There was a recent post by Thijs Spangers at KREM Corporate Social Networking on LinkedIn Answers, "What is the most creative of (sic) innovative case of successful recruitment in LinkedIn and other public networks?"
Curious about the answers? So was I.
Unfortunately, the answers were neither creative nor innovative. Possible reasons why: 1) nobody has done or seen a very innovative campaign via linkedin, or 2) they have but are keeping the secret under wraps because it blew their socks off (and they probably don't understand why it happened, but are working to do so).
But all this misses the point, really. The point is that on-line social networking tools have given everyone who does recruiting, and what CEO, CTO, COO, VP of Engineering isn't recruiting at least part of the time, a new tool to find people for their team. The mere existence of the tool IS the innovation. But, timing-wise, he's probably on the nose in asking what innovative strategies & tactics that people have discovered.
But you're not reading this to find out what you already know, are you?
While I don't have 'the' innovative answer Thijs is looking for, my guess is that the amazing recruiting story about using social networks to great success will revolve around one of the following:
- Someone will utilize social networking as part of an overall recruiting campaign that crosses multiple recruiting methods. Key aspects of this will be: Common language and/or themes; Common look & feel; Quirky, catchy - for the target audience; multiple media formats and vectors. For example, everyone's seen a billboard next to a big company with a message from a competitor to come over to their side. So, the on-line social networking & YouTube add to this is to post a LinkedIn ad with the same language on the same day the billboard goes up, and couple it w/a YouTube video that is aimed at people in the target company.
- Not using the ad for the ad: The recruiter will post an ad that's not an ad. It will be the start of a scavenger hunt, or a technical mind bender, or an outright skill-based challenge.
- Branding Integration: The company in question will ask all their officers to post recruiting-themed text in their profiles for purposes of drumming up talent. This text will underscore the company's brand, and will help support their overall recruiting efforts.
- Old School Combination: Use the social networking tool to source names, and then send those people both a LinkedIn job ad and nice letters or gifts (real, not virtual) to nudge them from passive candidate, to interested candidate. Or, maybe it's a timing issue, like sending recruiting-aimed items into a company that's 2 days away from layoffs. One of the great poaching stories I heard a while back was sending in a Russian-doll gift, w/a personalized iPod to all the best engineers at a competitor. The iPod came pre-loaded with a personal message from the CEO or CTO to give them a call on their direct line to talk about a special job opportunity just for them.
Innovation... it just keeps happening (even in recruiting)!