Social recruiting: Drifting job applicants are going downhill

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Reylito A.H. Elbo

Reylito A.H. Elbo

A FARMER was coming out of his farm along the back road of a remote rural area. Just as he pulled out on the road, a group of wild teenagers in a dilapidated truck sped over the hilltop and hit the farmer’s wooden cart being pulled by a pony. The farmer was lying pinned under the cart while his companion dog and the mule were badly wounded.

About that time, a car pulled up and the farmer thought: “Thank God, someone is going to help me.” When he saw it was the local police, the farmer was even more relieved. The police looked over the situation at a glance. Seeing the mule had broken legs and suffering, he pulled out his revolver and shot it to end its misery.

He saw the dog was just as bad off, so he shot it too. Then he walked back to the farmer and asked if he was in pain. “Never felt better in my life!” the farmer said.

While fast recovery can appear to be at random, the best approach to securing instant recovery at the time you want it is to follow a determined and systematic process. One of the best ways to practice this technique is in hiring people. Now, how do you want to hire the best and the brightest from out there?


In this age of high technology, it’s easy to identify employers who are conveniently comfortable with social recruiting—a process of announcing, sourcing, identifying and testing job candidates through the use of social media like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, among others. If you have the money, you can also use the facility of Jobstreet.com and other similar platforms.

Social recruiting is the fastest remedy to discover job applicants, but not a guarantee you can get highly engaged and loyal people, similar to what you can also secure from traditional sources. In the first place, if job applicants come flocking to your site, chances are, they’re not happy with their current situation and they need a change.

That’s one caveat. That’s why it’s better for organizations to pirate people from their current employ than hire active and frantic job seekers.

When using social recruiting, there are certain imperatives that employers should not ignore. First, a target candidate must have posted his best shot in business suit, in passport-style, sharply focused and well-lighted background. It’s mandatory in social media. Not having a photo is a turnoff. It’s a sign of come-what-may attitude, if not half-heartedness.

Of course, if someone posts a dog, gorilla, if not a mug shot of a serial killer or a sex kitten, then that too is an exit ramp for employers.

Second, the person’s past jobs or experience posted in any social media platform can give employers a good glimpse of a candidate’s work history and accomplishments. If a candidate is untruthful, employers can very well diagnose the discrepancy between the actual CV and what he’s telling to the general public.

So there must be verifiable facts to help employers make an informed decision. Remember there are statements that we would all be wise to remember. I mean, any faucet can turn the water on, but after a few years, only a good faucet will turn it off. The same thing applies to what people post in social media.

Third, an excellent job candidate is someone who participates in group discussions, no matter how sparingly it appears to be. An expert is one who must not refuse sharing his knowledge on the web if the time calls for it, regardless of one’s busy schedule. After all, people are not compelled to write kilometric statements, but short and crisp statements that are better appreciated and understood.

More importantly, the basic knowledge that a man gets from sharing his actual experience is the knowledge that very few of them is worth emulating.

This is not to say that I’m an expert on social recruiting. I worked all my life in human resources since the time when the basic mode of communication was telex and cablegrams, if not smoke signals. And I learned there was only simple thing to do when evaluating job applicants—that is, if they can type at least 45 words per minute using a manual Olympia typewriter.

Thanks to my upbringing as an HR management guy for more than 30 years now. Today, I believe I had a solid grasp on the best way of hiring and firing people. So when the digital era came to my senses, it’s only a matter of time before I became adjusted to a new conclusion:

There are several approaches toward hiring, engaging, and retaining the best and the brightest workers in this planet. They are patently effective, but unfortunately you will never understand how people would still cling to job hopping, even if you give them heaven and earth.

Rey Elbo is a business consultant on HR and TQM as a fused interest. Send feedback to elbonomics@gmail.com or follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter for his random management thoughts.

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