Recruiting with Social Media – talk by Fred Wilson

I attended tonight’s Social Recruiting Meetup, and heard a talk by venture capitalist Fred Wilson on "Recruiting with Social Media" .  This was a highly condensed version of his presentation at the Social Recruiting Summit (video available on that site). 


My brief notes:

Social web has vastly connected the number of people you can connect with every day. 


I got into VC in the mid 80s.


At the time we would seek out investments by going to conferences, walking halls, collecting business cards, and then work the phones.  We would talk to a dozen people a day.


Then with email we could talk to 10x as many people.


Then with social media we can talk to another 10x as many people.  My blog reaches thousands of people every day. 


One of our regular portfolio questions: how do we hire great engineers?   This presentation summarizes my answer.


I tell recruiters to go to, e.g., the PHP Meetup. 


One of the event attendees runs Jibe (spelling), a new service that shows you jobs with which you have a social connection. 


StackOverflow is a great place to get quality engineers, and evaluate their reputation. 


Q: Do you use social media for sourcing deals?

A: One of my best leads are the comments on my blog posts.  I have a rule: when I hear about a company 2x I write it down.  When I hear about it 3x, I write the CEO.  We use social media for due diligence.  We contact influencers to get their opinions. 


Q: How do you recommend introductions to people?

A: I believe in the ‘double opt-in intro’.  I ask both parties if they want to be introduced.  I do this because that’s how I want other people to introduce me, because i get introduced to too many people to whom I don’t want to be introduced. 


Teten: How should traditional high-end recruiters respond to social media taking away their competitive advantage of a candidate database?

A: i’ve come to believe that the cultural fit of the candidate within the small company is critical, so we prefer to recruit via the social web.  We go to the recruiters only after trying our own network. 


Q: What large companies are using social media well?

A: I cant point to any.  Maybe it just doesn’t scale.


Q: How do you get more followers?

A: You put value out , you get value back.


Q: What do you think of recruiting internationally on social media?

A: It should work.  I read Russians are greatest users of social media in the world?


Q: Are there tools like Radian6 or a Visible that you think are helpful for assessing sentiment?

A: I dont use any of those sophisticated tools, but I’m sure they’re very valuable. 


Q: Talk about how you use LinkedIn.

A: We use it heavily, but not the way LinkedIn would like.  We’ve never been a paying customer.  We’ll use it to find a certain profile.  We don’t ask for a reference list.  We just connect with people on LinkedIn and look for the shared connections. 


Q: Do you do searches for a portfolio company?

A: We don’t drive searches; the company does.  We recommend company hire an in-house recruiter when they get to 20-25 employees.  We’re a member of the hiring team.