Human Capital is deemed to be the value that organisations’ employees represent to their company. Social Capital on the other hand is the value of your employees’ social networks. While the concept of Social Capital is intangible it is powerful and gaining greater importance. I believe it can no longer be ignored or treated passively. Most organisations do not value their social capital and cannot cohesively leverage it to their benefit in recruitment, problem solving, marketing or sales. For the purposes of this blog we will focus on recruitment.
As mentioned, while an organisation’s social capital represents significant power, many organisations do not utilise their employees’ social network to strategically source great candidates. This is also true for leveraging it to enhance talent management. Many organisations have an employee referral scheme but these at best only go part of the way to leveraging the employees’ social network. Few schemes are strategically targeted or designed to create a competitive advantage for their organisation’s most critical positions.
Important now; Critical in the future
If this is important now, it will be critical in the future. There are many *tools and apps being developed to aggregate our digital data, these include findly, Talentbin, Dice, Refresh and many others. As this gathers momentum smart organisations will use this approach to source and retain the best talent. In addition to these applications some organisations are creating their own digital market for skills. Applications like LiveHire can take an organisation’s social capital, cleanse the database and remap it across many social platforms.
In addition to this it has become increasingly important for employees and candidates to maintain their social footprint which will increase the richness and extent of social capital.
So consider the above and consider how 95% of recruiters and organisations operate. Typically an Internal Recruiter takes a job brief and steps through a single point, predictable, end-to-end process to arrive at a short list of candidates. By single-point process I refer to the Internal Recruiter taking sole responsibility for sourcing the internal and external talent for positions. Unless the organisation is in huge demand typically the recruitment process is based around recruiter push as opposed to candidate pull.
On the other hand the Internal Recruiter could use a multi-point sourcing process to leverage the organisation’s social network to uncover and recruit high quality talent. I am not suggesting that you would do this for all positions, only those positions that are really important or critical.
Five reasons that an Internal Recruiter should consider using the organisation’s social network:
- Multi-point sourcing generally leads to a pool of quality candidates;
- Accountability rests with a group of people wanting a great outcome rather than the recruiter;
- Role of the recruiter is project-managing not purely transactional;
- Leveraging a social network leads to using the line managers to engage candidates;
- The recruiter works as a partner with the Line Managers.
Many people ask what are the key steps in leveraging your social network? My thoughts are:
- Set up a group of stakeholders who will sponsor this initiative;
- Prioritise your organisations positions by criticality/impact;
- Develop a communication plan regarding the initiative;
- Develop some loose standards for employees social network that suits your organisations;
- Create a training program to assist employees to develop and utilize their social network.
Lastly, create metrics and a reporting framework and most importantly develop a way for celebrating success!
As some organisations have already started leveraging their social capital, my advice is to get started with this initiative before your CEO asks why your organisation is not doing it.
If you want to keep up with changes in talent management, don’t miss out on this year’s Sourcing Social Talent event in November. Join Martin Warren and global leaders in sourcing including Shannon Pritchett, Chris Hoyt, Bill Boorman, and others who will be travelling to Sydney, Melbourne or Auckland to distill the art and science of being a modern day sourcer. Register now for the event here
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