Social Recruiting Tools: Threat to Staffing Firms’ Livelihood or Opportunity?

153999235When you mention the term “social recruiting,” does your team get fired up or run screaming for the hills?

It probably depends on their perspective. To some, social networks and media are a huge boon – providing unlimited opportunities to connect instantly  with virtually any type of job seeker. To others, however, social technologies are dangers – ones that threaten to eventually eliminate their jobs.

If most of your employees fall into the latter category, it’s time for them to stop running – and to wake up to the realities of today’s recruiting landscape.

Social Recruiting: The Numbers Don’t Lie

How are today’s employers recruiting socially? Take a look at these statistics from PrideStaff’s 2013 Hiring Survey, completed by individuals at 840 diverse companies throughout the U.S.:

  • 90 percent of hiring managers review a candidate’s credentials on social media but they aren’t necessarily using social media to recruit.
  • More than half the respondents haven’t used LinkedIn to recruit, 67 percent haven’t used Facebook, and a whopping 74 percent have yet to use Twitter.

These statistics make one fact clear: whether it’s due to a lack of time or knowledge, hiring managers are not leveraging the recruiting power of social technologies.

And that’s great news for your staffing firm.

Right now, there’s a huge gap between the power of available technology and employers’ ability to harness that power to transform recruiting. Your staffing company can bridge that gap – and become an indispensable partner in your clients’ hiring strategies.

So instead of viewing social tools as a threat, consider the unprecedented opportunities they afford your company to:

  • Present better talent, faster. Adding targeted social recruiting tools to your mix helps you develop a wider and deeper talent network. Over time, you’ll connect with more high-quality candidates (both passive and active) and be able to refer better people to your clients.
  • Differentiate itself. Developing an effective social recruiting strategy (that delivers measurable results) helps your company stand out from the crowd in a sea of firms that are essentially competing for the same talent.
  • Evolve and thrive. In the not-too-distant future, the companies that fail to fully leverage social will fall behind – and become extinct. Adopting these tools now helps ensure your future viability as recruiting continues to change.

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The simple fact is, social recruiting tools are here to stay – and employers need your help leveraging those tools. Use these ideas to take advantage of every opportunity social tools offer:

Start with a solid strategy. Posting random jobs on social networking and media sites is about as effective as trying to shoot a moving target while blindfolded. So before you start sharing, tweeting or posting, create a comprehensive plan of attack.  Make sure you know the answers to the following questions:

  • What do you want to achieve? More candidates? Higher quality referrals? Connecting with passive job seekers? How will you measure success?
  • How much time and resources can/should you devote to social? How will social complement your other recruiting methodologies?
  • Who are your target candidates and what social technologies do they use?
  • What’s working for your competitors or similar firms serving different markets?
  • How will you appeal to active job seekers versus passive candidates? What’s your message?
  • Who will be responsible for execution?
  • How will you stay on top of changes in social recruiting?

Once you’ve created a strategy, begin systematically experimenting (and yes, that requires measuring results) to find out what sites and tactics deliver the best results. Finally, update your company’s policies and processes to incorporate the social tools you select.

Broaden your thinking. Job postings are a fundamental component of social recruiting – but they’re not the only way to attract the best talent. Remember, the most effective social strategies take a comprehensive approach to:

  • Build candidate trust by offering information that’s valuable to them
  • Build your employment brand
  • Demonstrate why you’re a great company to work with or through
  • Start real conversations about the issues most important to your candidates

To stay one step ahead of the social recruiting curve, focus on creating a real talent community that serves members’ needs – and not just a self-serving, contact-list-gathering tool. In addition to posting jobs: invite, listen, respond and share. Have fun!

Properly train your staff. Even if you have a phenomenal strategy, you’re destined to fail unless your front line knows how to wield the tools you choose. Start by reviewing your strategy – the big-picture why’s and how’s of your social recruiting efforts. Define the systems and processes you’ll use, as well as who is responsible for each type of activity.

Then, assess employees’ current proficiency and comfort levels to gauge the need for training. Be sensitive to the fact that some employees may be intimidated by technology – and resistant to adopting it. Once you understand your employees’ baseline, schedule training workshops for:

  • Recruiters. Make sure everyone understands how to use the tools you choose, including your company’s social “rules of engagement.”
  • Account Managers. Train your sales staff to educate clients and prospects about the advantages your social recruiting methodologies deliver (such as shorter time-to-fill and better access to talent).
  • Front-line staff. Everyone who comes in contact with clients or candidates should understand your social recruiting strategy, so they can confidently answer questions and help resolve issues.

Commit to becoming a social recruiting expert. Social recruiting is not a fad – it’s the new normal in which our industry operates. Make this fundamental shift work for your business, by becoming a true social recruiting expert.

So jump in with both feet. Read. Attend webinars and seminars on the subject. Learn all that you can – and require your staff to do the same. Create a solid strategy and train your key employees to execute it. Bottom line, position yourself as a recruiting partner who leverages social technology to deliver better people, faster and more cost-effectively.

As a national staffing agency, PrideStaff has developed proven social recruiting methodologies that allow us to consistently outperform our competitors in the markets we serve. To learn more about the social recruiting resources, training and support we provide our offices – and how we can do the same for your staffing firm – contact PrideStaff today.

MORE: Leveraging social media to recruit top candidates

Tammi Heaton
Tammi Heaton is COO of PrideStaff. She can be reached at theaton (at) pridestaff (dot) com.

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2 comments
Jack Irving
Jack Irving

These are all reasonable as starting points. But you missed three key issues of; 1, the delivery of the content needs to be available on mobile. If you promote using a Facebook tab/app, as an example, that is not available mobile. The ability to leverage content and digital assets across multiple screens is paramount and goes beyond the impact to search, etc (Google Hummingbird issues, etc).  2; the data gathering of interests and attributes to go beyond behavioral "who clicked what when" analytics. And, lastly, integration into and with CRM, ATS and other enterprise platforms. Simply posting a link on social media is an incomplete execution strategy, no matter how much broad thinking, commitment to training and social media expertise. 


I would point you to our thought leadership section of our website (which is a not so subtle display of our capabilities and is actually an embedded campaign using our own platform) where several of the articles we've regularly contributed are available.  


http://dailywhirled.socialwhirled.com <-- this is available via digital, mobile, on our Facebook page and embedded in our website..all published simultaneously across all these environments with one click

theaton
theaton

@Jack Irving

Jack,Thanks for your feedback.  Mobile is extremely important when it comes to recruiting.  We have found that you need an extremely simple application process on jobs or else you will find a high abandonment rate on applications.  Looking at web analytics and comparing abandonment on mobile vs. desktop is key, not just on applications but throughout your entire recruiting site.  In doing so you can highlight areas in which your site and other online activities could be improved and offer a better user experience.
Thanks!Tammi

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