There is no doubt that social media can be a great tool for producers. However, it is also an effective tool to facilitate the recruiting process as well. We need to start with the fact that networking is the most effective tool a manager can utilize in the recruiting process. Social media provides the medium to accomplish social networking.
The most important social media site which has as a primary objective of facilitating social networking is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is so effective because it is site for business contacts, as opposed to a site such as Facebook which is focused upon personal information. Yes, there are Facebook business pages, but the purpose of these pages typically is to attract consumers. On LinkedIn, the users are more focused upon business connections and even the company pages on LinkedIn are more likely to focus upon the delivery of business-to-business value.
How can social media be used to facilitate the recruitment process? Because of its “business” focus, we will use LinkedIn as the prime example this activity.
1. Accomplish research on candidates or potential candidates
Before you meet with a candidate, or even to help you decide whether you would want to meet with someone, a visit to their LinkedIn profile is a must. What are you looking for?
►Certainly, their work history is all-important in this regard. If they have been working at five companies in the past five years, this is not evidence of a stable work history. Stability, length of experience and also production focus can all be extrapolated from a robust LinkedIn profile.
►Even the types of companies they have worked for can be very important information. What is the reputation of these companies? Do they have a similar business model as your company? For example, if you represent a large bank with a strict structure in place and their work history is with small entities in which the loan officers are fiercely independent, this might not be a match.
►Even the professionalism and extent of their profile is important. This can tell you whether they are serious about using social media and also may be a reflection of how they approach other aspects of their business. Would their present profile even pass compliance tests within your company?
►The testimonials posted on their site would also supply you with pertinent information. What their customers and referral sources say will speak volumes about the way they go about their business. If they have no testimonials published, this raises questions. Are they not using this tool the way it should be used, or are they not providing great customer service?
2. A look at their work background and connections can also give rise to potential references
Perhaps you know one of their connections well. These references might be checked after interviews or before a potential interview to determine whether you should meet with this candidate. In this regard, a call to a connection may prevent you from wasting your time.
3. The search feature on LinkedIn can also give you information about those you with whom you might have experiences or backgrounds in common
These commonalities could facilitate connections with potential candidates. Perhaps you went to the same school, came from the same home town or worked at the same company as a potential candidate? Your request for a connection should cite that commonality with statements such as–I see we both went to the University of ABC—do you remember “so and so?” These commonalities can also give you more to talk about when you meet with candidates. Remember, recruiting is about developing relationships and trust.
Remember, the key to successful use of social media is to deliver value to your connections and potential connections. That means posting statements such as “come work here” is not effective as compared to posting valuable articles which will help your connections do more business.
Going back to our initial premise regarding networking providing the best basis for recruiting–we will acknowledge that LinkedIn is often used by recruiters to facilitate cold calling. I have received calls from recruiters who quite obviously did not read my profile carefully before making the call. This is a scatter-gun approach and is not likely to be effective. Good quality producers don’t have time to take a cold call and, if they do, they are not going to be swayed by a cold call. Therefore, those you would attract would trigger a process of adverse selection by attracting lower quality candidates who are not likely to stick at your company as well.
The same concept applies to advertising for candidates on LinkedIn. What good loan officer is going to respond to an advertisement? Great loan officers have plenty of choices without searching. Again, your best vehicle for finding quality candidates is through the networking process and social media provides a great tool for social networking–if you go about it in the right way.
Dave Hershman is a top author in this industry with seven books published, as well as the founder of the OriginationPro Marketing System and the OriginationPro’s online comprehensive mortgage school. Dave is also director of Branch Support for McLean Mortgage. He may be reached by e-mail at Dave@HershmanGroup.com or visit OriginationPro.com.
This article originally appeared in the July 2016 print edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.
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