Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Goldmine for recruiters

2014 has proven to be the age of social media with mostly if not all the population becoming citizens of this digital utopia

2014 has proven to be the age of social media with mostly if not all the population becoming citizens of this digital utopia. Most of us today use social media for a vast variety of things, whether it’s for personal communication, keeping up to date with day-to-day on-goings, promotions, or maybe just to fulfil the current selfie addiction craze, but whatever we may use it for we all use it religiously. Social media is an influential tool and has now integrated its way into how most of us even look for jobs or advertise jobs.

So what are the trends recruiters and HR consultants should be aware of and adapt to?

1) Social media is essential and definitely not an option

Recruiting with Social media is on the growth and becoming a way of life. Weather you’re a professional recruiter looking for more than 10 different people for a large company or just a HR personnel looking for kitchen staff or a retail assistant, to ignore social media would be a huge mistake. In today’s digital age you can no longer attract people with just a basic ad in your local newspaper, through job boards or just plain advertising. Statistics have shown an astonishing growth of 83% in the use of social media to find candidates amongst recruiters and HR personnel. According to Spark Hire 94% of recruiters plan to use social media in their recruitment efforts, while 49% of the recruiters that have used these methods have reported a higher quality in candidates.

The leading recruitment Websites which make this new recruitment process possible are LinkedIn with 94% of recruiters using it following facebook, and twitter. Social media is used to find  candidates who are skilled, and with new talent, but also to connect with candidates on a more personal level, and has been proven to be just as effective, if not better than word of mouth, job boards, advertising as well as speed up communication. Hr personnel should not be nerve wrecked at the changing methods to find employees but rather adopt this method or consequently be left behind.

2) You need to be mobile

With the undeniable increase of Smartphone’s and devices, with one person having more than one phone or device, why should you not have a mobile version to your career website? Candidates today are mobile and always on the go and the job search should be likewise, and easy accessible. Recent figures have shown that more than 70% of jobseekers are now using their mobile Smartphone, tablets and alternative methods to look for jobs while only 7% of career websites have a mobile version of their career website. Organisations need to keep up with the pace and the way in which their potential candidates live their lives. Ad agencies, companies and job boards everywhere have began to brainstorm creative, "mobile recruiting campaigns." Job search through mobile apps and devices will become the standard.

3) Hashtags leading search tool?

The idea of the hashtag has caused confusion and often time’s annoyance amongst social media users but in plain simple English a hashtag is basically a label for your content.  Your content needs to be found and hashtags help to make this possible. Once you click on these hashtags, you are then taken to a wider community of people who are talking about the same topic.

 Although twitter may have been the primary source of the hashtag many other social media platforms now use it in a way to organise their content making it more searchable. Facebook who is considered the “newcomer” of the hashtag has also adopted the hashtag method, and has now got users in what facebook refers to as “public conversations”. The introduction of hashtags to the Facebook platform is yet more proof that Facebook is becoming, or has already become an ideal tool for recruiting.

So for example as a recruiter if you were to use #jobopening or #hiring this automatically categorised these topics into a location where other users can find it. Any user can then search job opening, hiring or #jobopening or #hiring and all messages, tweets or statuses labelled as such will appear. This tool if not used will not effect your entire experience on these social media websites but it can help you job marketing efforts and you can target audiences with each job you chose to advertise via these sites. Pretty handy

4) Big data keeps getting bigger

Acquiring new talent has become the top of many ceo’s main priorities. 83% of them have said they are changing their strategies to make this happen. Many major firms for example the U.K's thesocialcv have began to analyse not just the candidates LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter profiles but rather their activity online specific to their professions. According to many major firms this growth and continuous increase of data has lead to a more technical world where job applicants are found and evaluated by their merits and contributions, rather than by how they present themselves in a CV or interview.

5) Content marketing is key

Many leading voices in the industry agreed that 2013 was a huge year for content marketing. About 63% of marketers are now focusing more on content and in April 2013 according to Forbes the content custom council announced that the content marketing industry has grown to a $44 billion industry.  With many companies shifting away from the influx of mass advertising and banner ads online, they now look for more creative ways to engage with their audience, and look to more content marketing strategies. This technique is chosen over the traditional method of ‘yelling’ or demanding attention via placing an ad on a third party website and hoping for the two second glance from someone who is not interested rather than actual engagement.

According to Kamber it is believed that if companies focus more on developing content that people actually want, and publish it on their own channels, and then they will begin to engage directly with people who are genuinely interested in the company’s area of knowledge.  People look for information that applies to them.  Over time this may lead to gaining loyal advocates, followers, and subscribers that will help share your content, this may also lead to gaining more and more followers as people usually have interest in content within their networks.

Lilian Oke | Strike-Jobs Journalist