Social Recruiting is dead, long live Social Recruiting

I’m writing this at thirty thousand feet somewhere between Minneapolis and Chicago on my way back from the Social Recruiting Summit.  This is third summit ERE have run in just under 12 months and I’ve attended all of them. As at previous events a large number of the presentations were live streamed and, no doubt with this in mind, a lot of the people back in the UK have asked me why I have bothered to attend in person again. The answer is a simple one, it’s because the value for me is having the chance to discuss mutual experiences and ideas face to face with fellow “experimenters” from all over the world. This is something particularly exciting at such an early stage of the development of recruitment’s social future. Add in the world class speakers that ERE assembled and you have, what are for me, the best three recruitment / HR events I’ve ever been to.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of all though is how the content and discussions at the summit have moved on in such a short space of time, reflecting an industry in the midst of rapid change. First time out last June everything was still theoretical and speculative but it was only a few short months before we were delighted to see some excellent case studies from early adopters at the second event. This time round there were even more case studies but also a real sense that the debate was broadening out and becoming more diverse.

As awareness of social recruiting is growing, one size fits all content focussing on specific social tools and sites is no longer appropriate.  It is becoming clear that the implications of social are being appreciated at a much broader and specialised level and I sensed a natural fork in the road developing between the case studies for third party recruiting and the case studies addressing the implications and evolution of employer brands for corporates directly.

I think this is fantastic because it tells me that the discussion is maturing and things are going to get into some very interesting and innovative areas very soon.  I’m going to write a separate post about the employer branding aspect of the summit next week as it has really got me thinking. It also seems to be a logical conclusion that events and discussions will become more specialised in the future and I’m really keen to get the social employer brand debate kicked off properly in the UK

Finally there was also something else that was quite clear at the summit. Although the debate and case studies from the early adopters had moved on, there were still many companies attending who had yet to get enough senior level buy in to start experimenting with social recruiting at all. Thanks then to ERE for organising such a great and inclusive series of events which seem to effortlessly incorporate both education for companies starting out with social recruiting and innovative debate for those who are much further down the road with it.