For me it is something that has been around forever in our industry. Before the form of social referrals we see now (click and send referrals on sites like Branchout, Work4labs, BeKnown and of course LinkedIn), there was always something that good recruiters strived for - Word of Mouth Recruiting (WOMR). Let's be honest, there is no other better testimony to you and your service, than to be referred and recommended personally by your customers and/or your candidates.
The question I want to ask is, has social media killed the power of WOMR by devaluing this type of referral, or has it actually made it more powerful?
Personally speaking, I am already getting disillusioned with the whole Facebook social referral thing on the many applications (some I have already mentioned), where you are encouraged to refer (share in their words) jobs to people in your social circle. Don't get me wrong, I fully understand the power of this mechanism, but I don't need to be encouraged to share these with my network - I do that anyway already (if they are relevant). LinkedIn is another example, but as it is a professional network, I am happy to help there as well, but again, only if relevant.
Now (via social media), it is easy to click and send a recommendation/referral to someone else - but do you REALLY mean it, or are you just 'trying to be social' because that's what people tell you to do?
Social is really blurring the lines here isn't it?
I mean just look at these:
I am a huge advocate of telling people and recommending good recruiters, both internal and agency side. I tell clients about great products and services in the recruitment industry. I don't just pay lip service, I tell them WHY they are good and WHY they are worth talking to. I did it yesterday at a social recruiting masterclass I was leading - recommending 3 recruitment systems (vendors) they should look at and why, and gave contact details where needed. [I have absolutely no financial endorsement to do so either!]
The flipside is that I certainly won't refer or recommend anyone that I have not seen evidence of, or experienced a quality service or product! Why would I, I value my integrity.
The difference here, is that I am telling people - speaking to them about the recruiter/product/service - which I hope carries a much higher endorsement, rather than a quick 'click and send' social network click.
When was the last time you gave a PERSONAL Word of Mouth Recruitment recommendation or referral?
And before any of the Facebook 'luvvies' and vendors accuse me of having a pop at their products, that is not what I am doing. They have a place in the recruitment marketplace, they absolutely do - they are an excellent way of using networks to distribute information (whichever network you use).
I am talking about going out of your way to make that special recommendation to people, personally (or over the phone). They are so much more powerful and appreciated.
Don't let WOMR die, it has done the industry proud since it started, make sure you carry on taking the effort to personally recommend recruiters/products/services - don't just take the (easy) social way out!
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