Why Social Media is Key to Recruiting Talent

Social media has made huge changes to vast areas of our lives from how we keep in touch with friends to how we find the best new restaurant.  For many people, they probably don’t think about using social media to search for a job but recruiters are increasingly using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other variations to find the perfect candidate for a job.

Social studies

In a recent survey by a talent acquisition company they had noted a clear change in approach for searching and finding the right candidates.  The survey spoke to nearly 1000 professionals around the world including in-house and third-party recruiters as well as recruitment agencies.  It showed that social media is a growing tool for recruitment, but not always in the way that one would think.

Currently, social media outflanks most traditional recruitment services with over 35% of recruiters saying it was their primary source for finding talent.  Only one quarter made use of paid jobs boards and just over 10% worked from direct applications.  Less than 10% of recruitment now comes from internal referrals or alumni.

The shift shows that social media is no longer simply one tool to recruit people but is actually becoming the primary method of headhunting and finding the right talent, especially within the Technology industry where there are many passive candidates that are being found through Social Media.  Those who don’t make use of the facilities offered by social media sites could soon find themselves left behind and this has meant a big attitude change for recruitment agencies and internal recruitment teams.

LinkedIn still tops the board as the most popular site for recruitment with 97% of those spoken to saying that they used the platform in the last year.  Twitter has seen a decrease on the survey in 2015 but still stands at 37% while Facebook stayed much the same with around one third of recruiters using the site.

Surging apps

While the use of Twitter has declined from 56% to 37% in 2015, messenger apps have seen a big increase in use.  Over half of recruiters make use of Skype to talk to candidates while 23% make use of WhatsApp, 15% use iMessage and 6% utilise Viber.

The cleverest recruiters are doing more than just sending a quick message then moving on.  They are using these apps to communicate with candidates on an ongoing basis, getting to know them and making the service they offer more personal.  Building rapport is seen as an important part of the process and some companies are even using Snapchat and Periscope to do this.

Streaming live events is one way to get people involved and is an ideal way to showcase the potential employer.  Candidates can see the working environment and get a feel for daily life in the business.  Periscope is often used for this while Snapchat can be utilised to show candidates the working culture while those connections could even help build relationships.

Multi-step approach

The use of social media shows that recruitment has become a multi-step approach and many companies use it as one of their primary tools alongside other traditional approaches.  Social media is ideal to personalise the recruitment process and allows candidates to thoroughly research the company.  It also allows recruiters a better feel for the individual and allows them to make recommendations from an even more informed position.

We asked Fahd Khan, Director of CTRL Recruitment Group an IT recruitment & headhunting company in London about the changes that were happening in the Recruitment industry based on Social Media and he said “Recruiters find that potential candidates respond better to contact via social media than by cold calling or generic emails.  People who are active on a particular social media site will be more likely to quickly respond to a message while their public interests, retweets or comments can show what they are interested in to help match them with the right vacancy.”

As recruitment and social media develop its cleat that recruiters aren’t neglecting traditional ways but instead making use of these new tools to approach candidates on their own terms.  Many of these conversations still take place over the phone or via face-to-face meetings, but the importance of social media means that candidates and recruiters are already realising that to get noticed and find the best talent they need to be social media savvy.

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