Socialnomics – The Opportunity For Recruitment Firms

Photo - a small crowd of people with text bubbles above their heads to represent social reputationA company’s reputation has a direct impact on its ability to source top talent. That makes employer branding a concern for all businesses. For recruitment firms, it actually provides an opportunity to pull out in front of the competition. What’s the link between employer branding and socialnomics? And what is socialnomics, anyway?

Socialnomics Is Word Of Mouth On Steroids

Socialnomics is defined as the value created by social media and its influence on outcomes. Another way to put it according to Erik Qualman (the man who coined the term) is word of mouth on steroids. Socialnomics goes beyond reputation. It has speed and reach greater anything we’ve seen before. My favourite illustration is the earthquake that hit the east coast of North America in 2011. Earthquakes are notorious for striking with no warning. In this case, however, people in New York were warned of the impending tremors seconds before they were felt.  Twitter’s recent IPO filing reveals some of its operating income comes from selling data to companies who analyze it for trends and early warnings. The Wall Street Journal reports this:

Social-data firms spot trends that it would take a long time for humans to see on their own. The United Nations is using algorithms derived from Twitter to pinpoint hot spots of social unrest. DirecTV … uses Twitter data as an early-warning system to spot power outages based on customer complaints. Human-resources departments analyze the data to evaluate job candidates.

How Socialnomics Impacts Hiring

The public tends to put more faith in word of mouth than they do advertising. This means your friendly website and attractive job ads will be less influential than what people are saying about you — and because social media has become so prevalent, it’s what said about you online that will have the greatest impact. Candidates who have a negative interviewing or hiring experience find willing listeners in the form of sites like and among their extended social network. GlassDoor is just one of many sites created to capture information about employers and their hiring practices.

The Opportunity For Recruitment Firms

This is where it gets exciting. A recruitment firm with a little imagination can turn socialnomics into happy candidate and client relationships that will last for years. How would you like to be the recruitment firm in town that all the candidates are hoping to work with? Think you’re there already? Conduct this little test:

  1. Search Twitter for mentions of your company’s name or the names of your recruiters. This is one time where no news is not good news. Don’t confuse an absence of bad press with evidence of a good reputation.
  2. Do the same on GlassDoor. How many mentions do you have? What’s the ratio of good to bad?
  3. Count the number of two-way conversations per day between your company and a candidate on any social media platform. A fully engaged company will find several instances daily. Remember that this is part of how you ‘show up’ in social media. Others need to see you reaching out and building relationships.

Step Away From The Megaphone

Social media is not a platform to broadcast opportunities and branch locations. If that’s what you’re doing, here’s the good news: it’s easy to correct. Find someone on your staff who has an interest in working online and have them watch for opportunities to start conversations. Twitter and Facebook are excellent places to concentrate your efforts. Once they’re comfortable with their tools, help them start to draw people out; in other words, create conversation opportunities instead of waiting and responding. The rest of the world will notice. It won’t take long for word to get around that there’s a staffing company with a real human on the other end of that social site.

What do you think? Does this get your wheels spinning?


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