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CareerBuilder India talks to Sarang Brahmee, Global Head – Social Recruiting, Capgemini about social recruiting and mobile recruiting, role of technology in hiring, and a lot more. Here’s a direct interview:

What is the Importance of Social Media?

Well, today social media is everywhere. It’s a lingo of generation Y, it’s how people interact, so it’s nothing different for candidates as well. Today, if you go to sites like Glass Door, people are talking about their experiences of companies they visited, they have interviewed, and probably that’s today is social. Today even before taking offers, people ask on Twitter or Facebook that I have offer from X or Y company, which one should I g for. Also, there are applications, apps, or technologies which capture the candidates experience in their journey of working with company or going through their career website, whether they are liking their experiences. So social is everywhere, I think it’s about time, where recruiters and talent organizations use social not just for posting jobs, posting videos and posting content blogs, so start listening to them. Listening is very much important, what people are talking about your company, your talent brand and whether that is impacting your employer branding positively, negatively and that’s very much important. So, sites like Glassdoor, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, so you don’t be there just for posting but also listen & engage your audience. And that’s how you would be able to convert their negative sentiments to positive that they are writing and giving them a real time response, I think that is more important. Also, in terms of candidate’s experience, you will also need to look at while you give them offer, or they are already engaged into recruitment process, are you keeping them engaged into your talent brand. Today, every candidate has two or three offers before they join any company, so are you keeping them engaged, are you keeping them busy is very important. So, one is listening, what are they talking about you, and secondly, engaging and proactively engaging in social media is very important. SO, I think that’s where companies can use social media.

One Small Advice you would give all HR’s

Well, one thing, I would ask them is jump into the water. Lots of time, as HR’s or recruiters, we take lot of time in analyzing risks and mitigating risks. What will happen if someone would tweet like this and on Facebook put a comment like this. I think it’s important to start your journey, you go into that mode and then learn about it. Today, there are no formal courses, may be for marketing, but for HR, there are no formal courses. It’s all about how you discover that experience, how you proactively engage your candidates, so think from this situation. Every recruiter speaks with 10 or 20 candidates in a day, are they connecting them back to social every day. Today hiring managers, before people go for interview, people want to know, whom I am gonna talk about, who’s my hiring manager, if they come to know, first thing they would do is Google about him. So, having right profiles on LinkedIn, having right presence on Twitter are very basic things like are you putting right picture is your LinkedIn profile optimized enough from a candidate’s perspective. These are some of the very basic things and it’s important that everyone know, uses LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter from employer branding perspective as well, not just for searching candidates but for also to replicate the effect f your talent brand and reach out to external people. Recruiters today are the first people, who are talking to external people and candidates apart from marketing, so are you able to work as brand ambassadors and amplify that effect for your company to these candidates. So, I think this is what it is, but it is important that you start doing social and stop just reading or thinking about social. I think it’s the time to act.

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What role does technology play in modern hiring?

There are loads of tools, technology is involved. I would stop calling social where it is still a game and a new technology, as I think that social is an old technology and is now an established technology. I started doing social way back in 2007 and 2008, right from Orkut and Meet Up days. So, I think the new technologies, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn are the obvious ones, but there are new technologies which are coming up as well. So, what we call as dream software, now there are companies like TalentBin, Entelo, Glassdoor, which basically aggregates the data from Dice-Open Web, Talent Network for CareerBuilder. They basically aggregates all your social profiles into one place where it becomes easy for recruiters to search and profile a candidate. There are listening technologies as well, which are like social mentions, brand mentions, Glassdoors, which gives a great insight into what people are talking about you. What I would suggest recruiters should start small. Start with something like using LinkedIn, it’s a great tool for finding candidates. That’s how you will learn that dealing with a social candidate is not similar that to a job portal. It’s a very different experience. One’s you learn that then you can use other tools. Tools and technologies is the simplest thing to do but how do you use and engage with those candidates, use that data (we have talked about analysis) is very much important. So, I would say having that right hat of using social media is very much important. To learn that helps smaller success stories and the use it for others. I think Mobile is one more channel which is coming up very fast which one needs to look upon and talk about.

