Vancouver Startup Headhunts Talent and Gives Back

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For four years Chad MacRae bounced around the Middle East, living and working in Dubai, Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates and Greece. There he worked for a headhunting agency and saw how much “social recruitment” was making a presence.

Also called social media recruiting, it’s the process of sourcing or recruiting candidates through the use of social platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn.

After four years he returned to Vancouver to start up a “different kind of recruiting” in Vancouver (and Toronto for that matter). And social recruiting, it seems, is here to stay: 52 percent of job seekers used Facebook to help find work in 2012 and one in five job seekers had a contact share a job on Facebook. For recruiters, 25 percent of users on Facebook don’t bother with any kind of privacy control. The stats on LinkedIn and Twitter similar levels of engagement from users looking for work, significant enough to indicate that there’s a fast-growing market here.

Indeed, MacRae’s company, Recruiting Social, isn’t doing too bad: founded in 2012 the company has made $300,000 and is aiming for $600,000 in 2014. It stands at three people right now with two additions expected to come on board within a few months. Joining MacRae at the company is Ranji Manhas and Danielle Marchant.

Recruiting Social keeps over 39,000 resumes on file and works with several startups. Some of its better-known clients have been Appnovation, Morneau Shepell, JDSU, Avigilon, ZAG, HSBC Bank, Edward Jones, Ritchie Bros Auctioneers and Living Social to name a few. With Appnovation, the Vancouver- and London-based development shop that uses open-source development to create both web and app-based projects. Recruiting Social helped double the company’s size and will be integral in forming Appnovation’s new Montreal office, where it could be making several new hires.

Returning to Recruiting Social, the company offers a few different services: active headhunting through social media, hourly consulting where they can act as an extension within a company’s recruiting efforts, or they provide recruitment and sourcing training for companies.

When Recruiting Social is tasked with finding a company a stellar candidate, “we don’t just throw candidates at you, we actually get to know the culture of each company,” said MacRae. “We work as efficiently as possible to find the right person for the role in terms of skill and personality.”

The “Social” in the company’s title had a double meaning, referencing the social recruiting, but also referencing the company’s partly social focus. It gives 10 percent of its earnings to the Stand Foundation, which creates scholarships for marginalized youth in Vancouver area. In fact, the company will also actually interview one of the grant’s recipients to join them as a recruiting administrator.

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On giving back MacRae said “it’s something that’s aways been embedded in me, my dad always gives to charities and I thought when setting up my business, why not make it very transparent? It shows transparency but it also helps build the community.” Previously he spent time volunteering in the slums of Bangladesh, from 2007-2009.

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Within the next few months the company is planning to write a cheque for $18,000 to a charity, and its also partnering up with an alternative school in Vancouver to put on resume writing and social media etiquette workshops.

As for future plans within the company, MacRae said it will be partnering with a Dubai-based company to help find North America candidates and it will also be bringing on a few employees to head up a Toronto office.

Things are looking up for the company that seems to have no problem helping others.

Joseph Czikk

Joseph Czikk

Joseph Czikk is Managing Editor at Betakit. Prior to Betakit Joseph wrote for the National Post, Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun, Regina Leader Post, Techvibes and BC Business Online. Joseph often goes crazy on twitter during NHL and NFL games.