Jenny DeVaughn’s Utopia

There are three ways a company can handle social recruiting, says Jenny DeVaughn. The second is better than the first. The third is better than the second.

DeVaughn, from the agency Bernard Hodes, says the first method is a centralized recruiting approach. This is a social recruiting strategy managed by recruiters. Among its faults: It’s not scalable.

The second approach is an employee-centric strategy. This greatly increases an organization’s visibility, and uses employees as the gospel-spreaders of the company, under the direction or influence of human resources and recruiting.

Method three is the “utopia,” she says: a talent community. This is a variation of the employee-centric approach, but with a longer-term focus, where connections and relationships are built over time, lots of sharing goes on, and there’s a lot of career development and learning happening. In other words, it’s not just a short-term event based around getting a job.

If one recruiting name is synonymous with such talent communities, it is Marvin Smith, from Microsoft. He has the twitter handle of choice on the topic, and has spoken at an ERE conference, written for the Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership, and for the site.

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DeVaughn was speaking at the #socialrecruiting summit, after lunch on an near-idyllic day in Minneapolis. She brought up on stage Heather Polivka, a branding leader at UnitedHealth, who’s speaking at this Fall’s Florida conference. Polivka told the story of a candidate who reached out to her via Facebook, inquiring about a UnitedHealth career. As it turns out, Polivka told him, the company was having a chat the next day particularly for people in his functional area.

Later, after the chat, the candidate looped back to Polivka, telling her he’d realized his background was non-traditional, and that he hoped a hiring manager at the company would be open to someone with his resume. The important thing, he told her, was just that he’d had the opportunity to talk to someone, to find out more, and to build a relationship. This was the type of relationship-building and social media success that for Polivka and UnitedHealth was also a sort of utopia.

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