Go ahead: try to find me a major (or even mid-level) company or organization that doesn’t have a social media presence or even employ social media strategists in-house as part of their marketing department. I’ll wait while you think…
But social media can be more than a means of communication, promotion, or marketing between a company and potential customers. Social media can (and is already deployed by companies across a variety of industries) be leveraged as a powerful recruitment tool for helping today’s human resources or talent managers find the quality candidates they need to help companies grow and succeed.
5 years ago hiring managers might have looked a tad askew at the idea of using social media as a major means of talent sourcing. Privacy, compliance, and quality of candidate concerns were certainly worthwhile considerations when it came to using Facebook or Instagram to engage with job seekers. But in today’s talent acquisition landscape where employers value authenticity, transparency, and innovative thinking from their employers, hiring managers can simply no longer ignore the power of social media as an important part of their overall recruitment strategy.
For those still a bit skeptical, let’s look at just a handful of reasons social media is a valuable recruitment tool for employers.
Depending on your industry, the traditional methods of finding candidates ranges in spend, everything from a few hundred dollars for a post on a job board or professional organization to $10,000 to $15,000 for a professional search firm. And as any hiring manager will tell you, often times it takes more than 1 post to a professional job board or organization, which means those costs quickly multiply. Using social media as a recruitment tool can dramatically reduce your recruitment costs as your company likely already has a following across the major social platforms, which means you have an established audience to amplify your call for candidates. In addition, paid social media campaigns allow you to establish detailed demographics and candidate criteria to ensure your job posting gets in front of the right people.
Another element of cost effectiveness comes down to the content you publish. If you’re willing to think outside the box and produce a specialized piece of content for a given position (a professional photo related to the position, a 150-word piece of copy as part of the post), you greatly increase the chance your content will be engaged with by your followers, and the greater the engagement, the more people who will ultimately see your job posting thus furthering your recruitment dollar.
Connecting with the passive job seeker
Ask any hiring manager and they’ll tell you the real hurdle in finding top talent is not zeroing in on the individual who is actively seeking a new position, but instead the passive job seeker who may not be explicitly looking to make a career move until they learn more about what your company has to offer, how they can fit into your culture and organization, and what your brand personality is like. Essentially, the uphill battle is consistently remaining front-of-mind for candidates so they immediately think of you when looking for their next opportunity, and populating their Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn feeds with recruitment-centric content is perhaps the easiest, most low-cost way to achieve this.
Plus, giving the passive job seeker continual opportunities to engage with your company on social also helps build your employer brand and tell your story to wider audience than you otherwise could.
Build your employer brand
As we mentioned in the opening, today’s job seeker wants a connection with their employer. They want to feel their employer is forward-thinking and crave a sense of authenticity and honesty in terms of a company’s ethos. Social media provides the perfect runway for companies to craft and expand on their employer brand in a way that allows for real-time communication and engagement with the job seeker. Photos, videos, testimonials, animation, and other content opportunities via social media can help hiring managers pull back the curtain and demonstrate what their company is all about and how job seekers can fit into a company’s culture.
Giving job seekers a behind-the-scenes look at who you are as an employer via their phone or mobile device is a no-brainer especially as the percentage of applications completed via a phone or devices continues to rise.
Reduce your time-to-hire
Here’s a common scenario in using social as a recruitment tool: A candidate views a social post promoting a position, is intrigued enough to a click a link to a job post, and then sends a resume in response to the job post in a matter of minutes. Then, you as the hiring manger get a notification and can then view their resume essentially in real-time, or even message the candidate directly with follow-up questions or availability for an interview. Social media has reduced a process that used to take days into the amount of time you usually take for lunch. Any tool that helps hiring mangers reduce their time-to-hire, increase the efficiency of the interview or vetting process, and help promote more effective, timely communication with the job candidate is a critical value proposition, especially in today’s marketplace where competition for quality candidates is at its peak.
Enhanced reporting and data
Whether you use a built-in reporting feature of a given social platform like Facebook’s Campaign Manager or you opt for a platform like HootSuite to manage your social presence, the ability for detailed reporting and data in terms of views, link clicks, shares, and other pieces of engagement will help you better determine ROI and tell a more accurate story of how you’re positioning your job openings for potential candidates. Recruitment budgets are inarguably linked to reporting and data, and using social media as a recruitment tool provides you with much more detailed analytics (as well as greater insights into who your candidates are, how they find you, and the aspects they’re seeking in an employer) than any of the more traditional methods of recruitment advertising like radio, television, or posts on job boards.
If at its core social media gives companies a voice to communicate and engage with a captive audience in real-time, then using this voice to shout loud and proud about your career opportunities and the elements of your company culture that make you unique should be priority number one for hiring managers looking to emerge as true thought-leaders in the talent acquisition game.