Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

How social recruiting has changed in the last three years

Peter Gold, Manager Recruiting Solutions EMEA, Cornerstone

When recruiters first started using social media it felt like a free job board. Recruiters used social media platforms to post job ads over and over again, not thinking too much about how this makes the company appear.

The traditional way to recruit using social media has changed. Candidates no longer want job ad after job ad as they scroll through Twitter, LinkedIn or other networks; they want to look at brands that excite them, giving them a sense of the organisation as an employer. Candidates – whether active or passive – will be asking themselves: Are employees treated well? What kind of culture is there at this organisation?

Also, recruiters need to remind themselves that not all candidates use social media in the same way they do. And it isn’t just about tapping into a candidate’s way of using social media, it’s also about understanding social movements and what it means from the future candidates you want to attract. For example,  social movements like ‘OK boomer’ should be seen as clear signals that future generations want accountability and meaning. There is a desire to work at organisations which give employees a sense of true achievement, and that should be reflected in the recruitment process.

Put simply, recruiters need to think like marketers and focus on employer branding, rather than seeing social media as a convenient job board. So, how to go about that?

First impressions count

If your brand is unknown to a candidate, then posting a normal job ad on Twitter or LinkedIn won’t necessarily engage them. Instead, you need to use your social media channels to show off the personality of the company, advertise all of the great benefits that are available to employees at your company and demonstrate to prospective candidates why they should apply for a role at your company. Look at your cover image, what does that say about you as a company?

People won’t interact with a brand they don’t know you, so ensure that you make a good first impression and entice candidates with your company’s personality.

Monitor your social channels

You may be using Twitter and LinkedIn to post job ads but don’t neglect other social channels that have an impact on your employer branding. Glassdoor often appears high up the search rankings and is an important platform for candidates to gauge how both previous and current employees feel about the company and if there are any big issues that employees face. It’s essential to be active on Glassdoor and respond to any comments or queries, particularly if you have negative feedback from disgruntled employees. In doing so, you’ll demonstrate that you’re responsive and take employee feedback seriously.

Create a visual experience

When using social media for recruitment, it’s important to demonstrate why your company is a great place to work through the use of engaging content. Photos and video are a great way to show off the culture and personality of an organisation. For example, you could post photos of team activities on Twitter or link to a bright and visual careers page on LinkedIn. Remember, you are trying to sell your company to a potential employee, you need more than a wordy job ad. Tell candidates a story!

Reap the benefits

In the last three years, social recruiting has changed from job focussed to brand focussed and recruiters are beginning to understand that social media is no longer just a job board. By taking a proactive approach to social recruiting, recruiters can establish personal connections with candidates, opening conversations in a low-pressure environment.

Similarly, many job seekers spend a lot of time building their social profiles in the hope of securing a new job opportunity. By proactively looking for candidates on social media, recruiters will be able to find the candidates that are eager and well-prepared, rather than engaging with them through traditional methods of recruiting.

If your organisation uses social media for recruiting, take a moment to evaluate your methods and determine whether you’re using your social media channels in the most effective way possible. Build out your profiles and ensure that they represent the personality of your company accurately, only then will the right people want to engage with you. Start thinking like marketers and use your employer branding to entice candidates to apply for your roles. Remember, first impressions count. So, think with the end in mind and re-invent your candidate journey so that you hire the right talent.