How Social Media Is Changing Recruitment

The recruiting world has undergone a seachange in the last few years. Actually, it’s seen several in rapid succession, with each new wave sweeping over the HR landscape bringing with its cutting-edge technology and better, more efficient ways to do recruiting.


One of the first of these waves of change was the shift in the global labor market to being heavily candidate-focused.


There are fewer quality candidates per opening than ever, and this has meant companies have had to shift their strategies to deal with candidates becoming increasingly particular about who they want to work for.



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Combine this market shift with the growing reliance on mobile technology, particularly among the upcoming cohort of Generation Z (the largest to enter the job market ever), and you can start to see why technology follows closely on the heels of these broader changes.


Today we’re looking at one technological advance that has had perhaps the greatest impact on recruiting over the last year or so, social media.


As one of the primary catalysts of social change around the world, this media’s impact on recruitment cannot be overlooked.



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- Unsurprisingly, LinkedIn is the most-used channel for recruitment efforts — with 77% taking advantage — followed by Facebook (63%). 


- But Instagram’s popularity with job seekers is increasing its use with recruiters — now, a quarter (25%) of recruiters are investing in recruiting efforts on Instagram.


- Especially millennial recruiters (35%) and those working at technology companies (63%) — double the number in 2017. 


- Tik Tok's growth is fascinating on many levels and we’re predicting that it will be a great platform to reach out to Gen Zers and younger Millennials.


Instant Gratification


By now we certainly hope you’ve seen the writing on the Facebook wall and have an active social media presence on the channels that matter to your audience.


Our first question for you is this: are you monitoring it?


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- Social media users are accustomed to seeing responses to their posts within hours or even minutes. So if you’re posting and they’re responding, but you’re not there to see those responses you’re losing out on potential candidates.


- Use your profile to list your office hours, setting the expectation right up front that you’ll be available and responding during those hours.


- Then be sure someone is actively monitoring the account so you don’t leave anyone hanging.


- And for those of you with a global presence, consider deploying a chatbot so that even in your off-hours your audience can get answers to their general inquiries, or acknowledgment of their retweets and likes.

Constant Engagement


Remember those Generation-Z folks mentioned above?


Not only are they the largest cohort to enter the job market in history, but they’re also digital natives who have come of age with a mobile device in their pockets. This state of being constantly “on” follows them from their personal lives right into their work lives as they enter the workforce.


During any available downtime out comes the phone for some swiping and scrolling.


For any company looking to stay top-of-mind, it will pay off big time to have a constant presence on the channels your audience is using the most. This will require some solid research on your part, which hopefully you already did before deciding which platforms to have that presence on in the first place.


According to the Recruitment Marketing Benchmarks Report Feb2019, only 49% of the Fortune 500 have career-specific social channels. But kudos to this group, since the vast majority do it right: 83% publish content other than job listings.



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- Now, the trick is posting regularly, on a schedule, and ensuring that any likes, comments, or re-posts are responded to.


- Stay in the brand voice for consistency.


- Use recruitment marketing automation software so your original posts go out at a uniform time every day, and so they hit people’s streams at the right time for their time zone.

In-Channel Support


As long as you’re monitoring your social media presence for comments, etc, you should also watch for and respond to any questions, feedback, or complaints.


Doing this in-channel shows your audience that you respect their time, and their decision to connect with you on this platform. And responding in voice lets everyone else know that you value the feedback, even if it’s negative.


This tactic extends to common review sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn as well.  If you see a review there, responding to it can keep the poster engaged, show that you value this type of feedback as well, and remind everyone else of your presence.


Again, it’s key to stay in brand voice and not get upset or show any anger toward reviewers, no matter how unfair or one-sided the review may be.


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If it gets contentious, suggest to them that it may be better to take it offline and offer to set up a phone call or video chat to discuss the situation further. This kind of personal attention can often diffuse the situation entirely.

Rich and Immersive Social-Media Experiences


Our last two items are closely related, starting with the expectation of social media experiences on the part of your audience. Whether it’s media posted by large international brands or friends who repost fun new graphics, Gifs, or polls, people are coming to expect to see these experiences in their timelines.


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- By posting videos, infographics, and other mixed-media content you keep your audience entertained and engaged with your company.


- There’s no better way to ensure they’re ready to come on board than by providing them with relevant and entertaining content when they look for it.


- Keep the content short and to the point.


- Remember that a majority of your audience is likely scrolling their feed from a mobile device, so that 15-minute keynote speech by the CEO may not fly as well as a quick 2-minute testimonial from an employee highlighting their recent project win. Save the speech for your YouTube channel or special occasions on Facebook.

Interactive Experiences


And while you’re at it, creating exciting social media content, consider trying out some interactive experiences.


Gamification is a big buzzword in HR at the moment, so take any chance you find to get involved.


- From simple polls to games that show off your company’s technical acumen, including this sort of content can seriously amp up your potential candidates and get them ready to jump at the first opportunity they find to come on board.


- Build a choose-your-own-adventure-style immersive tour of HQ.


- Have your designers develop a lightweight game that riffs on some aspect of your business or sector more broadly. Something like a shooting game where they have to hit the incorrect piece of code.


- Or toss stuffed animals in the open windows of passing autonomous cars. Have fun with it!


All of these aspects of social media have exploded in popularity in recent months, so getting on board with them ASAP will only solidify your company’s place as the employer of choice for your audience. And with the viral nature of social media content, don’t be surprised if your shooting game gets shared and spread around among their friend circles.


Extra bonus points here, as the talent you’re targeting likely knows others who are equally talented in their fields, so each share has the potential to bring in even more high-quality potential talent to join in the pool.