Hiring influencer Katrina Collier Spills her Social Recruiting Secrets in an Upcoming Webinar
Voted one of The 100 Most Influential People in HR & Recruiting on Twitter, Katrina Collier knows a thing or two about using social media to source and attract candidates. Not only is she recognized around the world as an expert on social recruiting, she also spends the bulk of her time traveling the globe, sharing her insights with companies of all and sizes and types.
Katrina gleaned her understanding of recruiting through 14 years of full-cycle recruitment, and since 2009, she’s been sharing those learnings with the hiring community. Also, she regularly blogs on The Searchologist Live and is a regular keynote speaker at events such as SourceCon, RecruitDC, and the SOSU Sourcing Summits in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Asia.
Ahead of her upcoming webinar with MightyRecruiter, Katrina gave us the dish on what she sees as the downfall of most recruiters, her most creative recruiting idea of late, and how she gets sought-after candidates to take her calls.
For those who don’t know, you are leading a webinar on MightyRecruiter on using social media to source and attract candidates. Tell us more about what you do.
I teach companies how to recruit their people on social media. While a lot of people approach recruiting on social media like a marketer – running a fantastic pay-per-click campaign or an advertising campaign, for example, what sets me apart is that I am an experienced recruiter so I think like a recruiter and know how to source like a recruiter.
Where my training helps the most is for recruiters who are looking for people who are in demand, those people who are busy and who don’t want to give recruiters their time. So the challenge becomes how do recruiters get in-demand talent to respond? I teach recruiters how to use social media for sourcing candidates, which could be on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and all of the niche sites, but importantly I teach them how to get a response!
What’s your basic approach to social recruiting?
Well, I can’t give away all of my trade secrets before the webinar, but I can give you a few tips. Once I find someone on, say, LinkedIn, it isn’t enough to just send a message about the opportunity. My next step is always to discover more about the person I’m interested in speaking to about a role through online research.
How effective is that approach?
It works when you know how to do it. I’m teaching people who are recruiting in highly sought-after spaces – nurses, developers, people in trades, data science, anywhere there is a shortage of people. That is where I add the most value. Where there is a surplus of workers, what I teach isn’t as valuable because they can just put a job ad out and fill a role. But for these sought-after candidates, you have to dig in and figure out how to appeal to them in this very noisy world.
What is the downfall of most recruiters and hiring managers?
Solely relying on LinkedIn. What happened is that now you have LinkedIn with 500 million users and only about 106 million people that log on once a month or so. It’s no longer a place to visit daily to be social with colleagues, but recruiters still rely on it. I am against that. My approach is to say, “Sure, start on LinkedIn, if you must, but let’s get off LinkedIn to make contact.” Start with the telephone. Start with an email directly to the person’s inbox but for goodness sake show that you’ve done your research.
What’s the most creative recruiting idea you’ve had recently?
I was speaking to a client who recruits people who work in the arts. Sometimes they are hiring for very unusual roles like a wigmaker or people who work with props. I recommended making a short peer-to-peer video about the company and the role and then uploading it and sending it to candidates. Who is going ignore that play button? It has flair and it’s free. Those sorts of approaches get candidates’ attention.
How can recruiters effectively use automation?
There is a lot of talk at the moment about AI and automation, but there is still creativity that needs to come into recruitment. Scheduling is one area that can definitely be automated. While the follow-up email shouldn’t be automated, automating these simple administrative tasks will free you up to focus on the more creative sides of recruiting. You can’t automate sourcing, but you should automate the tasks that you can. You can automate GIFs and photos of the company to be sent out to candidates, or other information that doesn’t have to be personalized. The trick is learning how to automate the right stuff.
What else can recruiters do to convince candidates that they deserve their time and attention?
I think that due to technology and time-constraints, recruiters are so time poor that they think that just spamming people will solve the problem. Our world is so incredibly distracting and all this constant noise and then here comes a recruiters saying, “Hey, want a job?” So you have to earn a candidate’s attention by timing your messaging and looking like a recruiter worth talking to. You have to think of how you are going to appear when they Google you. You have to have a great photo of yourself that makes you look approachable and fill out your bios on your social profiles completely so that they can get a sense of you. You have to look like a nice person and that you know your stuff, through recommendations or testimonials, for a candidate to want to speak to you.
Any other advice for recruiters and hiring managers?
Recruiters need to remember that a job change is a really big deal for the candidate. Recruiters can sometimes forget how much energy is involved in starting a new job and that it’s peoples’ lives we are playing with. Our job is to convince people that it’s an opportunity worth exploring. It needs to be human-to-human contact. All the way through the process recruiters need to be respectful and should be treating candidates like they are lovely human beings. At some point along the way, we’ve forgotten that.
What topics in recruiting are you most passionate about these days?
I’m involved in a group on Facebook called #FightSpam, which was started by Allison Kruse. We will quite regularly share stories about recruiting and terrible examples of messaging to show people what not to do. It isn’t about shaming people, just reminding recruiters that one size does not fit all when it comes to messaging. Some of it’s an age thing – older recruiters were taught to communicate cordially and personally while some of the younger recruiters have not been taught the same thing. It’s about standing against and not accepting bad behavior on the part of recruiters. There is a lot of useful information passes around and some laughs as well. The discussion is about creating industry best practices.