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Read this space long enough and you'll know I'm quick to call out those who are selling snake oil to the HR masses.  Example: Social Media.  I recently encouraged all to hold onto their wallet/purse when approached by someone claiming to be a "social media expert".  It's out in front of the trend where frauds operate best, even if they don't know more than you do.  Social Media is one of those areas.  The smoke and mirrors related to social media are thickest related to branding, etc.

However, when you start talking about solving specific business problems with the help of social media SHRMFL
tools, you get some real-world traction.  Example:  How do I recruit someone who can really make a difference in the functional area I'm hunting?  If the decline of the post and pray model has taught us anything, it's that the best talent often isn't actively on the market, and you need some killer sourcing skills if you really want to have an impact.

Enter: Social Media and a concept called Social Network Analysis.

My friend and certified deep thinker, Josh Letourneau, is attempting to build a business by thinking about how people influence each other via a science called Social Network Analysis.  Hit his site to learn more, but today's lesson is a simple one and it goes a little something like this:

Want to recruit a star?  You don't have to know where the star is, you have to know the people most likely to know... Or with the ability to use their social influence to help you find that person.

Here's more from Josh from a post over at Fistful of Talent earlier this week:

"For another visual that really illustrates just how important Betweeness is, see the following.  Imagine the power of connecting with the 5 most 'Between' people on this map (those with the biggest pictures).  Out of the random 301 phone calls you could make (which is the number of people reflected here), would you believe that 5 alone could earn you immediate access to everyone?  You'd essentially be targeting the broker to a particular talent cluster (signified by the tight groupings around the larger pictures.)  And better, how about the fact that you'd have a warm lead? 

If you're in the world of Recruiting, I don't need to tell you the power of having someone open a door for you instead of trying to open it on your own.  There is a tremendous amount of time spent by Executive Search firms trying to identify and nurture relationships with these people, especially those who share openly.  They're termed "Bird Dogs", and I can assure you that every single search starts with a "Who might you know for this role?" phone call to them.  When you hear about Executive Recruiters filling jobs with 3 or 4 phone calls, this is what they're describing."

Go read the entire post.  Josh is talking about a Social Network Analysis map he created from a conference - SHRM Florida.  He's nailed the science of social recruiting.  You have to know what calls to make to make efficient use of your time and get a great hire.  Twitter traffic from conferences is a great place to start, and if you read the whole post, you'll understand - this is where smart money from a sourcing perspective will go over time.

Not just number of connections - but who actually COVERS the space and has pull.  It may seem obvious, but this is not the way most of us work.  Hit the post in it's entirety to learn more...


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