Filling job vacancies is a continuous and consistent activity for the recruitment team. Organizations seek talent for newly created job roles or vacancies created due to internal job transfers, promotions, and employee turnover. 

Hiring has evolved at so many levels – hiring changed into recruitment and then to talent acquisition; candidates submitting hand-written resumes to video resumes and reaching out to potential candidates has moved from word-of-mouth publicity to technology.   

Technology has made recruitment an efficient, time-saving, and objective process. Technology is used in various stages of hiring. Let us explore the use of technology in sourcing talent. 

Apart from job posts and adverts on the internet, social media recruiting is the new entrant to the list of sourcing methods.

What is social media recruiting?

According to Wikipedia, Social media recruiting (social hiring or social recruiting) is recruiting candidates using social media platforms as talent databases or for advertising. Companies use social media to post job openings and advertise their company brand (and value proposition) and potential research candidates.

Social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and blogs are used to identify talent, understand their potential, and consistently engage with them. Recently, 92% of recruiters have been known to use social media to find high-quality candidates.

Traditional recruiting versus social media recruiting 

There are some noticeable differences between traditional recruitment methods and social media recruitment. Not quite comparable, both these methods can complement each other very well.

Traditional recruitment

Pros

  • It is more apt to source candidates who are not tech-savvy or do not have an online presence. It is also simpler and faster for recruiters who are not tech-savvy.
  • Using referral networks for sourcing candidates (also passive candidates) is more effective in traditional recruiting.
  • Finding talent internally reduced time-to-hire and onboarding time and costs.
  • Traditional recruiting enables a more personal connection with the candidate.
  • Depending on the hiring volume and process, it may need less financial investment.

Cons

  • It takes more time and cost to create visibility for your brand and the job openings through newspaper advertisements and word-of-mouth publicity.
  • It also is inconvenient for bulk hiring and candidate outreach.  
  • It may increase unconscious bias in hiring.

Social media recruitment

Pros

  • It makes marketing more accessible and more cost-effective, increasing visibility. 
  • It makes it easier to connect to Millennials and Gen Z. A study has shown that 73% of millennials have used social media to look for job openings.
  • It allows for sourcing candidates across locations and demographics, enabling diversity in hiring.
  • It helps to know the potential candidate beyond their resume.

Cons

  • It needs recruiters to be comfortable with technology and social media platforms.
  • It may be difficult to find candidates who match the skill set for a specific role. It is also tricky to understand a candidate’s cultural fit through their social media presence.
  • The information available on social media may offer contradictory views about the candidate, reducing the objectivity of the process.
  • Recruiters can access only freely available information.

What are the benefits of social recruiting?

#1 Increase your brand awareness

Social media is a cost-effective way of ‘putting your brand out there.’ You can easily showcase your company culture and value proposition to a potential talent pool. It also increases the visibility of job openings, helping the tech-savvy generations to reach out to you quickly. Many organizations passively engage with interested candidates on social media by posting about their achievements, company culture (through event snapshots), and testimonials (from customers and employees).

Even more tech-savvy companies create videos showcasing their vision, value proposition, and future goals. 

#2 Target your perfect candidates

You can reach out to candidates, depending on the role that you are looking to hire for. For example, if you are searching for technical expertise, you can find these candidates on forums like Quora, StackOverflow, or GitHub. If hiring for roles with an aesthetic bend (designers or influencers), you may want to look at Facebook or Instagram.

Finding candidates for niche roles is possible through comments and insights on LinkedIn or Twitter discussions. It is also easy for you to gauge the communication and articulation of a potential candidate through their interaction on social media.

#3 Reach out to passive candidates

Many candidates may not be actively looking for a job change. However, they may be interested in a specific technology or project your company is working on. Social media lets you post about your company, technology, and prospects to increase visibility to passive candidates. 

#4 Get social referrals

Social referrals are the referrals that you get from social media. When a prospective candidate arrives on your site or page after clicking a link or referral link posted on a social network, that is called a social referral. 

While your posts are meant to connect with your talent pool, the objective is to make candidates visit your website and offerings.

#5 Establish a personal connection with potential candidates

Social media helps keep your candidates interested in your brand and job offerings. Candidates can also clarify their questions or doubts about the job role through comments or direct messages on your posts. By responding to them, you can build a professional relationship before getting an application.

The five most common platforms for social recruiting

#1 LinkedIn

It is the world’s largest professional network on the internet. It is used to connect and network with other professionals, find the right job or internship, share knowledge, and learn skills. 

It is a platform for 875 million global professionals in more than 200 countries with more than 15 million active job postings. It is used by job seekers, freelancers, employers, and small business owners. 70% of people are hired through LinkedIn at companies where they have connections. 

You can connect with prospective candidates by sending them a request.

You can know their experience, skills, and education if their LinkedIn profile is complete. You could also have conversations with candidates.

You can see their personality, interests, and strengths through endorsements, testimonials, and discussion comments. You can ask for referrals and connect with more candidates.  

Read – How to post a job on LinkedIn for free.

#2 Facebook

It is a networking platform for almost everyone. Used by over 2.91 billion people worldwide, it helps people in connecting. Facebook has launched a feature for posting jobs. 

