March 6, 2020

Yve Parry

Social media has changed the hiring game

Social media has changed the hiring game
Yve Parry
Social media provides an opportunity to engage top talent in personalized ways that used to be impossible.

Recruitment as we once knew it is disappearing. In a bid to create a more efficient and productive hiring process that’s candidate-focused, HR teams have turned to social media for assistance – and with good reason. 

When used correctly, it can help businesses track down their ideal candidates and streamline the hiring process. Companies that successfully incorporate social media in their recruitment will experience its transformative power through benefits like increased lead generation, successful hires, and a talent-filled corporation.

So let’s jump right into how social platforms have revolutionized hiring and what are the roles of social media in hiring.

Personalized interactions for a better hiring experience 

The fast-paced and hyper-connected lifestyles working professionals lead today have significantly influenced hiring. To cater to the needs of job seekers, companies are using recruitment methods like one-click online application submissions and automated email sequences. 

While convenient, the mechanical nature of these approaches can feel impersonal and rigid, wiping the human element out of recruitment.

Combine this with the frosty silence applicants commonly endure while waiting to learn their job search fate, and it’s easy to see how these negative factors can put a damper on a candidate’s hiring experience. 

In some cases, it may even impact the way they view a company. One 2018 study found that 41% of candidates who had a poor hiring experience with a company were less loyal to the brand going forward. Over time, this can negatively impact a company’s reputation, sales, and revenue.

But because of social media, there’s still hope.

By personalizing the hiring experience through the facilitation of early one-on-one conversations between employers and prospective candidates, social platforms provide a great solution to these issues.

These channels are more personal than email because their live chat features enable job-seekers to mimic the in-person discussions they’re accustomed to in their daily lives, which bridges the proximity gap.

What’s more, communication takes place through informal means (instant messenger and direct mail) on the social channels applicants enjoy using, and at times they’re most likely online.

This transforms recruitment processes from robotic to personable by providing recruiters with the opportunity to “break the ice,” engage with prospective hires and build genuine connections. From there,  they can determine where candidates would fit best in their organization. For example, LinkedIn and Twitter have instant messaging capabilities ideal for professional purposes. With these, recruiters can contact prospective candidates without it feeling awkward. 

However, it’s best that hirers keep messages short, light-hearted, and professional to display their company in the best light and get replies.

Pre-screen candidates for a more efficient hiring process

Completing a successful round of hiring requires a significant investment of time, money, and energy. Consequently, labor-intensive and time-consuming tasks like budgeting, resume reviewing, telephone discussions, and in-person interviews feature heavily on most HR professional’s to-do lists. In fact, data from 2017 shows that it took about 29 days in June of that year for a company to onboard a new candidate. 

Because of this, it’s essential to know that each potential candidate is a good match for the role and company before HR teams dedicate their resources to such tasks.

This is where social media has given HR teams the most significant helping hand: it enables them to build a more comprehensive picture of potential hires through their social media footprint. Hirers are free to view a candidate’s post history to gain a clearer understanding of their personality, values, and beliefs – within legal boundaries, of course.

For instance, social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube allow users to post thought-leadership content and can be great places to delve deeper into your candidate’s online presence.

Companies can also use social media platforms to gather information on things like a candidate’s:

  • Work experience
  • Educational background
  • Industry expertise 
  • Professional network
  • Core beliefs and values

This is not only an affordable and fast way to screen job seekers, but it also shortens the hiring process by allowing the company to make sure a candidate is a good fit before the interviews begin.

Using social media this way builds confidence in the recruitment process. Thanks to social media, recruiters can be sure they’ve conducted enough due diligence to make informed hiring decisions.

Global reach without the cost 

According to a Glassdoor study, 79% of job searchers take to social media to find new positions.

Thanks to social media, it’s now easier than ever to gain direct access to your target candidates without incurring hefty recruitment agency or job board fees. Regardless of where a recruiter’s target hires live, social media makes it easy to find profiles, start a conversation, and arrange interviews. For instance, on LinkedIn, intelligent filters allow users to narrow down search results, leaving a healthy list of eligible candidates to begin recruiting from.

Another way social media has revolutionized hiring is by increasing the number of ways recruiters can find candidates. It’s now possible for recruiters to expand their talent pool using their network as well as the connections of people in their network. This modern twist on referral-based hiring extends the reach of hirers by giving them access to both passive and active job seekers. This is invaluable for tasks like:

  • Filling roles that require specific skills and experience
  • Building a reserve of eligible candidates for future positions
  • Staffing jobs that will require more than one person 

Research from LinkedIn found that candidates are 46% more likely to accept InMail requests when they’re connected to a company’s employees. 

In short, utilizing social media in hiring has helped businesses slash costs while extending their talent pools.

Increased brand awareness to attract top talent

As social platforms gain notoriety and recruitment becomes more candidate-driven, businesses must establish a solid online presence to attract top talent. Today, 84% of job searchers think a potential employer’s reputation is an important factor in their decision to apply, and 55% of job hunters have avoided applying to a corporation after reading negative company reviews. Thankfully, social media has gifted businesses the chance to shine by enabling them to position themselves as leaders in their industries. This  can increase a company’s standing in the eyes of their target audience.

What’s more, the introduction of social platforms to hiring has given businesses the space to display their personalities and culture to attract like-minded people and encourage candidates to reach out. Buzzing social channels can impress top candidates who may be lurking on social media and inspire them to get in touch.

But despite social media platforms being met with open arms by recruiters worldwide, these channels aren’t without their flaws. Alas, a cautionary note is necessary. One problem with using social media in recruitment is that, while companies can target top talent, they can’t be sure that social media produces results like quality, long-term tenure hires. According to a Harvard Business Review report, only around a third of businesses in the U.S. track whether their recruitment efforts are producing positive results.

With this in mind, it’s essential to consider the market a business serves and the types of roles in the industry to determine whether using social media in recruitment is suitable, since some jobs don’t require a candidate to have a professional social media presence. For example, a business searching for casual laborers may find job boards such as Craigslist and Gumtree more profitable than social media outreach.

Social media is an immensely powerful tool

It has reshaped the way businesses manage their hiring. It provides recruiters with a wealth of opportunities to find, engage, and hire top talent in expedited yet personalized ways that weren’t possible just a few years ago. Because of social media, companies can now attract candidates that match their corporate values and culture with greater ease. 

What’s more, businesses can now leverage their brand image online to portray themselves as industry leaders and attract their dream candidates. Finally, social media has become a reputable source to find high-quality candidates. And, if its success is anything to go by, things can only get better.

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