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The tyranny – and fear – of the new: mobile and social

Mobile and social recruitingIt’s a fine line between cool and fool – just ask BranchOut or any of the dozens of other services that have launched and flamed out during the past several years. You start out as the hip new kid on the block, promising to ‘revolutionize’ recruiting as we know it – and then stuff happens. Maybe the revenue projections were too rosy. Maybe the technology wasn’t quite ready for prime time. Maybe the service was poorly marketed. Maybe (like .jobs) it was a solution in search of a problem.

Bottom line: being new and cool is great – when it works. People gravitate toward the new, shiny thing in the room. They want it to finally – FINALLY – solve their problems. They invest their hopes and (unrealistic) dreams in the new thing. And most of the time, the new thing buckles under the weight.

Take social recruiting: for many years it has been pitched as a low-cost/no-cost solution to all of the recruiting world’s woes. High advertising costs? No problem – social recruiting is free! Poor quality applicants? Hey, social recruiting will solve that through direct interaction with candidates.

Except that, in fact, for all of social recruiting’s positive qualities, it is ultimately simply another recruiting tool – not the silver bullet that eliminates the need for all other recruiting tools. It costs time, money, and it takes skill and training to do well. It works well for some employers, some times, in some situations. Kind of sounds like other recruiting ‘solutions’, eh?

Yet this is where the ‘fear factor‘ meets the tyranny of the new. The pundits anoint social recruiting as the new tool, destined to solve all problems – a gigantic rolling force of change that must be accepted. That sounds a bit tyrannical. And on the other side, you have employers looking at social recruiting with a good measure of fear: what happens if I invest in this and it doesn’t work? What if I don’t do it – will I be left in the dust? Ok, maybe the fear side of things is a bit tyrannical, too!

So what about mobile? If you read this blog, you know I believe every online recruiting site should be ‘mobilized’. Am I being tyrannical? I don’t think so – the move to mobile (detailed so well in a recent survey by PocketRecruit) is well documented, in progress, and not going to stop just because you close your eyes. Am I trying to scare you? Absolutely. I want your job board to be as successful as possible – and that means that it works equally well on the web or on a mobile device.

Should you embrace social recruiting’? Eh – let me get back to you on that one…

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