Research, from the Aberdeen Group, has indicated that over 70% of 18 to 34 year olds found their last job through social media.
Many organisations are already using, or plan to use social networks to attract candidates, with The Independent reporting that 75% of employers select candidates using Facebook.
However, does this increasing adoption of social media mean that HR departments are making the most effective use of it when it comes to recruitment?
The Cultural Shift
“In the US, far more recruiters are using social media, around 90%,” points out Helen Pritchard, of Blue Sky Digital Marketing, in Warrington. “This shouldn’t come as a surprise, given how widespread social media is in general.”
“Social recruiting will become standard practice in the UK, but with it comes change in how businesses will need to approach potential candidates,” suggests Helen.
“Social media is an opportunity to connect on a much more in depth level with candidates, but first you must work out if it is going to be the most effective medium for a specific position”
Social media represents a cultural shift, driven by individuals sharing their experiences, and it reveals changing attitudes to work and aspirations for it.
“It’s about more than the money for many candidates,” Helen says. “It’s about finding a purpose for their talent. More companies are looking for employees on this basis, and social networks provide the ideal channels to find them.”
“Using social media allows companies to make recruitment inroads where otherwise they might fail to inspire essentially passive candidates unaware of the benefits they can offer”
A Transparent View
“Recruiters should be looking at how platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook enables much greater transparency, says Helen.
“This requires businesses to be far more savvy about who they’re contacting, and building up a comprehensive picture of them from things they post and what they like, in addition to profile information,” Helen advises.
By the same token, this transparency will allow the candidate to form their own view of the potential employer. Which is why building the right kind of presence on social media is essential for businesses looking to recruit.
“HR departments must understand that social media is a tool that they can use to streamline the recruitment process. Just as businesses can use social media marketing to pre-qualify their leads, so HR can do the same for prospective candidates”
Creating the right kind of online dialogue through social media should result in a filtering system, which can work at various stages of the recruitment process.
“Companies can filter candidates from how they target and distribute their original job adverts through social media,” suggests Helen, “and they can do it again at CV submission stage.”
“Finding suitable candidates is competitive,” concludes Helen, “and effective use of social media can raise the overall standard of applicants while making the whole recruitment process that much quicker.”
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