You can create videos and posts to increase the visibility of your brand as well as your employee value proposition. You must post the job description on Facebook Jobs and other relevant details such as location, salary, etc. 

Interested candidates can apply for jobs and also have conversations with employers. 

When prospective candidates like, share, or comment on your job post, it increases your brand visibility and that of the job post. Your existing employees can also answer questions and share their experiences on Facebook, creating greater engagement with your talent pool.

You could also join or create groups relevant to the open job positions and encourage relevant discussions. Facebook may also help you get some insight into the candidate’s life outside of work (i.e., if their profile is accessible). 

#3 Instagram

It was launched as a social networking platform for photo and video sharing. With over one billion global users, The platform became extremely popular among millennials and Generation Z. These young generations are easily accessible through platforms like Instagram. 

Instagram is very effective in brand building. Like Facebook, an organization can post videos, and updates, host live events and Q&A sessions, and invite participation in common causes. Engaging visual content will help you attract candidates to visit and follow your company page. 

You could connect with other users to view their profiles, follow other users’ feeds, and tag people and places with hashtags for easy search and discovery. Geotags help you identify candidates in locations where your company has job openings. With specific and relevant tags, you can filter potential candidates from a large number of profiles available on Instagram. 

Stories and trends can also be created on specific days to engage with your talent pool consistently. 

#4 Twitter

It is a social networking platform with over 330 million global users offering microblogs. Microblogging means posting your views in a limited number of words. Thus, Twitter is known to be a platform for concisely sharing news and event information. It is used by larger companies and entities to engage with people worldwide.

Twitter is the hashtag’s creator, and most people or conversations can be accessed if you search for relevant hashtags. You can join discussions and attract like-minded candidates.

You can consistently engage with candidates by following, liking, commenting, and retweeting conversations. Twitter also offers broadcasting, live-tweeting, and live-streaming.

The accounts, topics, and conversations your potential candidate pool follows can give you an understanding of what aspects they may be interested in or good at. An essential element of candidates that comes to the forefront is their communication skills (articulation and brevity).

#5 YouTube

Possibly the most accessed platform by all age groups and locations, this video posting platform has engaged with over 72% of internet users. YouTube may not be as interactive as other platforms but offers good visibility and brand recall. 

You can showcase your brand and other information about your organization that will attract prospective candidates to your website or career page. YouTube can also give you access to how many users have viewed your content and their comments.

5 Social Media Recruiting Strategies

#1 Building your brand

All the social media platforms allow you to post news, photos, and videos about your company’s brand to create an online reputation. You could also invite present employees and prospective candidates to share posts, comment, and participate in discussions. Sharing, reposting, and using relevant hashtags will help you build visibility in social media. Recruiting on social media is not restricted to LinkedIn.

You can engage and scrutinize a candidate’s profile and their fit with your job position.

Read – What is Employer Branding and how to create one

#2 Posting high-quality content 

Advertising on social media is not about the frequency of posting or commenting but about the quality of your posts. Use analytics on these platforms to get insights about which campaign, event, or topic has maximum engagement. 

#3 Harnessing the hashtag

Hashtags are the simplest and fastest way to access candidates based on your hiring criteria for a specific job role.

You can filter candidates by location, skills, experience, certifications, and many more criteria through hashtags.

#4 Live Streaming an event

Videos or live interactions are more effective in engaging with your audience. Some global brands use live streaming to launch new products or broadcast important information about organizational changes.

Hosting live Q&A sessions for viewers about your company or a topic your talent pool may be interested in is a superb way to attract candidates.

#5 Initiating a group discussion

LinkedIn and Facebook have the feature of creating groups and communities that are industry-specific or skill-specific. These forums allow everyone to ask questions or share opinions to start discussions and give you access to a pool of potential (maybe passive) candidates. You could consider building a community or alumni to encourage high-quality discussions.

Read this article to learn more about social media marketing strategies.

Wrap Up

Social media is a supplement and not a replacement for traditional recruitment methods. What will help you use social recruiting effectively is the clarity about several hiring criteria like age group, location, skill sets, etc. Without clarity on using social media in recruiting, you are more likely to get swamped with much information that may not help make hiring decisions.

As times keep changing, try to adapt to the changing trends in recruitment to get access to a talent pool in a cost-effective, easy, and possibly fun way too!

FAQs on Social Media Recruitment 

Does social media recruiting have a bias?

Social media recruitment may also be prone to unconscious bias. Since recruiters have access to a lot of information about a potential candidate, apart from work, there may be bias around the candidate’s gender and ethnicity, religious and political opinions, and even the nature of the candidate’s posts. 
To avoid bias, recruiters must clearly define what criteria need to be checked on social media and how much relevance needs to be given to this information. 

Is social media recruiting easy?

Social recruiting is easy even for non-tech-savvy recruiters since the process is to be followed by standards and defined. Although it may seem uncomfortable initially, it becomes easier to access candidates if you understand the process and diligently follow it.

All social media platforms are designed to be highly user-friendly and have a ‘help’ feature to guide you through situations you may get stuck in.

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