Social media has become an incredibly valuable part of HR recruiting efforts, both for relationship building and to identify and vet top talent. And truthfully? If you’re not building social media into your recruiting efforts at this point, you’re not really recruiting on par with today’s industry standard.
The HR industry is using social media to source and recruit top talent—and, social media is where the candidates are. In fact, two-thirds of hiring managers say they’ve found successful candidates through social media. Social media, already so effective at digitally bringing people together, facilitating the sharing of ideas, and spurring conversation, is proving to be an excellent resource when it comes to attracting great employees. It also lets recruiters have access to fairly comprehensive views of candidates, whether or not the applicant intends that to be the case, which provides another way to sidestep potentially unpleasant surprises (and hiring fails).
Social Media: Mainstream or Niche
As the largest social network targeted to professionals, LinkedIn is the go-to platform for recruiters and job seekers—but, if you think LinkedIn is all that’s out there for recruiters – you’d be wrong. Recruiting has gone multichannel. Forums like Quora and Twitter (especially HR or industry-related Twitter chats) bring experts to the surface while niche groups and sector-specific platforms are gaining relevance.
- Albert’s List is an incredibly active career networking group on Facebook that boasts more than 13,000 members in the Silicon Valley and beyond.
- AngelList is a platform that allows job seekers to apply privately to over 40,000 startups, and also pairs recruiters and companies with like-minded individuals.
- Doostang is a networking site for graduates of top-ranking undergrad and MBA programs.
Online networks are filled with communities like these, which allow recruiters to target top talent in their industry with laser-like focus.
Improve Candidate Quality
Whether you incorporate niche networks into your recruiting strategy or not, social media can have an impact on the quality of the people your organization recruits and hires.
How is HR leveraging social recruiting? According to Jobvite’s 2015 Recruiter Nation Survey, recruiters rely heavily on social media:
- Only 4% of recruiters DON’T use social media in the recruiting process.
- The 92% of recruiters that do use social media cast a wider net than ever using social networks from LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to Google Plus, Instagram, and even Snapchat.
Pew Research reports nearly three-quarters of online adults use social networks. Among Millennials—the largest generation in today’s workforce—that number jumps to 90 percent. Interaction drives these online communities. By cultivating an engaged and diverse community, you can connect with a broader range of candidates, which increases your access and exposure to the global talent pool.
Connect With the Right People
Building a stronger social presence gives you leverage to shape the way people perceive your brand. Candidates want to know your organization’s vision, value, culture, and reputation; a strong brand will articulate these and attract like-minded professionals.
People learn about brands through interesting posts, shared articles, conversations with friends and colleagues, and other types of interaction. All that activity does wonders to raise awareness of brands. In fact, a majority of Millennials described themselves as almost always online and connected while 88 percent of them get their news and information from Facebook, according to research published by the American Press Institute.
That curiosity extends both ways, of course. Just as people now have unprecedented access to potential employers—and their employees—through online networks, companies can build relationships with potential candidates to learn more about their skills, experience, and cultural fit before they even begin the hiring process.
Reach a Wider Audience
Work is no longer a place; it’s an activity—one that many skilled professionals can do from anywhere in the world. This independence has expanded the talent pool; businesses can (and do) work with people all over the world, finding the best fit for the job regardless of location.
Plus, a community of local and international connections makes it easier to locate that talent when you need it. More than two-thirds of recruiters said social media helped them find candidates they otherwise would have never found or contacted. What’s more, 59 percent of recruiters said candidates found through social media are of the highest quality. Networks don’t just help you find “hidden” candidates; they help you find the hidden gems.
Grow Your Brand and Engage Your Employees
Recruiting isn’t the only way HR can use social media, of course. It can also be used to engage employees and candidates, and build awareness of your online brand (or that of your company’s) and tell the brand story, which is becoming more and more important in today’s job market. According to CareerArc’s 2015 Employer Branding Study:
- 75 percent of job seekers consider an employer’s brand before even applying for a job.
- 62 percent of job seekers visit social media channels to evaluate employer brand.
- 91 percent of job seekers find poorly managed or designed online properties damaging to an employer brand
Social media has become the top way to stay ahead in the game. Simply put, if you’re trying to find promising new talent, you must be active in social media and work to build out your company’s social media presence. Many more candidates are using social media than aren’t and most of the top talents
Bottom line? Social media has become one of the most valuable tools building employer brands, building and maintaining relationships, promoting jobs, sourcing candidates, and vetting applicants. Recruiters understand its importance and investing their time and money to get (and stay) up to speed with all things social. They have to. The talent won’t wait for them to catch up.