The following is an approximate transcript.
HEATHER: Hello and thank you for joining Episode 1 of Talent Connection, a podcast about connecting job seekers and employers, produced by Cachinko. My name is Heather Huhman, and I’m the founder & president of Come Recommended, a career consultancy for young professionals, as well as the Career & Recruiting Advisor for Cachinko. I’m joined by my co-host, Tony Morrison.
TONY: Great to be here, thank you Heather. I’m looking forward to working with you on Talent Connection.
As Heather mentioned, my name is Tony Morrison. I am the vice president of Cachinko, a social recruitment marketing technology company based in Houston, TX.
HEATHER: Today’s episode is “Are Your Job Ads Costing You More Than Social Recruiting Would?” Tony, let’s get started. What exactly is social recruiting?
TONY: The term social recruiting originated just a couple of years ago. Some define social recruiting as companies and recruiters using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media sites to source and recruit candidates for employment.
The definition of social recruiting is evolving though. Michael Specht and Laurie Reuttimann wrote in late 2009 that social recruiting was only a small part of a broader topic of social media networking. I think everyone would agree that all recruiting is social, or should be anyway. John Sumser explains in numerous blogs and talks about social recruiting that it is an evolving philosophy of professional recruiters, and he insists that it will take some time for social recruiting to make progress. Today, many companies use social media networks to post jobs and collect applicants. But, this is still very similar to the passive recruiting conducted on job boards today.
Recruiting 2.0 technology is so much more powerful than that. Social recruiting is about building a community and engaging that community in a meaningful way. A social community facilitates collaboration and sharing of information. It involves people conversing and working together to solve problems, meet goals, share opinions, and ideas. This social engagement makes people feel included and compelled to contribute positively to the betterment of the whole community.
To this end, I say that social recruiting is not just about the tools one uses, it is about using social media technology to find, attract, engage, and retain connections with candidates and alumni. It encourages building a social talent community of potential candidates and enables permission-based connections between employers, recruiters, contacts, and candidates across the networks in which they exist.
HEATHER: And how much do job ads typically cost?
TONY: There are so many job boards these days. Peter Weddle, a renowned recruiter and business leader, reports that there are over 100,000 job boards worldwide. With so many job boards and so many different business models, there is not a typical price for a job post. Fees can range from $0 to well over $400 per job post.
The major job boards like Monster and CareerBuilder, for instance, have a sliding scale for job postings. The more a company posts the lower their per post costs. From CareerBuilder’s prices on their website, a single posting on CareerBuilder can cost as much as $419/job per month, but 12-17 job postings would only cost $325/ job per month.
At the low end of the scale, Craigslist offers job postings for $25-$75 dollars per job per category, and the price depends on the job and the city.
You have to be careful of the terms for many “free” job boards. Job boards are not self-sustaining. They have to make money somehow; otherwise, their owners will abandon them. Free job boards usually mean “free-to-post” jobs for some condition, such as for a limited period. Many of these boards allow you to post free, but require you to pay a fee in order to connect with job applicants, or to search the online resume database. These fees can range from $5 per job for connecting to one applicant to $100’s per job for being able to connect with more applicants.
Some of the top job boards today offer niche job microsites that cater to a specific profession or expertise. They generally command a higher price per job post or for resume searches. Some niche job boards also charge the member/jobseeker to post their resume because of the specialization they offer, or for additional resume enhancement services and options to display their profiles and to catch employers’ attention.
HEATHER: What price tag would you put on social recruiting?
TONY: Someone said to me at a recent conference, “Social media recruiting is not cheaper; it is more effective.”
Social recruiting creates opportunities to reduce costs-per-hire and time-to-hire. If advertising on job boards today is the benchmark for recruiting costs, then social recruiting certainly offers a cost savings.
There will always be a time commitment and therefore a cost associated with recruiting. Social media recruiting can make job advertising more effective and efficient. However, it can be time-consuming and ineffective as well.
Using the social media tools to distribute jobs to your talent communities and to connect with interested candidates makes social recruiting more effective because you are always building your employment brand. Using recruitment tools that also enable you to connect with your candidates in a social talent community creates real value for your recruitment program. By giving respondents a platform in which to respond to you, join your company talent community, apply to your job, share a job with their own personal and professional contacts, and/or refer a candidate to your job, you are able to cast a wider net reaching more relevant, higher quality active and passive candidates. Organizing your talent community into specific networks with the skills and expertise to fill the positions you have open allows you to market your jobs more precisely enabling you to dig deeper into your extended network to find those hard to identify passive candidates.
