The modern world has grown accustomed to using social media to share every aspect of life, from personal to career. It has also provided a way to collect more information about individuals, which makes it easier for recruiters to find and evaluate potential job candidates. Social media is also useful for creating a strong corporate brand to attract talent.
Even with all of its benefits, should social media continue to have a place in recruitment? Could it be hurting recruitment efforts or worse yet, the corporate brand?
The role of social media in recruitment
In many organizations, social media is an important component in a comprehensive recruitment strategy. According to a CareerArc survey, 91 percent of employers are already using at least one social media platform to source and hire talent, and 91 percent say that social media will continue to be a significant source of candidates in the next five years. If they aren’t using social media regularly, 89 percent of employers plan to start using this resource now, based on a study conducted by Betterteam.
Social media is used in a variety of ways in recruitment. Most of the time, recruiters post jobs and conduct research on social networks to find suitable candidates. They also build relationships with passive talent for future job openings. Recruiters can also create talent groups for networking and building brand awareness.
Should employers be embracing social media or avoiding it when sourcing candidates?
There are a few ways to look at this. First, social media is a direct and effective way to source candidates. Recruiters can post jobs and then pre-screen candidates based on the information they share on social profiles. Second, recruiters can build a strong corporate brand on social networks by creating candidate-friendly career pages and groups. This adds to the growing transparency that candidates prefer when evaluating potential employers. LinkedIn, the professional social network, is the top social media resource for these activities.
On the flip side, the more recruiters know about candidates in advance, the easier it is to let human bias influence hiring decisions. A Harris Poll/Careerbuilder survey revealed that 54 percent of recruiters have decided not to hire a candidate based on something on their social media profile. If the candidate doesn't have a social media profile, it gets even weirder because recruiters may not even consider someone who, “may have something to hide.”
Recruiters are warned never to make any decisions based on social network findings alone. Treating individuals differently during the hiring process could give the organization a bad name -- damaging the brand. So too, while it’s fine to engage with candidates online, it is better to take any job related conversations offline to protect privacy and policies.
What potential benefits are people missing out on by not leveraging social media?
Some could say that it is too late for employers to avoid social media networks. All companies are competing for talent, therefore recruiters must go to where candidates are most likely spending their time. Recruiters have many tools they can utilize alongside of standard HRIS and HCM, which integrate easily with social networks. This makes it easier to build talent pipelines with quality people.
From a candidate standpoint, social media networks are ranked as the most useful job search resource as compared to advertisements, employee leads, job boards, recruitment agencies, and recruiting events combined. One word of caution, however, the candidate experience is very important. Treating candidates fairly and with courtesy is critical to making the most of social media.
They played, and won, the social recruiting game
Looking for some ideas on how to leverage social media in recruitment? Read about the following companies who successfully landed great candidates using creative social recruitment strategies.
In order to highlight the great employer brand it has, Google established the Twitter handle @lifeatgoogle to showcase it’s unique culture and employees. By pairing videos and job opening tweets with the stories of employees, Google successfully ramped up it’s brand and recruitment efforts.
Zappos, a subsidiary of Amazon.com that sells apparel and footwear, invests a great deal of time in both its employees as well as its social media recruitment. They have several channels featured on their website, featuring employees and the good things they are doing around the world as a socially conscious business.
Home Depot, the popular home DIYer company, has fully integrated social media in with recruitment and corporate culture. They share success stories of employees, alongside corporate events, contests, and community activities. All of this is focused on their people.
These are just a few examples of companies that have embraced social media as part of their recruitment strategy from sourcing to developing their employer brand. Results can vary, but it’s wise to at least have one social media account for promoting the company, career opportunities, and success stories.