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As competition for top talent increases, employers are looking for new ways to attract the best applicants. However, despite sharing this common goal, the recruitment strategies that businesses use often vary greatly, particularly when it comes to their in-house teams.

Businesses that choose to manage their recruitment in-house typically rely on either their HR department or a dedicated recruitment team – but the methods these two groups use can be very different.  For example, recent research conducted by Social Media Search, a Norman Broadbent plc company, found that whilst 80 percent of in-house recruitment professionals surveyed ‘always’ or ‘regularly’ use social media to directly approach potential candidates, only 55 percent of HR teams reported doing the same.

Departmental differences

For businesses that manage their recruitment in-house, the responsibility for sourcing candidates has traditionally fallen to the HR department. However, as the battle to secure the best talent picks up pace, many businesses are now investing in specialist in-house recruitment teams to spearhead this effort.

It’s not difficult to see why. Today’s HR professionals need to juggle a vast array of tasks, from payroll and reward schemes to training and staff reviews. As a result, it can often be difficult to invest time in researching and managing a strategic recruitment programme.  Not only that, but most HR departments tend to be quite well-established within the businesses, and therefore more likely to operate with tried-and-tested recruitment strategies, such as advertising or use of recruitment agencies.

By comparison, in-house recruitment teams normally have specialist training in online search and networking skills, as well as a deeper awareness of the technologies and tools available for this purpose. With more time dedicated to searching these platforms – such as Boolean, LinkedIn and Lippl – and understanding professional online circles, in-house recruitment professionals are able  to use social media channels to more accurately and confidently approach potential candidates directly.

Positive platforms

Whilst established recruitment methods are still useful, there are many reasons why in-house recruitment teams are embracing these new social platforms as well. For a start, popular social media platforms make it much easier for in-house recruiters to approach applicants who may be unaware of the vacancy otherwise. Moreover, these tools can also be used to proactively target individuals who haven’t yet considered moving from their current position.

The other advantage of this approach lies in its reach. The almost limitless borders of the internet mean that social media users are located all over the world, giving in-house recruitment teams unrivalled access to worldwide talent. As such, instead of collecting individual CVs via email, online platforms such as LinkedIn can be used to review many applicants’ professional experience and accomplishments at a glance, thereby speeding up the search process considerably.

Staying one step ahead

As the tools for finding and approaching potential candidates continue to evolve, new online platforms, technologies and apps will have a major influence on how applicants are sourced and selected. To remain competitive, it is therefore essential that HR and in-house recruitment teams are willing to re-evaluate their processes for pursuing talent.

Although specific tactics and tools are likely to differ between different companies and teams, it is vital to understand which recruitment procedures will need to change in order to mirror the behaviour of today’s workforce. With this approach, businesses will be able to identify and communicate with candidates via the platforms they find most engaging – and secure the very best talent for their organisation as a result.