Heard on the [HCM] Hill: The Searchologist

Since 2009, The Searchologist, Katrina Collier, has been showing SMEs to global corporations around the world how to source their staff on social media; transforming HR & Recruiters into Certified Searchologists. London UK-based, Katrina is a social recruiting expert; a global trainer and speaker, sharing proven techniques gained from over 11 years of full cycle recruitment and social recruiting experience. She's also a popular HR & Recruitment keynote, including ERE, SourceCon, RecruitDC, SOSU Sourcing Summits in Australia, NZ, Europe & Asia, EVOLVE! Summit, SRSC, and even to the Singapore Government, and she is quoted in HRReview, SHRM, The Staffing Stream, and Cambridge University’s Strategies for Success and more. She is also the founder of DisruptHR London and an Ambassador for Retrak Charity. 

When she’s not on a plane, you’ll find her tweeting @KatrinaMCollier and on InstagramLinkedIn & Facebook, championing the #BeHuman cause. Today, we have the pleasure of featuring Katrina here on our blog. We hope you'll enjoy reading her thoughts on what's [forever] changing in the world of talent acquisition.

Katrina Collier The Searchologist 1.jpg

Katrina Collier

The Searchologist

Katrina, you’ve been leading the social media recruiting category for almost 10 years. What do you think the most significant changes have been over that period of time?

"Two way transparency! 

When I started out teaching social recruiting it was all about recruiters and sourcers finding potential employees, getting in touch and receiving great response. But the world has changed, most of us don’t answer our phone or reply to an email or InMail without first deciding if we want to talk to that person or company by running a quick search on Google. People are looking at individual profiles and company’s reputations before making decisions; hence we’ve had the rise of employer branding and employee generated content. 

I now spend far more time teaching HR, recruiters & sourcers not only how to find people but how to find information that they can use in conversation, their interests, their blogs, their tweets and so on. There’s an art to candidate engagement and messaging now; it requires hyperpersonalisation and for recruiters to #BeHuman."

Much is written how email is dead. What’s a recruiter to do? Is texting the next frontier?

"Is email dead or is it that we all have our individual communication preferences and that recruiters have to find the one the potential recruit prefers? As a business owner, you can communicate with me wherever you’d like, email, text, WhatsApp, Messenger, Twitter DM, InMail, whatever you choose. Recruiters and sourcers need to be as flexible, especially when recruiting people with highly sort after skills. Does that make things messy? Sure, but people are where people are and flexibility is key.  

The worst thing a recruiter or sourcer can do is keep chasing someone, that they really want to talk to, over and over on the same medium. Why not follow up your email with a call, a text, a video message or even a hand delivered cupcake? Be different, you’ll reap the benefits." 

We’re hearing that some companies are so passionate about employer branding they’ve assembled their own in-house departments. Is this a good idea? Does a company need to be 100% all-in to be effective in employer branding or are there smaller incremental changes that can help?

"It’s a Google world, people want to see in. People expect to see in. It makes sense to share content that does just that and hence the rise of employer branding teams and CRM and candidate pipeline software. People want to hear from their peers, like we do when we book a holiday or make a purchase. 

Of course it can be challenging for companies who don’t have the dedicated resource, though as consumer and employer brands merge this could get easier, but it’s essential to open the door to your genuine work environment. One simple way to share your authentic selves, and I mean authentic, is to use a company hashtag on employee generated content. Encourage all of your employees to share their days, via photo and video, and add the hashtag. Photos can then be gathered and re-shared wth ease. Check out #LifeAtCA #LifeAtDell and #WeAreCisco for inspiration."