Talent Acquisition

How F1 Can Speed Up Your Social Recruitment Strategy

Come to one of my events, or sit in on one of my social media strategy sessions and you’ll often hear me say:

“Lewis Hamilton doesn’t win races simply by driving fast.”


“recruiters don’t get results from social media simply by having multiple social media accounts, reverse spamming themselves with crappy job adverts and sharing junk food content like what to wear to an interview.”

Grand Prix drivers and recruiters need a strategy to succeed.

Now a social media strategy for a marketer of a recruitment team will differ from that of the leader of the firm and the consultant at their desk – but the themes should be the same. And herein begins my analogy for today.

How to have a social media strategy like a grand prix driver.

It’s not about driving fast – it’s about being competitive (and about driving faster than everyone else!)

Let me set the scene: This is what you DON’T see at a Grand Prix.

Empty pit lanes, no tech, a fat balding man (or woman) sauntering up, bacon sandwich or donut dripping in fat, getting in the car with a cigarette in their mouth and hitting the peddle hard and driving for 50+ laps and winning.

Formula 1 teams can be hundreds of people in size, and the race, although spectacular, is only part of the process. So much happens behind the scenes (obvious statement), that by the time Lewis strolls up super lean and mean, the race may (or may not) be a foregone conclusion. (The 10,000 bottles of wine and 6,000 bottles of champagne drunk at Silverstone are a distant memory.)

One thing that the team does, and especially the driver does, is study the other drivers, their tech, their fuel-stop strategy, their tyres, their lap times. All of this stuff is studied, computed and then the team add this data to their own existing strategy and adjust to suit. Plus, when the race starts all hell breaks loose (in what seems like a pretty calm way!?) and the team engages as one and flexes to compete with the other racers’ strategies on the day.

Lewis does not just get in a car and drive fast – he is totally aware of his competitions’ tactics. He has people speaking to him throughout the race advising him of the other drivers and where they’re at and he and the team win or lose the race based on this data, and him driving fast (and let’s face it, really well!)

Recruiters need to be like Mercedes!

As a recruiter you need to be fully aware of your competition – and I’m not just talking about having a regular wasp chewing session when you spot someone posting your jobs.

I mean, look at their company feeds across the social media spectrum. What are they posting, how often are they job spamming, or talking about themselves all day long (yawn!). Base your strategy on what you’re up against, not a blog you read about the best time to tweet!

Have your competition got LinkedIn Recruiter licences? How are they engaging with their LinkedIn company followers? What are their consultants saying on their profiles and updates? Yes, they may have LinkedIn groups, but are they any good? Are candidates engaging with them? Can you see where they are getting ROI or are you just looking at what they have signed up for?

Are their consultants blogging and being active on social media generally?

How are they using Google+? So what if their consultants appear to have profiles – I bet most of them are poorly branded and offer little value (often the case with recruiters and Google+) – which is a shame!

Can you attract followers from their accounts with something new? Can you spy / capitalise on your competitions’ content and followers?

And don’t get me started on the fact that you are also competing with your own clients now.

Is what you’re planning on doing any different or are you just ticking boxes and spending money?

Get on your helmet, diamond studs and hit the track?

Just like Formula 1, recruitment technology and social media has never been so sophisticated, expensive and potentially dangerous.  (Tyre warmers may be banned this year and recruiters are wasting precious time and branding and visibly demonstrating bad practice.)

Simply nipping out with a cheque to the local Pirelli shop and buying (the on average 30 sets of tyres needed for each race!) warming them up and hitting the track is not good enough. You need to take a little time to know your competition and create strategy and tactics to win that race! (and when you’ve won, onto the next track you go!)

And you never know, if you study your competition, you may even generate some candidate and job leads along the way (stranger things have happened! Watch Guido van der Garde this season – he may get to race and win!)

By Lisa Jones

Lisa Jones is a Director at Barclay Jones, a Consultancy working with recruiters advising them on the most effective use of technology, web and social media to improve their business processes, recruitment and bottom line. Follow Lisa on Twitter @LisaMariJones.