Social Recruiting Without Social Sourcing Is A Waste Of Time

social sourcing
Help us get a session featured at SXSW's 2017 Interactive Conference."Vote for our session on how to build a personal brand with social media." Click here.

Did you see Katrina Kibben’s recent piece, Why You Should Stop Wasting Your Time With Social Recruiting? With a title like that it sure got my attention and plenty of others in the industry who successfully recruit on social.

As an experienced marketer, Katrina makes some valid points:

  • Do you really need a dedicated career page?
  • Is your following actually interested in your job posts?
  • Too much is forced and automated.

And I especially liked:

…maybe you should finally seek out ways to change the infrastructure of how you hire and start actually calling candidates and having personalized, individual interactions and 1:1 communications with the ones who you might actually hire someday?

As an experienced social recruiting specialist, I feel she missed the biggest piece of the puzzle from her definition of social recruiting and the post, in general, which makes sense because her background is in marketing.

And without this key ingredient, you are indeed just spraying & praying and wasting your time and energy using social media.

Because social sourcing is where the magic happens.

Social sourcing is where you can find the information on candidates that improves your “personal, individual interactions and 1:1 communications with the ones you might actually hire someday” and sets you apart from every other recruiter vying for their attention.

To work, social recruiting needs to be personal and include social sourcing, a great personality shown through great content & engagement, and (just the occasional) job post.

Social sourcing success requires curiosity

Let me give you an example, randomly using the last person who looked at my LinkedIn profile.

Social Sourcing

Full disclosure: I have met Kasia on many occasions in ‘real life’ and I’d go so far as to call her a mate. However, I learned more about her in a few minutes of being curious, thanks to 2 of my favourite Chrome extensions than I had discovered in our many chats.

Discoverly connects the dots and reveals the connections you share in common on Facebook (handy for referrals!) and, if applicable, recent tweets. Prophet (and similarly, Connect6, Connectifier, etc.) will throw up even more results including other social sites and blogs.


By clicking through to, I found a more relaxed profile and discovered that Kasia speaks French, on top of the Polish and English that I knew about, and loves literature and cooking.

From Prophet, I can also see that she blogs, and Kasia’s posts gave me a much better insight into her view of the world and her passion for improving recruitment.

It took me under 10 minutes to do this.

How does this help?

Kasia, on top of being seriously good at what she does, is busy.

Just like you.

Like you, she also has the noise created by our modern world of phone, text, an instant message, Twitter DM, email and ‘actual people’ in the office. Everybody expecting (probably unreasonably) an instant response.

If I am going to get Kasia’s attention, she either needs to know me and trust me already or my communication needs to stand out a mile!

For example, I could start a dialogue with:

Hi Kasia, I saw from your page that you speak French and are passionate about sourcing. Would you consider an opportunity that allowed you to use both, from right here in London?

You could also mention something about her blog posts.

It will get her attention because it shows you’ve taken a moment to do your research and aren’t doing mass-spray-n-pray-unsuitable-LinkedIn-InMails.

Of course, you could call her and say this too!

Social sourcing is key in a candidate driven market

I’ve barely scratched the surface of how you can use social media and tools to uncover information on potential recruits.

This isn’t about stalking or trying to catch people out. It’s about finding more information, so your conversations start from a place of knowledge and are genuine.

In a candidate-driven market, where resource is scarce, you need to be doing more to gain attention.  A few moments of your time connecting the social media dots now will save you time and frustration later in the hiring process.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Crazy moi would send her an email in Franglish. For those cringing about Katrina’s “cyberstalking” – in the recruiting world it’s called “research” and will so dramatically improve your engagement rates that you won’t ever have to resort to crappy bulk outreach emails/inmails again. Nice job K!

    Steve Levy |
  2. The resume needs to go bye-bye or be just what it is. A brief doc that simply tells someone where I’ve been. But to get the full picture of someone, and make them a better-known entity, you have to go social. It’s going to take time on the recruiting part, but it’s better than determining someone’s ideology from a digital doc.


Leave a Comment