Last year’s Social Recruiting Survey by Jobvite revealed that over 50% of companies recruit through Twitter, 2/3 use Facebook and nearly all of them use LinkedIn. Furthermore, since starting recruitment through social networking sites (also known as Social Recruiting), 49% of employers have reported more candidates to choose from, 43% have seen an increase in the quality of applicant and 20% say that it has reduced the time that recruitment takes. Finally, 7 out of 10 employers have recruited from a social networking site.
Social Recruiting allows employers to use a personal touch and engage directly with potential employees, rather than just the black-and-white of their CVs. In today’s recruitment world of electronic application screening and psychometric testing, it can be rare for employers and candidates to connect directly prior to a final interview, but through Social Recruiting they can build up a rapport. Which begs the question, if Social Recruiting has such positive results, then why isn’t everyone using it?
Well, although it can be very effective and it may appear to be an easy, time-saving option there are still several factors to consider when choosing to use social networking sites to recruit. This blog will look at the three principal social networking sites used for recruitment (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn), offer some invaluable insight from our member company, social job board jobandtalent, about the impact Facebook has had, and continues to have, on recruitment, and finally we will give both candidates and employers some helpful tips on how to make the most of Social Recruiting.
LinkedIn is a social networking site aimed at professionals where they can upload their skills and experience in a CV-like format. Given this professional slant it is understandable why the majority of employers recruiting through social media use this site. Job opportunities can be posted by starting a discussion in a relevant group or you can pay to advertise on the LinkedIn jobs board. This is particularly appealing to candidates as their profile (with an optional cover letter) can be submitted in direct response to a job advert on LinkedIn, making the application process quick and pain-free.
Twitter is a micro-blogging website where users can tweet or re-tweet a message of 140 characters. The more followers you have and the better your grasp of hashtags, the more impact you are likely to make in the Twittosphere. The advantage here is that you can post the job opportunities you have available directly to your followers for free; just make sure you include a link to your recruitment page or the email address to send CVs to.
jobandtalent, a social job board that connects with Facebook to facilitate the job process and member of the Chamber, has been kind enough to share their thoughts on Social Recruiting. Co-founders Felipe Navio and Juan Urdiales came up with the idea to integrate social networking and job hunting when recommendations from Facebook friends helped them to find a job and to find employees respectively. jobandtalent remarks that, “Social media has created a massive directory of real people and real profiles that didn’t exist before. These networks have amplified the way people communicate – not just about their private lives but also about the company they work for or a place they have interviewed at.” The size of the network means that anything shared on these sites can be seen by thousands of people within minutes, it also means that what is said about a business on social media can have a powerful impact on the company, creating an either positive or negative image.
Indeed, Facebook has just over one billion users, clocking up an average of 40 hours a month usage each. jobandtalent itself has about 500,000 users and is used by more than 2,000 leading companies for recruitment. In addition to these numbers, jobandtalent’s connection with Facebook (and the growing trend to include professional information on profiles) means that employers can search their database of over 20 Million passive candidates made up of users’ network of friends without the risk of compromising the user’s privacy.
However, it is not only recruiters who are learning the value of Social Recruiting. Increasingly job hunters, particularly young professionals, are using social media to actively find jobs. jobandtalent points out that “whereas few people leave university with an extensive professional network, chances are most will have accumulated a sizable social network – which when used strategically can help job seekers kick-start their careers.” Through jobandtalent job seekers can connect their account to Facebook and can see if they have any inside connections at the companies they are applying to, which can facilitate recommendations, giving candidates a leg up in today’s competitive job market.
Below we have some hints on how to make the most of Social Recruiting for candidates and employers:
jobandtalent’s Handy Hints for Job Seekers
– Plug in relevant professional and educational history on your Facebook profile
-Companies are more likely to hire you if you come referred by an existing employee. Find out if you have friends (or friends of friends) working at the companies where you are looking to get hired
-Share, Tweet and post interesting articles and content related to your field of expertise
-Be careful not use social media as a way to vent too much frustration about past or current employers
-Do not be too quick to lock up all of your social media profiles while job searching, employers want to get an idea of who you are – use this opportunity to show how you are unique – it may just get your CV shortlisted
-Make sure you are telling the same professional story across all your social and professional networks – recruiters will want to see that your story is consistent
– Get creative: job seekers should take advantage of the versatility the internet has to offer. We recommend integrating your job search with multiple social media profiles including Twitter, Pinterest and of course Facebook
Our Top Tips for Recruiters
–Make sure what you are sending out is relevant to your goals. Whilst photos of the office bake-off may be the pride and joy of your instagram account, keep it there. Potential candidates might see your pictures of cupcakes as spam and stop following you, losing your audience for future job posts.
– Ensure that you represent your company and business culture accurately so that you attract the kind of people you want to attract. If you try to make your office appear relaxed, creative and easy-going when it is actually a highly-pressurised, number-crunching hothouse, you will attract candidates who are attracted to the idea of the former and unable to cope with the reality of the latter, which would be unsatisfactory for all involved.
– What makes Social Recruitment stand out against the generic online recruitment process is the element of interaction. Social Media is about being personal and responsive, candidates who initiate contact with you may become disheartened if you don’t reply to their questions or leave it too long before acknowledging a Twitter mention, and you may lose them through disinterest.
-It is best to view Social Recruitment as an enhancement of traditional recruitment techniques, rather than a replacement. Certain procedures, such as face-to-face interviews and background checks, are still very important and should be adhered to, no matter where you find the candidate.
–Interconnect everything. Your goals are more likely to be achieved if your message and Social Recruiting are consistent. Link your Twitter to your Facebook and your recruitment website to your Twitter. You could consider setting up a job feed, but if you are not sure how there are companies that can do this on your behalf.
–You only get out what you put in; commenting on a thread in a group once is not enough to establish yourself. Get involved in groups and debates on LinkedIn and regularly post engaging material on your Facebook and Twitter. The bigger your online footprint, the greater number of followers you will attract and the more potential candidates you will reach.
– Gathering and engaging with a large number of followers across different platforms is a key part of Social Recruiting as it widens the audience for your job opportunities and encourages interactivity. A well-placed hashtag can see your tweets appear in the Twitter search-engine and consider the timings of your output, if you post when your audience is most likely to be online you’ll reach more people.
P.S. Recruiting through social media is not only a great way to find potential candidates, but also to increase your online presence. Even if you don’t end up hiring someone using Social Recruiting, you can still increase your company’s online footprint and raise your profile through connecting and engaging with talent.
We would like to say a special thank you to jobandtalent for their contribution to this post. Make sure you keep an eye on our blog for upcoming entries relating to professional matters and the business world.