The impact that the proliferation of social media had on recruitment is rather similar to its impact on just about anything else, i.e. it was significant and it opened a lot of doors, while also making everyone a little bit more wary.
While this kind of information availability can benefit both recruiters and talent, it can also land either in hot water, just because of one misstep.
Here are four main reasons why it can safely be said that social platforms changed recruitment, and what you need to know to make the most out of those changes.
1. Recruiters can tell a more complete story of their brand
Depending on the industry you are in, as a recruiter you might be hard pressed to attract top talent. If you are in a market with low competition and plentiful workforce, you might be fine, but what do you when it’s not enough to offer a larger salary than your competitor and expect that to attract competent employees?
For a start, you should ensure that you know what it is that they need, and then do your best to align your message with their values.
This is not an indorsement of putting on false airs or deceiving your prospective employees. Instead, this just means that social networks can be an amazing source of insight into what you might be doing wrong as an employer.
The chatter about yours and other companies in the industry is deafening, if you know how to look for it. You can glean enough of it to realize its full potential just by Googling some of the well-known names in your industry along with the name of one of the more popular social networks. However, if you want to be sure you are not missing anything, you’ll soon move on from simple search to automated and comprehensive social mention monitoring.
Having a constant insight into how you and your competitors are perceived by the people you might be hoping to hire, points to mistakes in branding that you want to avoid, helps you find out what potential candidates need in order to be wowed, and can even improve the basics of how you run your business.
2. It is easier to reach passive job seekers
While keeping their ears to the ground, recruiters don’t only get to learn what potential employees dislike about their brand, they can also identify those who show overwhelming positive emotions.
This means that employers no longer have to wait to be approached by an interested candidate, instead, they have a perfect platform to reach out to that candidate and perhaps snatch them before they apply for a job with a competitor.
This kind of approach taps into a previously unexploited segment of job seekers, who for whatever reason, might never have decided to approach you even though they will jump at the opportunity once you actually present it.
3. It is easier to check for cultural fit and competence
Even if we assume that you are not exactly spoiled for choice when it comes to the number of job applications coming your way, that is not to say that you should just straight-out hire anyone whose resume reaches you.
Training and onboarding a new employee is not a cheap endeavor, especially not in industries where even fresh employees are in a position to make pricey mistakes. This means that you need to do as much vetting of the potential candidates as you can, and social media is a perfect platform for this.
It doesn’t matter if you start with their LinkedIn profile or their Facebook page, there is a lot to be learned by taking some time to get to really meet the person you are thinking of hiring.
This isn’t to say that you should try to obliterate any kind of already tennous privacy that social networks allow for; instead, use this transparency to investigate parts of their personality that you actually do have a right to be interested in.
From the most obvious examples like researching their education and interests, to trying to assess how well they would get along with the rest of your team and how motivated they would likely be in your organization, putting in the work at this stage can save recruiters from a lot of hassle down the line.
4. It is highly cost-effective
The previous section illustrates how you can save money by avoiding candidates who are simply not the right fit, but that is not the only way that social networks can help you stay in the green.
Namely, this kind of strategy can be implemented with a very low initial investment. A lot of the required processes (not all of them, mind you) can be almost fully automated, from gathering feedback, to creating content for your profiles.
Once you test the waters and decide that it might after all be worth it to devote some of your budget to this channel, you’ll already have most of the information you need to run a targeted paid promotional campaign. By now, you already know all about your prospective employees – what their interests are; which platforms they use for which purpose, and what is the best way to formulate your message if you want them to hear you.
This allows you to create a highly targeted campaign aimed only at those that meet your criteria in terms of competence, education, character, etc.
The other side of the coin
Like we mentioned at the beginning, the abundance of information created, or at least, allowed for by the social media, flows both ways.
It’s true, recruiters can take an active part in:
- Promoting themselves
- Making the first contact
- Learning about the talent
- Performing extensive research at low cost
However, all of this can also be said for the recruits. That’s why it doesn’t matter which side of the job seeking seeking equation you find yourself on, you would be well served to continue exploring how social media can make your life easier.