One of the misconceptions that can arise when discussing sourcing is that it only involves searching for candidates on LinkedIn. To a certain degree this is understandable, LinkedIn was built with professional networking and recruiting in mind after all. However, as experienced sourcers will tell you, there’s a lot more places to look than LinkedIn, and ignoring other networks can really hurt your sourcing efforts in the long run. In order to create a strong candidate pipeline you’ll need to keep your horizons broad and use a wide range of networks to find candidates. Since there are no set rules for the ‘correct’ way to source talent, there’s no reason why headhunting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other networks can’t be fruitful for you.
Reduce Single Source Dependency
Just as you wouldn’t bank your entire retirement investment on one company’s stock, you shouldn’t shackle your sourcing efforts to one network. LinkedIn is a great place to look for talent, but it is ONLY ONE SOURCE. By being dependent on it you leave yourself vulnerable being locked out if there are problems with the service, unaware of alternatives if pricing goes up, missing candidates on other networks, etc. Again, LinkedIn is a great source, but there are other places you can look as well.
A Larger, More Diverse Candidate Pool
It may seem obvious, but sourcing across multiple social networks greatly expands volume and quality of candidates available to you. This is not to say that size is the key driver here, its not. What you are getting isn’t just more candidates, but greater candidate diversity. This diversity can be made manifest in skillsets, interests, experiences, and more traditional diversity metrics like gender, ethnicity, etc. This can help you to more effectively find the right people for each job.
Because demographics can vary across platforms, and some people are only active on a limited amount of networks, you want to cast as wide a net as possible to find the people you need. A good example of this comes from creative industries where the top talent may not necessarily be active users of LinkedIn or job boards. Increasingly, graphic designers and photographers (among others) are using visual platforms such as Instagram, or networks like Dribble and Behance because they are better attuned to allowing them to share their work than LinkedIn. There are also notable age differences in users of each network, which can help you if you are trying to get a broader age range of candidates.
Searching on several networks is going to be key if you want to find more candidates and candidates with different types of skills and backgrounds.
Better Candidate Overviews
Another key benefit of using multiple social media platforms for sourcing is the way that it gives you an opportunity to develop a more complete picture of a candidate’s skills and attitudes. These days, many social media users will be present across multiple platforms, rather than just Facebook or LinkedIn. As well as catering for different demographics, each social network lends itself to different types of content, and encourages people to express themselves differently.
For example, let’s say you discover a promising talent via a LinkedIn search and base your assessment solely on their profile. The result is likely to be a narrow impression of their qualities – particularly focused on their professional life. However, when you study the sort of content they share on their Twitter and Instagram accounts, you’ll get a different view. Using multiple social networks in this way offers two key benefits: it allows you to screen candidates to verify if/how they would fit in your organization and it also enables you to discover the best way to approach them in order to get a positive response.