With the advent of social media, companies have more information than ever on job candidates, and the process of evaluating those candidates can be lengthy. In the past, companies tried to determine candidate fit through their résumés. Today, employers perform web searches on candidates, learn more about them from social media, and examine their work samples. These processes introduce noise and are potentially risky – the Protected Class issue I’d mentioned before – often leading to inconsistent results as well. Also, it is a challenge to derive useful information, such as passion around a particular technology or relevant professional connections. To ensure no ethical or legal boundaries are crossed, our proprietary technology removes the noise, such as Protected Class data, ensuring both the privacy of the job seeker is protected while helping the employer get a better perspective on the best candidates for the position. Companies are increasingly using social recruiting to source candidates for employment, as well as to investigate applicants they are considering hiring. It’s important to be aware of how companies are using social media to recruit, so you can use employers’ recruiting tactics to your advantage and position yourself to be discovered by companies seeking candidates. A new survey released by Jobvite, a company that provides applicant tracking software, shows that 92% of employers are using or planning to use social networks for recruiting this year. This is up slightly from last year at 89%. The study retrieved insights from over 1,000 companies, mostly based in the U.S., in a wide variety of industries.
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Social networks are viewed by corporations as a means to recruit both passive and active candidates in a personal yet professional way. Companies such as Ernst & Young are building employer brands on social networks to position themselves as the best place to work and to interact with potential candidates. Aside from passively marketing their companies, recruiters are messaging prospects directly, getting introduced through connections and posting jobs in groups. They are using these networks to fish where the fish are.
Here are some more details regarding how recruiters are using the top three social networks, and how you can best shape your profiles and posts to increase your chances of getting hired.
1. LinkedIn. Nearly all (93%) of recruiters are using LinkedIn to discover talent. This is up from 87% in 2011 and 78% in 2010. Furthermore, 89% of recruiters have hired through LinkedIn. LinkedIn was made for recruiting, and the site has an entire suite of recruiting solutions. LinkedIn Recruiter allows recruiters to reach passive candidates by expanding the reach of their personal networks, contact candidates directly and manage a pipeline of talent. The smart advice is to fully utilize LinkedIn in your job search. It’s essential to have to have a flawless (and completely filled-out) profile so that recruiters take you seriously. You should also optimize your profile by adding specialty keywords into your headline (for example “eCommerce and Social Media Expert”), summary, and throughout the rest of your profile so that when recruiters search for candidates with certain skills, you come up. I also recommend that you join industry groups to connect with recruiters that are looking for industry-specific candidates.
2. Facebook. Out of the three networks, Facebook saw the biggest gain in overall usage by recruiters to find job candidates, moving from 55% in 2011 and 2010, to 66% today. One in every four recruiters has successfully found a candidate on Facebook. Companies are using Facebook to discover talent and aren’t hiring directly from the site. But they are creating Facebook pages and promoting them, as well as jobs, through the Facebook Ads platform. Recruiters are using Facebook groups, advertising and their corporate Facebook careers page in order to source candidates. For instance, Marriott’s Jobs and Careers page has an application that lets you run your own Marriott Hotel kitchen, which increases their page engagement and attracts more people to “like” the company. As a job seeker, you have to make sure you’ve turned on your privacy settings, are careful what you post regardless, and you’re tapping into your “friend” network to get referrals. You can also use the BranchOut or BeKnown applications to map job openings to your network. If nothing else, you should “like” a company so you can follow updates and comment.
3. Twitter. More than half of recruiters (54%) now use Twitter as part of their talent search. This is up from 47% in 2011 and 45% in 2010. Only 15% of recruiters surveyed have actually hired a candidate through Twitter. Companies are using Twitter to post job entries through their own accounts (i.e. CitiJobs). They are also using third party companies, such as Tweet My Jobs and Twit Job Search, to promote their listings. Job seekers should follow companies they want to work for on Twitter and watch out for job listings, while also interacting via Twitter with employees who work there. Again, it’s important to have a strong profile and several Tweets under your belt before you start truly utilizing Twitter to help you pursue work.
