Leveraging Social Media to Recruit Top Candidates

164495066 (1)A recent survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reveals that employers are increasingly using social networking platforms to recruit job candidates. In fact, 77 percent of respondents said they use social networking in their candidate searches.Additionally, the most recent Jobvite Social Recruitment Survey determined that over 90 percent of employers will use social recruiting in the coming year as well. The impact of social media is here to stay, with many recruiters and employers discovering that social networking platforms can be a recruitment tool not only for locating top candidates, but also for leveraging online employer branding.

Social media landscape
Social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and blogs are online tools that create real-time, relevant and targeted two-way communication between individuals & organizations.  Utilizing social media platforms as a communication vehicle is especially useful in uncovering passive candidates – employed professionals who are not actively looking, but are open to discussing potential opportunities. This is important because at any given time only 10-20 percent of the workforce is comprised of active candidates seeking new jobs, while 80 to 90 percent consists of passive candidates. Typically the best candidates are among those not actively job seeking. In fact, 80 percent of the 225 million LinkedIn members are passive candidates.

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As a recruitment tool, social media is becoming more important than ever in helping companies to prepare for the 2020 workplace. Social media provides the ability to attract younger, tech savvy candidates while also nurturing existing relationships by keeping employees engaged and creat­ing a great work culture.

Used effectively, social media can additionally craft employer brands online by providing an insider’s look at the corporate culture – who works there and what an average day is like – in an authentic way through such tools as blogs and videos. Your brand is no longer just the messages you put out in the marketplace. It’s a combination of what current employees and candidates who have interviewed with your company are saying about you. Those opinions come together with your corporate messaging to form a well-rounded, dynamic employer brand.

The following are four best practices forleveraging social recruit­ing in your organization:

  1. Establish a plan. Determine your organization’s overall goals and what your workforce plan looks like in relation to those goals. Figure out where the talent gaps are. What type of technology is attractive to the types of candidates you need? What level of commitment are you will­ingly to make? How will you keep your social media content fresh? When will you start? The answers to these questions will form the basis of your social recruiting plan. You will know what sites and tools you will use, how much time to spend on social networks, and how to keep your content up-to-date.
  2. Check your brand image. Search the Internet for your company name or open jobs and see who is promoting your jobs. This will give you a good idea about what is being said about your brand. Determine who are your advocates and detractors. Use this information to control how candi­dates perceive your brand. Continue to monitor your brand image as you build your social recruiting program.
  3. Intertwine social media pages. Once your company is present on social media, link your pages and sites together to save you time and to better market your company across multiple social media platforms. Keep your online presence consistent – same avatar, full company name and branding statement.
  4. Engage with potential candidates. Participate in your social networks by establishing a dialogue with prospec­tive candidates. Join groups and start a discussion. Be real. Mean what you say, and say what you mean. Humanize your profile with a custom URL and create a headline that positions yourself for the highest visibility for your specific candidate pool. The type of individual who uses social networking tools expects your company to be transparent and approachable. If you hide behind an anonymous profile, potential candi­dates may not trust your communications.

Social media compliance
When launching social media platforms within your organization, it is important to have a Social Media Policy. However, keep in mind this policy is more than rules; it is a strategy. Companies that are not evolving into this approach to social media have even more to lose, as overly restrict­ing social media use is counterproductive. Broad policies often lose the chance to help guide employees into respectful social network habits and even act as “brand ambassadors” for the company.

Future of social media
Social media is here to stay, playing a key role in recruitment and employer branding strategies at many companies. Despite the increasing use of social media in the hiring landscape, it is important to recognize that social networking is a communication and recruitment tool that can’t replace traditional recruitment practices or the match-making component of the hiring process. Internal and external recruiters still play a vital role in qualifying and connecting top candidates to potential employers.

MORE: Your candidates are on Facebook. Why aren’t you?

Brian Rhonemus

Brian Rhonemus
Brian Rhonemus is managing director of the retail banking team for Angott Search Group.

Brian Rhonemus

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