Cutting Through the BS – Getting the Most out of Training

Have you noticed the guru trend? You know the one, where one successful post on LinkedIn Publisher people think they are to the recruitment world what Gordon Ramsey is to the culinary world.
On one side of the coin this is great for the industry; the more people championing new tools and techniques, the quicker we will up-skill. The flip side is that the value of social recruiting is negatively affected, as shiny new products are promoted as the next must have solution and training is delivered regardless of whether it actually works for the specific audience.

The problem

A great example of this is that I recently saw was an advertised training course that highlighted the benefits of actively tweeting to build a recruiters brand. This can be effective, but it is very time-consuming and I’ve yet to meet a recruiter outside of sales and marketing or digital who has generated any new business from active tweeting. This isn’t to say Twitter isn’t a hugely powerful tool, it is, but the rewards from actively tweeting are tiny in comparison with the amount of effort needed to grow a brand. Instead it is far easier and more effective to use it for listening to your market and as a link between other social accounts.
For full disclosure I deliver social recruiting training at Prominence, but there are other providers out there also doing a great job. Hopefully this guide helps you evaluate which option best suits your business, and ensure you get the training you need.
Below, in no particular order, I’ve listed what I believe should be included in good social recruitment training.


Searching is what most recruiters think of when we talk about social recruiting. Whilst it is incredibly important, recruiters won’t make a lot of money by just finding / identifying talent.

What you should learn

LinkedIn is a small but key part of searching and most recruiters these days know the basics of LinkedIn search.. The most important LinkedIn training is learning how to reduce wasted time by taking advantage of best practice searching, such as building synonym lists, compiling search strings and obviously Boolean logic.

What you probably don’t need

What isn’t important is x-ray searching (even with the new Commercial Use Limit) or other back door hacks. These generally over complicate searching, resulting in an increase in the amount of time it takes a recruiter to identify talent. A good trainer should also know the difference between the available paid LinkedIn accounts. Most of the time a Business Plus account is more than sufficient.

Chose your platforms wisely

There are plenty of other networks out there, but the obvious ones for search are Facebook, Twitter and, dare I say it, Google+. Not every recruiter needs to use, or even know about, all of these channels. For example, an Australian Recruiter working in the medical industry would find searching on Twitter a complete waste of time.As an industry, IT logically has more bespoke social networks, so training on how to search GitHub, Stack Overflow, Behance or Dribble can also be worthwhile.




There are literally hundreds of tools on the market, with a new entrant popping up almost weekly. As a recruiter it is challenging to utilise more than 10 tools at once; a good trainer should have knowledge of all available options but focus training on those that are proven to work. The most common tools are Followerwonk, Hootsuite, Prophet, Sidekick, Tweetdeck and, more recently, Crystal Knows.

Personal Branding

Every recruiter needs to take control of their personal brand. There are a range of different levels of branding depending on your employers social policies, your industry, and the amount of time you are prepared to invest compared to the results you wish to achieve. Branding training should start with content and finish with the methods for communicating it.

Contacting Candidates

Not to be confused with engagement, contacting, and more importantly converting prospects into candidates, is the true skill of a recruiter. Anyone can send an InMail through LinkedIn, and by now most of us know how to write a decent message.

The big question is whether the time spent crafting a personalised message is worthwhile. This is because a lot of LinkedIn users don’t even see it, due to not being engaged on the platform or being inundated with similar messages.

Training should therefore include InMails and the communication methods available on each platform. It should also cover the various methods available for finding contact details online (when they exist), and should expand to more traditional candidate contacting techniques such as cold calling.

Candidate Engagement

This area is very closely linked with Personal Branding. Engagement training has traditionally focused on LinkedIn Groups, but as these are mostly ghost towns, engagement needs to expand to other channels.
The biggest component of engagement training is helping recruiters to change mentality, teaching the importance of engaging and how to find their voice.


Training can be delivered in a variety of different ways. The most common are automated eLearning, live webinars, location specific training forums or classroom training specifically for your team.RecruitmentTrainingSourcingSocialTalent
The best method depends on learning the style of the specific recruiter and the available training budget. Whichever delivery method you choose, you should expect to be provided with a comprehensive training manual and on-going support – ideally with a follow up session a few months down the line.

Targeted Content

It is also very helpful that Trainers consult with the management team on the existing social policy and then ensuring recruiters are comfortable with what they should, and shouldn’t, be doing. Prior to training, the trainer should also gain an overview of existing capabilities. This ensures content is tailored to the specific audience. Tools such as Survey Monkey are great for this.

You can also find out more about attending Chris’ Social Recruiting Training, here.


Join Chris at this year’s Sourcing.Social.Talent #SST15 in Auckland. Chris will be joined by Shannon Pritchett, Chris Hoyt, Bill Boorman, Martin Warren who will discuss the ART and SCIENCE of sourcing and social recruitment.  Register now for the event in SydneyMelbourne or Auckland.




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