The game changing social recruiting annoucement of the year?

The thing I hate the most about some of the more ridiculous hype round social recruiting is that sometimes genuinely game changing announcements get lost of the sea of noise.  A couple of weeks back there was one such announcement which to date has received very little attention. Before I talk about what it was and why it’s a potential game changer, lets have a quick recap. Regular readers will know that I consider employee referral recruitment to be the area with the most to benefit from the social media revolution. Social Graph (and professional graphs) is a term that is passing into everyday marketing parlance and over the coming years will also be a familiar term in recruitment. Incidentally for those of you who haven’t yet seen just how interesting mapping your Facebook social graph can be, there is a great app here. This is what mine looks like:

Social Graph

When you bear in mind that each of my connections mapped above will have their own overlapping graph with additional connections who in turn also have their own graph, you can see just how far and wide information about career opportunities could spread when we get this right.

I’m still convinced Facebook plays a key part in this but thus far I’ve yet to see a “referral recruitment” Facebook app that isn’t clunky and spammy. To me referral recruitment on Facebook will be much more about employee advocacy than clever technology and this is something companies need to consider very seriously.

With this in mind I’ve always thought that LinkedIn (which is currently  growing at a staggering 1 million uses every 9 days)  offers the type of weak ties on a professional level that could really turbo charge referral recruitment if companies could find a way to harness it. Two weeks ago LinkedIn showed there were thinking the same way by announcing the launch of their “Referral Engine” product. To me this is the social recruiting announcement of the year and I’m staggered that I can only find one blog so far that has covered it.

I won’t go into the details of how it works as you can read about it here but here is a demo screen shot

LinkedIn Demo

As ever until it has launched we won’t know how good it is, whether it works or whether employers will be able to successful integrate it into their existing referral programs. However it certainly has the potential to be a very big deal indeed.  More good news for corporate recruiters and yet more challenging news for agencies!