Ways for Businesses & Individuals to boost recruitment success using social media

Published: 21 February 2014

In 2013 we were bombarded with advice on the importance and benefits of social media for sourcing talent. Work and social time are increasingly intertwined given the proliferation of connected mobile devices in our multi-screen world.

Last year saw an increase in the number of employers consciously integrating recruitment channels and looking for ways to use social media to connect with candidates. But, Job Board Doctor suggests that only 41% of employers had invested in mobile-optimised careers’ websites. The importance of mobile sites was highlighted by a Google study revealing that over half of smart phone users (61%) are likely to leave a site immediately if it doesn’t offer a user-friendly experience. More than three quarters (79%) say they’ll search for another mobile site to do the job.

Given the similarities between candidate job search behaviour and consumer buying behaviour, employers should pay attention to these findings.

Search firms like Berwick Partners automatically look at the profiles of potential candidates online as part of the research gathering stages of the process. Your profile, your picture on Linkedin, Facebook and others does tell a story – is it the story you want to tell?

Similarly candidates search for details about Organisations prior to applying for roles and what the web and online profiles say about your business will influence the decision to progress or look elsewhere. Research by Potential Park found that three quarters (77%) of college graduates expect to see a mobile company career site and 94% say employers should present themselves on at least one social or professional network. Top with 61% is a Facebook careers page, followed by a company page on LinkedIn (54%). If you disappoint candidates they will be vocal about their job search experiences – 92% say they discuss with others both in-person and on social platforms.

Connected devices such as smart phones and tablets account for more than 6% of all retail sales as Brits embrace shopping from the sofa, the train or under the duvet. If consumers are increasingly social media via mobile, then it stands that recruiters must consider social at the heart of their resourcing plans. We search for jobs like we shop for products and services so why are the processes so different? As yet social media seems to have infiltrated parts of our professional lives and large parts of our personal lives. We need to think about the balance between the two as they increasingly overlap.

Online branding through social media is key, given nearly half (47%) of millennials say an employer’s online reputation matters as much as the job it offers. Organisations need to be more mindful of their online brand and its effect on recruitment because there isn’t a job-seeking section of the population not using social to communicate, search, research or curate opinions.

So what can employers do, regardless of size and budget?

  1. Identify where social media can best support your recruitment needs depending on the type and volume of roles.
  2. There is no need to have a presence in every platform; the key is to think about where activity will create the most return on objectives.
  3. Actively monitor and listen to existing audiences to understand the conversations about recruitment and your brand.
  4. Take steps, even small ones, to build a presence and to manage and monitor it effectively.
  5. Find ways to encourage current employees, especially recent hires, high performers, thought leaders to share their experiences. People are talking about you anyway so use this to your business’s advantage.

Equally what can candidates do?

As companies evolve their recruitment strategies to incorporate social media, candidates will increasingly be evaluated and considered in light of their social footprint as well as their experience and skill.

A CV and performance at interview are no longer the main measure of suitability for a role. There is a growth industry in data collation from social sources to build a picture of potential talent – a technical world order where potential candidates are found and evaluated before they have even started to consider a move. Organisations that source talent like Berwick Partners use social media to seek out candidates, the information available is often not as robust or correct as it could be and often needs qualifying. As a potential candidate, even if not actively job searching you need to think about getting your personal social media brand in order!

Tamsin Terry-Lush is a Principal Consultant in the Retail Practice at Berwick Partners

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