Opinion

The four ways social media has revolutionised the recruitment process

5 min read

28 May 2015

Social media is no longer a mere source of entertainment, and has evolved to disrupt the recruitment process by offering businesses a much more innovative way to fill vacancies.

Considering its prominence in our daily lives, it comes as no surprise that the use of social media platforms are continuing to rise. Some 52 per cent of adults are reported to be using multiple social networks in 2014 compared to 42 per cent in 2013.

And what once was seen as a tool for entertainment purposes is now recognised by businesses as an effective platform for communicating their brand proposition to a wider yet more targeted audience – whether that is current fans, future customers and, as of more recently, potential employees. 

As such, smarter organisations are using social channels to attract, engage and recruit candidates of all levels, taking businesses beyond traditional forms of recruitment. 

Here are the four ways the use of social media has revolutionised the recruitment process.

1. Building the employer brand

Given that the talent pool now has more access into insights of an organisation, having a strong employer brand is critical. Social media can be used to cement and promote the values of an organisation, building its reputation as an employer for both prospective candidates and employees alike.

Talent communities are effective platforms for sharing engaging content from current employees, showcasing the work and benefits of the business. Used effectively, it can provide real time insight into an organisation – while promoting a company’s culture to engage potential talent. 

2. Targeting the right candidate

The use of social media has transformed the way candidates can be sourced and attracted. Businesses now have the opportunity to pin-point their ideal candidates in a much more efficient and effective way. This is especially relevant when it comes to targeting passive candidates, who may well already be followers of the brand on networks such as Facebook or Twitter. 

Essentially an organisation’s consumer base can be its talent pool, which is why it’s crucial to ensure the business builds long-term relationships with its consumers – so that when the requirement surfaces for specific talent, there’s an opportunity to convert them into employees.

Likewise, it is crucial to ensure the recruitment process is a positive experience in order to protect a brand’s reputation and maintain a positive relationship with unsuccessful applicants. 

Read more on business use of social media:

3. Attracting entry level talent

When targeting younger generations, such as Generation Y or Z, who were born from the mid-80s to present day, graduate recruitment programmes need to become smarter to engage this audience. These groups have grown up in a much more digital world and are demanding more innovative methods when it comes to recruitment. 

Futurestep’s Innovation Imperative revealed that 49 per cent of candidates are more likely to consider a position if it is advertised in an innovative way and that it would make them feel more positively towards an organisation. From mobile-optimised career sites or facilitating video interviews on-the-go, businesses must concentrate on evolving their digital initiatives to engage a much more tech-savvy audience.

4. Quality over quantity

There are now a plethora of different social networks that can be used to target candidates above and beyond the ‘big four’ of Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter, but businesses must evaluate which networks will work best for their brand. 

No two companies are identical and therefore should approach social media in a way that best suits them and the candidates they’re looking to engage. In order to do this effectively, recruiters should set up metrics to monitor the success of all social channels. 

Building a dashboard of metrics will allow for spotting trends and nuances that begin to form over social channels, allowing for future honing of attraction strategies. 

When assessing the effectiveness of social media for recruiting talent, the benefits of reaching a wider yet more targeted audience are clear. Posting job vacancies and applications solely on job boards and recruitment websites isn’t enough – utilising social platforms is important to establish a more focused recruitment strategy.

Failure to do so will leave businesses at risk of being left behind and out of touch in an increasingly social digital world. 

Neil Griffiths, global practice leader, talent communications and employer branding practice at Futurestep.