other people with similar interests. A community manager can help co-ordinate events for these groups, provides space, food and drink. In return, you build relationships with some ofthe rarest skills available in the marketplace. Your CM gives you a unique voice and method to be able to build trust and your brand in a way that’s a bit more exciting than LinkedIn.
Alex Churchill is CEO of VonChurch Inc.