If social recruiting were simply posting jobs on Facebook and Twitter, then the price per job post would be $0. As I said earlier though, social recruiting is not about advertising your jobs on a social network. It is about using social media technology to find, attract, engage, and retain connections with talented people.
Social recruiting is about building a talent community regardless of the social media tools you choose to use. I say that the price of social recruiting is determined by the cost-per-hire, and the time-to-hire. And, these costs are significantly lower using social recruitment marketing technologies, which reduce your dependence on job boards and encourage active recruiting and proliferate a positive company brand image.
HEATHER: Can social recruiting yield better results than major job sites do?
TONY: Yes, I believe so. Job boards are resume databases. Employers can post a job on a job board and they can search for resumes, members can search for jobs and apply. Whether the job board is free-to-post or costs over $400 per job post per month, employers definitely find applicants and candidates do find jobs. But this is a passive and reactive recruiting technique. It is not community building and it does not build your employment brand. It is a very anxious job seeking community out there today. Many employers report a high number of click and applies and a low percentage of qualified applicants. The applicant-to-hire ratio is higher than it has ever been, the time-to-hire has increased for many, and the cost-per-hire has also increased. For these reasons, advertising on job boards generally yields a low ROI for employers and recruiters.
Social recruiting and building talent communities gets you connected with high quality candidates. Engaging that community in mutually beneficial dialogue and providing valuable information that they will share with their personal and professional networks creates a “stickiness” that will keep you connected to a growing network of talent.
Companies should employ a social recruitment marketing and talent community management platform. On this platform, they are able to actively engage their talent community. A talent community where members can actively engage the company about a job posting or company news, and they are able to share the company’s jobs and information to their networks is ultimately more valuable than simply posting a job on a job board.
Good people know good people. Talented people know talented people. Recruiting within your talent community and gaining permission-based access to your talent communities’ personal and professional contacts enable you to market your jobs more precisely to the right types of candidates with the skills, experience, attitude, and aptitude that you desire. You will find top talent faster and less expensively than by using job boards.
HEATHER: How do you recommend going about changing your strategy from posting job ads to interactive recruiting?
TONY: Build a talent community. Get involved with your contacts, candidates, employees, and alumni. Share content with them that will excite them and keep them connected to you. Respond to their questions and comments. Respond to applicants. If their resume does not match what you require from a candidate, let them know and let them know what you do require. They will appreciate it and possibly even introduce you to someone they know who does meet the requirements of the position.
The beautiful thing about a community is the membership, the sense of belonging, ability to share and contribute, be recognized for your contribution, build trust and transparency among peers…to be authentic. Within a community you can espouse your company values and strengthen your company brand beyond the walls of your corporate headquarters. By strengthening your company brand and getting that message out to your audience, whether they are contacts and candidates for a job that has been posted, or it is your employees and alumni, strengthening that brand and continuing to connect with that audience will help you to find more of the relevant high quality job seekers that you need.
HEATHER: Where can you go looking for job candidates?
TONY: The first place you should look for candidates is within your own ATS. These are your contacts, candidates, alumni, and even your employees. These contacts and candidates have already expressed an interest in your company and jobs, and your alumni and employees know the company culture and know what you expect of them. Candidates may have submitted their resume for a position but may not have been right for that particular position at that time. Their resumes and contact information is collected in the ATS. Two, three, five years may have gone by. Since then, they have gone onto higher education, they have taken positions with increasing responsibility, and they may have taken a leadership role and become excellent leaders. Just like your company has grown, your talent community has evolved as well. So, they are ultimately more valuable to you today than they were two, three, or five years ago when their resumes were first collected and put into the ATS.
So the best place to look for candidates is within your own network, and then to build on that network. As I mentioned before, good people know good people, and talented people know talented people. By recruiting through your own network, you are able to tap into that asset that you have already in your ATS in your contacts and candidates and recruit through them to find more relevant, high quality candidates.
HEATHER: Thanks so much, Tony. That’s all the time we have for today. You’ve been listening to Talent Connection, a podcast about connecting job seekers and employers, produced by Cachinko. For details about the next episode, please visit blog.cachinko.com.