This is part 2 of our series examining the major trends that are shaping the future of successful hiring practice. In our last post we looked at the importance of sales and marketing tools to recruiters. Here we focus on the popularised concept of ‘social recruitment’ and its impact on companies’ hiring strategy.

Social recruitment, occurring at the intersection of recruitment and the embryonic field of social media, appears under different guises. It has 2 central functions:

  1. Increasing a company’s reach by spreading jobs and relying on the social currency of others to disperse them further
  2. Actively searching for candidates via publicly available information on social networks

It fits within the changing framework of recruitment – successful employers are ‘pulling’ information, no longer simply ‘pushing’ jobs. Today’s candidate is keenly aware of how they should be treated, and companies are focusing more on interaction and valuable content. The sheer number of social networks and the time that candidates spend in these channels gives employers a golden opportunity to effectively spread content.

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What are the best ways to use social media?

There are 3,318,641 ‘Social Media Managers’ listed on LinkedIn, but it’s interesting to see the rising scepticism towards the position. Every department is now expected to be proficient online, and there’s less reliance on self-professed ‘gurus’. Recruiters, for example, are looking to leverage social data for candidate insights. The most successful sourcers approach this field with care though, currently there is over 2.7 zettabytes of social data on the web so a targeted approach is important.

Today’s candidates want recruiters to have a better understanding of job opportunities and how their skills match up – as Acas’ recent research paper shows, they’re less receptive to classic ‘spray and pray’ tactics. Passive candidates’ LinkedIn and Twitter profiles can help companies effectively engage at the pre-application stage. ‘Engagement’ is key here – blasting job tweets is ineffectual and irritating. The most effective employers gain candidate trust and interest by joining popular discussions and looking to provide value prior to engagement. This does impact the recruitment cycle a little, more time needs to be set aside to build relationships. The investment is often worth it though – 34% of companies have gathered candidate information from Facebook, and 14% have used Twitter to make a successful hire.

How to establish a connection:

Social media is all about establishing an employee-candidate connection and getting potential applicants to buy into a company’s culture, the specific platform matters less. Deloitte uses bloggers to write about what they love about the company, and share content that interests them. By producing great content and harnessing their social reach across different platforms, they were able to produce 234% more traffic from Social Media than other sources, with 63% of their visitors directly from the blog. Only 2% of actual hires came directly from social media, but the indirect benefits are clear.

Social platforms let companies quickly relate to candidates on a personal level, handle feedback and ensure that they’re happy with the application experience. Maintaining a positive recruitment brand is increasingly important in the modern era with companies like Glassdoor providing an inside look at the interview process – social media can send bad reputations viral. Social platforms can have a critical effect on the speed of employer-candidate interactions, with the average response to a ‘push’ notification on Twitter 3 minutes, compared to 3 days with email.

How important are mobiles?

Mobile devices and social media are inextricably linked. Almost 90% of job seekers are now looking to use their smart phones to search for jobs, and a mobile-optimized experience is proving even more important than in marketing – 2/3 of workers searching for jobs via mobile devices will walk away if careers sites are not mobile-optimized, and 40% walk away with a more negative opinion of the company. It’s not surprising that the mobile experience has become one of the most important topics in the recruitment sphere, and yet as few as 1 in 10 companies have made steps to enable a mobile experience for candidates. Convenience dictates that this trend will only increase, ours is very much a quick fix culture and, although it might sound melodramatic, companies who don’t take heed may have no candidates in 10 years time!

RELATED: Mobile Recruiting: It’s Here to Stay!

About Ben Slater

Ben Slater is the VP Growth at Beamery - Beautiful Recruiting Software Powered by Artificial Intelligence. If you're interested in learning more, feel free to check out a short video

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