If I’m a recruiter, Social media can be a great source for discovering passive candidates – those who are employed but ‘open’ to changing jobs for the right opportunity – who represent nearly half of all currently employed talent. Because the desired opportunities rarely exist on job boards, and job seekers are participating in communities all over the web (sites like GitHub for engineering talent, for example), social media can become a fascinating place for employers to find talent that they may not be able to find otherwise. At Reppify, we simplify this process even further by first identifying this talent and then connecting with this talent to suggest those candidates who best match against specific job criteria.
If I’m a job seeker, Leveraging your network wherever possible is key. The average user on a network such as LinkedIn, for example, has around 200 connections. With hiring on the rise again, job seekers will need to use their connections to help get ahead of the competition and get through to those jobs where they are most qualified. Soon, this will also begin working in reverse – as employers adopt new technology and tools, those right jobs will begin to find you.
ADVANTAGES OF UTILIZING SOCIAL MEDIA IN TERMS OF RECRUITMENT:
It is more efficient. Organizations can use social media to tap potential recruits much more easily by advertising vacancies and searching for recruits on LinkedIn, for example. However, LinkedIn and other social media applications can actually be used for much more than simply a job post site. Indeed, social recruiting can be used to increase effectiveness and forge new and deeper relationships between employees and employers. Rather than simply recruiting the person with the best-looking CV, social media can ensure that that person is also the best fit for the company.
Technology is essentially being used to provide better quality links to potential employees, developing and maintaining a relationship over a number of years, which can be tapped in to at later date. There are a number of ways in which this can be done, for example, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social networks offer the chance to form a community based on a topic determined by the organization. However, while an organization like Goldman Sachs globally invests over 100,000 hours each year in conversations with prospective employees, it is not always practical for organizations to put this much effort into their recruitment. That said, social media does make it simple for any organization to proactively develop some kind of relationship with potential employees to the best if its ability.
Social media applications are also being used to rate and compare employees, determine cultural fit and extend internal initiatives, like the referral scheme, to an external audience and using social media to compliment their hiring process: 75 percent are using LinkedIn for background checks and 48 percent are using Facebook for background checks. In fact, more than two-thirds of all HR professionals now run internet searches on job applicants. According to Microsoft, one in four HR employees has rejected a candidate’s application based on their social networking profile, while only 37 percent of people see it as their responsibility to protect their online reputation.
Top 10 tips for social media recruitment:
Rip up the old organizational chart: The corporate social media function crosses disciplines. The customer service, public relations, marketing and sales teams, they all have a stake in how the social media function impacts daily operations.
Don’t give the job to the junior staffer: British furniture retailer Habitat learned a hard lesson in 2009: don’t entrust the brand’s Twitter feed to an impudent intern. Since the infamous hash tag incident, in which Habitat tried to spam the Twitter verse by using trending hash tags from the Tehran protests, companies have started putting a dedicated, always-staffed
Don’t outsource: This is a job that’s far too vital to be placed in the hands of an outside agency. The insights that come with speaking directly to customers is crucial feedback that can better inform a company’s sales, PR and marketing functions, plus product development and innovation.
Give the social media team the power to report to the board: The social media outreach team has a finger on the pulse of customers, prospective customers and critics. This is vital detail that needs to be communicated as far up the management chain as possible.
Be prepared: A lone gripe posted to Facebook, Twitter or on a blog can quickly become a PR nightmare. Have a response strategy drafted up and be ready to use it.
Find your voice: Veteran journalists speak of the need to develop a resonant voice, one that puts the reader at ease, entertains and informs. It’s no different with your social media communications strategy.
Be courteous, professional and respectful: This is a medium that gives some companies fits because they do not know how to respond to customers venting their frustration. Take the high road.
