Your next employee might be sitting right next to you at the bar

This title is a little of an over simplification, but the article Social Recruiting was on I was recently interviewed about.  There is a growing trend to add more of a social component to the recruiting or talent acquisition world and like any other trend, there are plusses and minuses to this.  The article hits a few of these, but I will add a few of my own below.  I have even added a few video clips to give some humorous insight to this practice.

Pros:

  • Younger potential employees will enjoy the social aspects of this type of event.  What better way to get to know a new employer than to spend some time with them while they are “letting their hair down” while having a beer or glass of wine?
  • The office can be a sterile, even misleading, example of how people work together.  Getting people into a social setting, even without alcohol, can be a good indicator of just who someone really is.
  • You can learn a lot about an employee or boss when you meet their spouse or significant other.  Much of who I am today has to do with how I interact with my wife of almost 31 years.  She has been, and still, is my greatest coach and mentor.

Cons:

  • Alcohol can affect people in adverse ways and some people get out of control even with the slightest bit of ingestion.  Also, some people do not drink, and they may be cast in a negative or less favorable light than those who belly up to the bar.
  • Social settings can lead to less than positive issues when there is overconsumption of alcohol.  One of the most challenging issues could result form someone drinking too much and then leaving and having an accident.  The risk management side of this type of social recruiting can be challenging.
  • Alcohol consumption can also lead to “unintended consequences” outside of the designated work environment.  Contact me directly if you don’t follow my thinking on this one.

No doubt that social recruiting activities will continue, even grow in many parts of the country.

They have their place, but just like any other strategy, there is a place and a time for this type of activity.

Any tool or strategy overused can lead to problems.  The same thing could occur here.

Here is one report on how people react to Tweetups as networking events.

The "Ultimate" networking event: