Building your business case for Social Recruiting

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whyI recently spoke at a Social Recruiting conference and the question that was asked the most, was ‘How do I build a business case to convince our leadership that this is what we need to do?”

Now I have to admit that I used to be one of the many that sat in the camp of  ~ “They just need to GET IT”, but the more I speak with organisations, the more I understand that many executive teams are just not bought in to the whole ‘Social media/recruiting’ way of thinking.   Whether we like it or not, a different generation are the leaders of our organisations and whilst I’m not saying that all are resistant, the fact is that there are more resisters than embracers.

The reality, is that it may not be their resistance that is the issue, it may actually be our ability to articulate the benefits to the bottom line and join the dots that make the social proposition such a compelling story and driver to achieve business objectives, that they have no other choice but to say yes.

Key business case focus areas ~ What do the execs want to know?

  1. What will the cost and savings be of bringing social into the organisation? What is the impact on the bottom line.
  2. What will it do for our brand awareness and influence in the market?
  3. How will it help us to achieve our business goals? – specifically
  4. What are the risks v the benefits?

If you can answer these 4 questions (to start with) in a way that is clear, revenue generating or cost savings focused and provides a view of increasing the company’s market share, whether that be with customers or candidates then you’ve started in the right place.

Common phrases used are; this is how “other people out in the market are using social”.  We hold up the Nike’s and the Deloittes of the world and often, what that does it make the relevance of social strategy even more unrealistic if your organisation is nowhere never the same level.

The companies that you need to be comparing yourself to are your competitors.    What are your competitors doing in this space?  How are they taking market share away from you, or sourcing more candidates than you or attracting more clients than you by doing what they are doing.    By showing your management team what the impact of not engaging in social will be for you as a business specifically, is where you’ll start to get some real traction.

What if your competitors aren’t doing anything worth talking about?  Well the question remains, what are the benefits to your organisation of getting out there and spruiking your employer brand, attracting more candidates that aren’t sitting in LinkedIn, or actively looking for jobs?   By showing the value of leading the charge, this could also provide you with the business case that you need.  Why wait for the others…lead the way and be the example of what good looks like.


When building your sourcing strategy, social channels cannot be ignored.  With sites such as responsible for only 25% of hires in Australia, that leaves 75%  of hiring that is being secured outside of job boards.  It’s time for businesses to ask the question – where are the candidates that you need and how are YOU going to attract and engage them.  How are you going to be better than that other company competing for their talent?

Candidates are more savvy, more choosy and want more from organisations.  They want to see what you have to offer before they’ve spoken to you or set foot in the front door.  They are highly skilled, highly knowledgeable, highly connected and they expect the organisations that are courting them to be the same.

Are you?

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