What is social media recruitment?
When organisations use social media platforms and other internet-based sites such as blogs to search for and engage potential employees, this is commonly termed social hiring or social media recruitment. In many larger HR teams, there are recruitment staff who specialise and are trained in social media recruiting.
In addition to searching for employees, social media sites are also extensively used to vet candidates who have applied for advertised vacancies. It is now standard practice for recruitment teams to search through sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to get a sense of their candidates before interviewing.
Similarly, candidates include links to their social media accounts on resumes to expand the information, personality insight, and achievement views available to recruiters.
The rise of social media recruiting is linked to increased social media use by organisations for branding and communication. Potential employees are just one of the many groups that organisations need to reach, and social media provides an ideal way to connect with both active and passive job seekers.
In recognition of the importance of this means of communicating for recruitment, many social media platforms offer specific recruitment services such as job boards, “easy apply” options linking directly to company websites, and unique communication links for candidates to connect to recruiters.
Recruiters also have tools to enable them to carry out tasks such as advertise roles, tailor options for different target groups, analyse uptake and applications, and vet profiles. One of the most prolific sites for offering this type of connectivity is LinkedIn. Members can indicate their work availability, search for and be delivered with appropriate job opportunities, apply for advertised vacancies and connect directly via in-platform messaging with recruiters.
Why use social media for recruitment?
Social media enables recruiters to reach a broader audience in terms of location and demographics and enables targeted campaigns focused on specific groups and requirements as necessary. At a time when the use of social media is all-pervasive, organisations have little choice other than to embrace this as one of their recruitment strategy components.
The key benefit of using social media platforms for recruitment lies in the technology that drives them. Critical features such as powerful search engines, filters and AI analysis capabilities are a natural partner to the recruitment process.
Social media facilitates connecting to individuals whose profiles indicate that they are a strong match for the vacant positions. Systems enable checks on all profile elements such as skills, past employment, and education and training credentials. Many offer a more in-depth insight into personality and standing in the professional community by making visible personal activity on the platform such as posts, likes for own and other’s contributions, group memberships, and personal endorsements.
Whereas traditional online job boards or advertisements engage active job seekers, social media platforms help recruiters to reach passive job seekers who come across the information whilst browsing or reading and are attracted to the value proposition being made.
Alongside these significant impacts on recruitment effectiveness, social media recruitment is also very cost-effective compared to more traditional methods. Cost benefits occur from the extended reach and the depth and richness of the engagement, as well as from the more obvious direct comparisons with traditional job fairs or generic advertising.
What are some of the most common challenges?
It is essential that recruiters treat social media as a core part of their recruitment strategy and not just as an add-on to more conventional recruiting methods. As well as requiring a particular skill set in the recruitment team, using social media brings some unique challenges to the process.
- ensuring that online social media recruitment aligns with the overall organisational branding. Aligning branding means aligning strategies between corporate communications, recruitment and even training teams.
- defining plans that maximise the benefits of extended reach with the potential overburdening of recruitment staff from increased volumes of applicants. Whilst targeted recruiting may mean a higher quality of candidate and better alignment with the advertised roles, extending reach without careful planning can also encourage applications from those who may be less qualified and who are submitting mass applications in the hope of getting any job.
- using employee and other professional networks effectively alongside the organisation’s more traditional recruitment.
Common mistakes to avoid
Some social media recruiting mistakes to avoid include:
- poor connections from the social media site to the organisation’s application process
- failing to take advantage of the social media profile information to auto-complete the application data needed. It is demotivating to have to re-enter numerous pieces of core information on the careers website when the same detail is already available on the social media profile
- lack of content consistency on the social media platform versus the organisation’s website
- being overly active or inactive with social media communication or being inconsistent pre- and post-application
- using too many social media platforms simultaneously so that efforts are diluted and managing the process becomes overwhelming and ineffective.
What are some of the metrics you can use to gauge success?
Just as with any other form of recruitment, it is critical to gauge the success of any campaign and to use the information gleaned to hone the process for the next time.
Some of the most common indicators to use include:
- amount of traffic connecting to the organisation’s career page
- number of people who engaged on social media and followed through to apply for the vacancy
- percentage of applicants meeting the specified qualifications
- number of applicants offered positions
- number accepting job offers
- evidence of engagement (likes, shares and comments) between the organisation and potential candidates.
Using social media for recruitment is now standard practice, and it is hard for any organisation to attract and retain the right level of talent if not embracing these platforms.
The secret to success is creating a strategy for using social media, aligning messages with the rest of the organisation, being selective about which platforms to use, and measuring success to use lessons learnt in future campaigns.
Read about the next step, Employee Onboarding.
Contact us at HRBluSky today to explore how we can support you in implementing your recruitment strategy.