Your thoughts on Big Data:

Well, I sincerely think that there are two different things. Big Data and Analytics are two different things while, they are still meshed up together and they are related to each other. Big Data is all about having large data in large volume, different velocity and different shapes all together. That data which is difficult to search, difficult to aggregate, it’s not a data in excel or SQL format, it’s a data which is spread across channels. So, like I was mentioning about TalentBin or Entilo, these are some of the tools which are available, where it proactively finds candidate’s footprints on all social media platforms and create a social CV, so that’s as close to in terms of using Big Data for recruitment. But I think, very key importance is you have a large data in ATSS or you have a large data available in LinkedIn as well. So, how we are using that data, so there are tools available, where you can actually analyze for my company how many candidates have come in from which company and how many have gone out, what’s the talent flow look like, which are the people, which have likely to stay more in my company, considering their past performance. So, tools are I think available but whether you have the right mindset and whether you are capturing the right data is important.  I think it’s still early days to talk about Big Data, at least in recruitment or talent acquisition in India, I would at least say. So, for normal recruiting organizations, I think it’s still early days to understand what big data is. Big data is basically whatever that is out there on internet or ATS. Today, companies have large amount of data in their ATSS, but they are not able to search & utilize the Big Data. It’s a big data, while it’s relatively in structured format, but still people are not able to find what to do with it or there are not enough mature techno, at least in India I would say, but it’s a future. It’s where recruitment organizations need to start thinking about. Not every time, you would go to Naukri or Monster or job portals to find candidates. This is the network; this is the community which is already available with you. How do you engage, how do you find a right person. So, that’s what organizations need to go about and start figuring about the ways.

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Is mobile technology changing hiring trends?

Well, we have talked about social media, but today half of the social media’s traffic is from mobile. Someone talked about that you check your mobile 157 times, you obviously don’t do that with your desktops or laptops, you just do it twice or thrice. But mobile is with you wherever you go. I mean literally people wakeup at 2’clock and check what’s happen in their mobile, emails, social, so I think, it’s much closer to people because it’s handy, its mobile, I think the amount of data that is generated on mobile, the amount of interaction that happens on mobile, that’s very important. So, mobile recruiting is the next step. Once we establish social, social is getting access from mobile. So, are you reaching out to your target audience on mobile. LinkedIn has an app for mobile, there are basically lots of technologies, which are there on mobile. First, very simple thing, do you have a mobile optimized career site, do you have career apps on mobile; so, these are some of the stuffs, basic level sanitization that recruiting organization should start doing. And that’s for preparing for next big leap, so I think, that’s gonna be very much important.

Firstly, I think, recruiters need to be savvy to look at mobile as one of the channels to not just do one-way job posting but also to engage candidates. In fact, now discussions are happening that whether apps like WhatsApp or Snapchat should be used for employer branding. There is WeChat, which is already integrated with LinkedIn, if you have a LinkedIn profile, you can also have a WeChat ID. I know for the fact that companies like WeChat or Snapchat are looking at building company pages, just like what you have on LinkedIn in going head. Because the traffic is shifting from just social but to mobile, it is important for recruiters to understand and learn these new tools and technologies and be abrupt with what’s happening in the market. Like LinkedIn has one basic app on Android and app phone; there are new tools that are coming up like Facebook’s graph search is slowly getting integrated on to their mobile platform as well. So, as a recruiter you need to understand, learn and start engaging with your candidates on mobile because that’s where they are.

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Is mobile a solution for every problem?

I think we need to understand where your audience is; mobile is not a solution for everything. What is a demographic of your candidate or the talent using mobile phone, probably let’s say for fresher hiring, college hiring, mobile is a great way. You can look at where your people are, if they are on Facebook, you can actually create targeted ads for Mobile on Facebook as the ads would only be shown to them. Same goes with Twitter or same goes for LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s probably 40% of traffic comes from mobile; Twitter is 80% and where Facebook is again 70%. So, one is identifying where your target audience is, and secondly how I can use mobile to reach out, is it apps, is it optimized websites, is it social network and then design a strategy. It’s very important to identify what are the different mobile apps, if these are WhatsApp, you can look at WhatsApp, if they are on Facebook (there are specific groups) you can look at that and creating the entire pool factor using that spaces, to create interest about your company, why they should join your company and then get them into your talent ecosystem and utile that data for your open positions and get them interested to your organization.

What’s your personal favorite hiring tool?

My personal favorite is Facebook and its LinkedIn. WhatsApp is good, but I think, I’ll still use that for my social and personal use then professional. I like Twitter, I think Twitter is the best app, more than Facebook & LinkedIn, because that’s where I can engage with lot of people, it’s a two-way conversation right, and so I love Twitter.

About Sarang Brahme :

Sarang Brahme is a global head – Social Recruiting, in Capgemini. He is responsible to manage several official Capgemini social media communities to promote our career offering and building an “Employer Brand”. He defines himself as, “A strategic talent sourcing / social recruiting professional who strongly believes that strong “Sourcing” platform has an immense power to make a powerful impact on any recruitment engine. In the age of “talent war” it is imperative that recruitment teams have built-in sourcing capability to proactively create and tap talent pools across target candidates.”

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