We talk to the woman behind one of the most successful localized TA communities, and it turns out being social in 2018 means straddling the online and offline worlds.
Online groups are no longer the domain of trolls and haters, there’s a whole world of cyber communities centered around skill/profession/interest that are galvanizing members to follow these passions, and even taking it IRL with meetups.
The localization of internet groups is an interesting turn for the technology synonymous with globalization and anonymity, but it could be a great one. People who once lamented the disappearance of in-person interaction may now dry their tears and logon, or at least that’s what one social recruiter predicts.
Kasia Borowicz started on the localization trend three years ago and is now seeing great returns in the network of Polish recruiters she built from scratch out of a UK basement. We sat down with Kasia ahead of her session at Hiring Success 18 EU to understand what this new trend means for recruiters and what businesses need to do offline to stay relevant online.
Is there a secret to building online communities?
My guiding principle of social media is to think: would I do this on my personal channel? A personal channel is usually about conversations and multi-level interactions where you like, comment, tag, crowdsource, and stay in touch, whereas business channels almost exclusively broadcast their own needs and send mass messages.
To steer away from the latter, I always suggest starting groups. Groups give you the opportunity to share your content, but more importantly, they provide a space for your community to be social together.
What are you into right now?
Something that has caught my eye recently are local online communities. I started a Facebook group for Polish recruiters three years ago, just me in a basement hoping for one or two likes, now it’s 2,300 active people.
Groups like mine are springing up all over. I’ve seen recruiter groups pop up in Germany, Spain, Israel, Estonia, and more. I think it’s really positive that a global phenomenon like the internet is helping people connect locally and learn in their native languages.
However, even though these groups are local, they welcome recruiters from wherever. So someone who wanted to ask about recruiting norms of a particular area could learn from practitioners who work there.
How does recruiting vary by region?
When I first got into sourcing it was in the British market. To be honest, my English wasn’t so good. I’m from Poland originally, and it was, shall we say, obvious. Not just in my accent, but in how I held conversations. In Poland, we don’t do small talk. If you ask someone how they are doing, you better be ready for a 30-minute answer, because you’re about to hear about their whole life.
Once I moved to London and became accustomed to British norms, the cultural mishaps began happening, funnily enough, when I talked to candidates back in Poland. One of the main differences I noticed was salary discussions. For British candidates, the money talk happens before the offer, whereas Polish candidates expect compensation negotiations to start post-offer.
Some people look at these differences and want to say one is wrong and one is right, but when you look at these particulars as a product of culture, each method makes sense in context.
Do you have any networking tips for the wallflowers out there?
I don’t think of myself as a natural networker. I often get really nervous, but what helps me is preparation, not just memorizing LinkedIn profiles – which I do as well – but thinking about what I want to learn at a particular conference or event. Once I know my objective, I start posting about it on my social media and see if anyone else is having similar conversations, and then I reach out to those people. There may still be moments where I’m standing alone, or feel a little awkward, but I find that making those online connections pre-conference helps a lot.
What’s the number one way people mess up social recruiting?
I think it’s a misconception that social recruiting is tied to the online world and social media in particular. A job advert doesn’t become “social” just because it’s posted on Twitter or Instagram; there has to be an enjoyable human interaction that earns the label “social recruiting.”
To make your recruiting truly social, you have to turn away from the expectation of tangible results and put time into building relationships. Social media is one avenue for building your community, but for me, true social recruiting happens when we shut down the computer and go talk to candidates.