Treat each gripe as an opportunity to learn: In the old days you had to organize focus groups, promising them tea and biscuits, to learn what the public thought of you and your products and how you conduct business. Now, that detail is available without strings.
Monitor, monitor, monitor: What is the public saying about you? About your competitors? You need to listen intently before you can begin to engage, and ultimately, transform your brand into a more transparent and socially adept organization.
Reasons Social Recruiting Beats Traditional Recruiting
Recruiting top talent has always been a challenge. But with new social recruiting tactics, many companies are turning to online communities and platforms to source candidates quicker and easier.
1. Making Human Resources Human Again, Digitally:
Social recruiting has a major advantage over traditional recruiting: it’s more human. Compared to the “post a job; wait for hundreds of resumes; let ATS filter through keywords; never get back to anyone” process many use today, social recruiting is a transparent, active approach where only the best candidates are sourced. In addition, recruiters can determine first impressions and cultural fit – even perform a bit of a background check – before approaching the candidate.
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2. Ability to Connect with Top Talent Now:
Social recruiting has made it possible to interact directly with job candidates. These days, the best candidates are easily found online – and recruiters can weed out job seekers who are not a match for the position in a simpler way. Use social media outlets to find recommendations from previous employers can save you time you might have spent contacting references and former employers.
3. Leads to Better Connections Faster:
In the traditional hiring process, it could be several rounds of resume reviews and phone screens before applicants and employers got to really connect on a personal level. Thanks to social media and video interviews, this connection is happening more instantaneously and with less time wasted. Now employers can see if a candidate will be a good match for the company sooner, helping both job seekers and hiring managers save valuable time and resources in the search for the perfect fit.
4. Make Your Job Openings Go Viral:
The prime advantage of social recruiting vs. traditional recruiting is that social recruiting allows your job openings to have viral qualities. Viral qualities can include the language of your job description, the visuals you use, engaging or funny videos, and social connect ability features. You can’t use any of these tools with traditional recruiting – and why wouldn’t you want to?
5. Helps You Get to Know More About the Candidate Than Just What’s on Paper:
While social recruiting does have it’s challenges (it’s a legal compliance nightmare if done incorrectly), it helps you learn more about a person and their demeanor. Social recruiting lets you engage with candidates and assess not just their skills but their personality and ability to fit with the culture of your organization.
6. Discovering Candidates Who Want to Be Discovered:
Companies are increasingly using social recruiting to source candidates for employment, as well as to investigate applicants they are considering hiring. It’s important to be aware of how to use social media to recruit to discover candidates that have positioned themselves to be discovered. Social recruiting allows you to see how the candidate represents themselves and what companies they are connected with.
7. Allows Recruiters to Connect With Talent in a More Informal, Engaging Manner:
Social recruiting allows talent acquisition professionals to engage with a community of talent in a more informal, engaging manner versus “We’re hiring, you’re great, let’s talk.” Ultimately, what we’re trying to do is initiate a dialogue and information exchange with people – and social channels are an excellent way for this to happen.
8. Relationship-Driven Connections:
Social recruiting supports the development and maintenance of relationships that can reach far beyond the immediate hiring need. By connecting and interacting with candidates through social channels, recruiters are able to create real connections and build relationships with interested individuals. You never know who may turn into a great new hire in the future!
9. Availability of Relevant Candidate Data:
The combination of the quantity and quality of relevant candidate data in social networks is a game changer. Social connections are now mapped out in a way that makes it possible for employers to supercharge the referral process like never before. Employees don’t have to conjure up candidates – social networks can present quality referrals with a single click.
According to the research on this topic I do think that the use of social media by employers will continue to be the trend; and while there will be instances of Facebook password requests of candidates by potential employers so they can examine their profiles for objectionable content, these will likely remain edge cases. Most employers will pursue intelligent policies that effectively leverage relevant information from social media, such as project work on an open-source engineering site, to select the top qualified candidates.
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