Talent Acquisition

What is the Role of Social Media in the Workplace?

What are the most popular social networks for recruiting and job search? What is smart working and how do you embrace it?

Julia Jachmann, the Global Social Media Manager for the Adecco Group, spoke to us to answer all of these questions and more! Have a listen below, read the summary and be sure to subscribe to the Employer Branding Podcast.

What are Adecco Group’s objectives on social media?

Well, social media is a two-way communication channel and we do want to speak to the audience, and we want to speak with the audience that is interested in Adecco and the services that we offer. But we also want to talk about what we do. What’s life at Adecco? What makes us a company? What we can offer to the people out there.

The Work Trend Study focuses on social recruiting and smart working. We had 26 countries participating in the study, and we had more than 30,000 job seekers participating and more than 4,000 recruiters participating, which is larger than the study we conducted last year. So I’m really happy about those results and really thankful to all my colleagues making this such a huge success.

How are Facebook and LinkedIn used differently?

When we looked at the results of the study, we noticed that there still is a difference between Facebook and LinkedIn. But let me look back a little bit to last year. We asked a very similar question in the 2014 Social Recruiting Study, and we found that there was a very distinct difference between the usage of Facebook and LinkedIn where people said, “I only use Facebook for private reasons, and I don’t want to be contacted on Facebook,” and “Please leave me alone with your business stuff on Facebook.” And LinkedIn was purely for professional networking for example. When we look at the data this year, we’ve seen that this line is blurring so people go to Facebook to check out recruiters, to check out companies. They want to see what the reputation of a potential employer is, but they also get in touch with companies on Facebook. So we see that this line between professional and private usage is really diminishing, and that’s a very huge trend that we see in the data.

What social media networks do people use most in the workplace?

We wanted to know the different usage between traditional online channels such as corporate websites and job boards, versus the new player on the market, which is social media. We’ve seen that there is still a strong preference of job boards over corporate websites over social media. But we can also see there is a regional difference. So, for example, in Eastern European countries, they really prefer to use social networks, whereas, in North and South America, the job boards are a really big thing. And for Central Europe, it’s more the corporate websites that people go to first.

How do job seekers a recruiters manage their reputation on social media?

So for job seekers, they’ve known for a very long time now that recruiters check them out. They manage that very proactively now. For example, they put the links to their social profiles on their CV and they tell them, “Hey, here’s my Facebook profile. Go and check me out.” So this is something that’s happening more and more.

On the flipside is that they not only manage their own reputation correctively, but they also want to know about the reputation of who’s sitting at the other side of the table when they go to an interview. So they do check out recruiters. And that’s a very specific thing that came out of the data. And I think for the recruiters, they need to take care more about their own reputation because they’re not only checking out, but they’re being checked out so they need to be active on the social media channels. They need to be posting and tweeting, and they also need to take care about what they post there and the kind of content that they publish, because that not only reflects on themselves but on their employer and how they want to portray the employer brand, which is something that’s very attractive to the candidates on the other side.

Is there a correlation between the number of social networks and job search success?

That’s a very good question and yes, there is. We’ve seen that candidates that only use one social network, they have a 16% chance of being contacted by a recruiter over social media and if they use all five big networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, then that chance increases to more than 40%. So the more networks used, the higher the probability is that you’ll be contacted by a recruiter because not everybody is on all the networks so the more you’re out there, of course, the higher the probability. But it also demonstrates that you’re a social pro and that lets you shine in the eyes of the recruiter.

Do passive candidates get contacted as well on social?

Absolutely, they do. And it doesn’t really make a difference whether you’re actively or passively seeking, because if your profile is really interesting, then the recruiter will get in touch with you none the less. But you need to be active on social media. So even though you might have a Twitter profile, if the last tweet is from 2011, then you’re not making yourself attractive in the eyes of the recruiter. So you need to be active on social media for that to happen.

What is smart working and how is it being adopted in the workplace?

Within the data, not many of the participants were familiar with the terminology [smart working]. But we asked them if these are your options, would you find that as smart working and we gave them ideas such as flexibility in terms of deciding when you work, so the timing, the flexibility of work location, the flexibility of choosing your own device, for example, whether you have an iPhone or an Android or a Windows tablet, and then they could make the connection. But when you tell people, “What is smart working?” Not many knew what that meant. It’s deciding when you want to work, where you want to work, and with which device you want to work on. And coming to the result of how we want to implement that, we can see that many of the job seekers actually are interested in using these kind of smart working solutions, but the recruiters are a bit more tentative in terms of implementing them. But the recruiters agree that the advantages are there just the same as the candidates do.

We also looked at different age groups and how they are open to smart working solutions. Younger people would be interested in working, for example, from a co-working space, but they have high concerns about doing so because maybe they don’t trust their own abilities so much yet. They don’t have much work experience, so they want to work more in a very closed environment in a specific work location in an office. The same goes for elderly workers, but they have different reasons, which are more associated to social aspects of the life in the office. Whereas we can see that people between 25 and 45, they have sometimes childcare responsibilities or parent care responsibilities and this makes them want the smart working solutions more than maybe someone from a younger or older age group.

Are recruiters skeptical of candidates who want a flexible workplace?

For one part, I think the recruiters know that the people that they’re talking to are very mature people and because also the way we work nowadays, we don’t judge ourselves by the amount of time we spend in the office, but we are being judged by reaching the objectives. That’s something that plays a very big role in today’s work environment and this is also something that we’ve seen in the data that having a higher accountability gives you more flexibility in terms of where you’re working and choosing your own work location. Because, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether you need two or five hours of finishing your project because, in the end, it only matters that you perform very well on closing that project. That’s something that recruiters are aware of.

Connect with Julia on Twitter @LeseratteJ and subscribe to the Employer Branding Podcast.


By Jörgen Sundberg

Founder of Undercover Recruiter & CEO of Link Humans, home of The Employer Brand Index.