Ruth Ferguson: LinkedIn is not the only social media tool for recruiters

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Social recruiting refers to the process of acquiring candidates and reaching out to talent through social networks and social media. Social platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are still expanding and provide their users with a way to create individual profiles whilst also acting as a personal PR machine.  Social platforms also support informal interaction between a company and potential candidates. Indeed 80% of social media users prefer to connect with brands and companies through their social networks.

Consequently over the last few years it has become an industry ‘necessity’ for employers to keep up with the latest technologies and trends. Those that have been slow to adapt their recruitment system to encompass the social media surge are in danger of losing the best candidates to their more forward thinking rivals.

LinkedIn has become, for many recruiters, not just a social recruiting platform, but rather a process integral to their daily recruiting. LinkedIn has emerged as the most widely used online resume or profile system as well as being hugely effective for active talent search. It has become the perfect place to create a bank of talent, which is as wide as is it diverse. It also means that any candidate asked to attend an interview can be invited to join a company’s LinkedIn group or follow its corporate page.

LinkedIn provides applicants with the opportunity to paint a picture of the kind of candidate they are before the employer has had a chance make their own mind up. It is also growing at unprecedented rates, with one new user joining every second, making it one of the leading cogs in the recruitment machine.

In comparison to this, Facebook is undoubtedly the most widely distributed and connected social network with over 1 billion registered users. With over 50% of all smart phones connecting to Facebook every hour every day it is an important resource and one that recruiters must utilise fully in order to optimise their search for talent. The personal data on offer allows job adverts to be tailored specifically for the most applicable audience.

Facebook also provides organisations with the platform to reach a high volume of people very quickly, creating a wider level of diversity whilst also being able to contact passive candidates – those who are not actively looking but are open to discussing potential opportunities. The Facebook ‘Like’ function helps spread information across interest-related parties creating maximum visibility among top potential candidates.

WCN realised the unrivalled power of recruiting via social platforms and formed a strategic partnership with Work4Labs to incorporate the innovative Facebook recruiting application ‘Work 4 Us’ into its e-Recruitment solutions. This allows companies to launch targeted Facebook ad campaigns, generate referrals and encourage leverage among employees’ friends, thereby harnessing the powerful social network seamlessly into the recruitment process.

Twitter is all about engaging in conversation and using the correct hash-tags, tone and techniques for the brand and target audience. It is very important that jobs are not merely repeatedly tweeted; companies need to make sure they engage in twitter chats, building a community of talent, and communicate the personality of the employer brand. Providing potential candidates a glimpse into the company culture, keeps them interested, and might pique the interest of passive candidates. This in the long run will help the organisation identify those who would be a good fit for the company and its roles.

Twitter can be just as an effective recruitment tool as LinkedIn, but has to be used in the appropriate way.  Recruiters that claim that Twitter ‘doesn’t work’ for them, either do not have enough followers or they do not have enough candidates from their target talent pool following them. When you have no followers and tweet a job opportunity, it is like going into a field and shouting about your hiring needs – there is no one to hear it!

There are about 1 billion registered Twitter accounts, with nearly 250 million active users generating more than 500 million tweets per day. With 54% of all job seekers using Twitter, it is clear to see the talent pool organisations have at their finger tips. If Twitter is used correctly it is just as powerful as Facebook or LinkedIn, but there are some subtle differences.

When using Twitter it is important for employers to keep in mind that the targeted talent pool is not using Twitter as they would LinkedIn or Facebook. While someone might describe themselves as a ‘marketing manager for a fashion retailer’ on their LinkedIn profile, on Twitter they might say they’re  a ‘fashion brand addict’ or that they ‘love talking fashion’ in their bio.

The YouTube, Vimeo and Vine generation is also very comfortable dealing with video. As a result companies are increasingly moving towards video interviews as part of their recruitment process, with a set of online automated questions to test the candidate’s verbal skills, character and time keeping. This helps narrow down the candidates invited for further screening or face to face interviews. The video helps to determine if a candidate has an understanding of the company, the role, and relevant experience.

Companies have found the addition of video interviewing to be convenient and flexible for candidates, as well as giving assessors a chance to review candidates’ interviews as and when they want, replay recordings, giving candidates the best opportunity to be heard.  It also reduces the number of assessment centers needed during the interview process.

Google Hangouts are also generating a lot of buzz. After launching in 2013, companies are starting to realise their full potential, helping them connect with their fans and followers. The key is to use the virtual events on Google hangout to attract budding talent. For instance, some top companies are creating an interaction with candidates by organising events with CEOs.

The benefits of Google Hangouts are that it presents time challenged recruiters with the platform for getting in touch with talent, and having the face-to-face conversations without having to spend time away from the desk.  Google Hangouts features include adding people to a group, setting up a branded Google recruitment page, and sending email invites out to prospective candidates to participate in special Hangout sessions. Recruiters can review the Google + profiles of talent ahead of time, weeding out those who do not fit their requirements.

Social media can make recruitment easier and depending on the organisation, can have a major impact on candidate results. Indeed many companies encourage employees to serve as unofficial talent scouts by sharing the latest job offers through their own social networks. This yields good results; one in seven referrals via social media can generate a potential candidate, compared to one in 100 general applicants. Organisations rely on social platforms more than ever to facilitate in their recruitment needs and it highlights that LinkedIn is not the only social media tool at their disposal.

Ruth Ferguson, Marketing Manager at WCN

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  1. Thanks for sharing such an interesting article!

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