How Social Media is Shaping The Recruiting & Hiring Process

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The unemployment rate is below six percent for the first time since before the recession. The demand to fill positions with specialized, niche skill sets is high, and these candidates can be especially hard to source. This means uncovering and attracting the best job seekers requires sophisticated recruiting tactics. As an employer, how can you get a leg up on your competition?

Social media is not only changing the way companies go about recruiting and hiring, job seekers are also becoming more aware of the power of social platforms and are increasingly using their social profiles as a tool to find great work opportunities.

Many job seekers know that employers are turning to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to source candidates, and are effectively using these platforms to get an edge over other candidates.

In fact, a survey conducted by Reppler among professionals who are involved in the hiring process at their organization shows that 91 percent of employers use social networks to screen prospective employees.

As a recruiter or hiring manager, how can you use social media to find talent, get the word out about open positions, communicate your company’s mission, screen applicants and finally get ahead of the curve and reach your hiring goals? You have to embrace social networking in order to get a better picture of who your applicants are.

Getting Started

Using social media to help in the recruiting process may seem time-consuming and even counter-intuitive. But keep in mind that it may save you time and money in the long run as it can help you get a much better picture of who your applicants are. A bad hire can be much more expensive and time-consuming than taking the time to put together a social media strategy and screening process in place.

Simply put, taking the time to research candidates on social platforms may prevent you from hiring the wrong people, and in turn save you money and resources. It can be as simple as reading through some of the recent activity on a candidate’s Facebook profile or Twitter stream.

The 3 big players in the space are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. While many recruiters swear only by LinkedIn, it is crucial that you, as a recruiter, look into Facebook and Twitter as well since the content that gets published on those sites may vary from what candidates may post on LinkedIn — which is considered a “professional” social platform.

Researching a candidate shouldn’t take more than a few minutes in most cases and will yield great results.

A recent Adecco study revealed that 31 percent of job seekers utilize social media to distribute their CV online, with 38% of job seekers having been contacted through social media by a recruiter at least once, and 9% receiving a job offer.

It’s All About Making Connections

It is no secret that word-of-mouth is still the most effective channel for matching supply and demand. Social media is an extension of that as it can help recruiters and hiring managers make connections at a much larger scale and reach a bigger pool of potential candidates.

One of the key strategies successful recruiters use to find the best candidates using social media is to find the right platform to communicate their message. For some this may be LinkedIn, while others may find that Twitter or Facebook are better suited for their recruiting needs. Experimenting with all those platforms until you find the one that works for you is also key.

What To Look For?

People publish various things on their social media profiles. From sharing news to voicing their opinion on certain topics, posting photos and videos, and interacting with other people in their own network . All this information can help you make a more informed decision as to whether someone is a good candidate for your organization.

Many job seekers now include a link to their LinkedIn profile on their resume — as LinkedIn is the leading platform for professionals. Your search should start there but don’t just perform a surface-level search about a candidate — to get a bigger picture you need to dig a bit deeper. Don’t disregard other networks either. Content published on LinkedIn is usually radically different from content posted on Facebook, Twitter, or even YouTube.

Screening for red flags such as inappropriate or provocative content should be just as important as finding positive data about a candidate. Does a prospective employee convey a professional image and show great communication skills? Maybe other have published recommendations and references about the person you are researching? All this data can play a big part in your decision to extend an invitation for an interview.

Social media is here to stay and it provides job seekers with effective tools to help them in their job search. It also provides recruiters and hiring managers more insight into a candidate than ever before.

Are you responsible for recruiting or hiring? Register for our upcoming webinar and discover how your company can find talented job candidates by recruiting on social media sites. On January 28, two expert panelists will provide a foundation for using social media as a recruitment tool in 2015. You will also receive HRCI credit for attending. Register now!

Contributor

Jon Phillips is an interface designer with a strong focus on user-centered and interaction design, and a lover of great typography. When he's not designing or writing, he can be found playing guitar or capturing great moments on camera.

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