This will be the year you move beyond aimless social chatter. If you want your social networks to function as recruiting power tools, it's time to consider personalization.
Pre-2006 (the year Facebook opened to anyone over 13 with an email address), recruiters would post and pray—post a job on the company website and a few job boards, and then wait for applicants to respond.
When professional social networking sites like LinkedIn became popular, recruiters moved on to a source and spray approach—identify every java programmer in the area, for example, and send out mass emails hoping for just a few hits.
Neither approach makes any sense.
Both assume a recruiter’s job is to attract as many applicants as possible in the hopes that one of the hundreds is exactly right. But in truth you aren’t searching for hundreds—you’re actually searching for just one person. One perfectly suited candidate for the position. And for most companies, the 999 applicants who aren’t chosen are essentially throwaways—in the metaphorical wastebasket of recruiting files.
Something has to change.
Recruiters must begin working on attracting the right candidates rather than a massive quantity of candidates. And recruiters must begin wooing not only the right candidate, but also those who may not be a good fit … for now. Many applicants you reject could become a perfect fit for another opening. With that in mind, every applicant should be considered part of a larger network of talent—people you want to stay in touch with for possible future openings. People you want to impress, even if you’re not on the verge of hiring them.