The digital revolution has profoundly affected every aspect of our lives. We now live in a world of instant connectivity, a world which recruiters have to take on board to enhance what we do.
Recruitment is all about finding the right person at the right time for the right position, and all the work and tactics that go into ensuring this. Success is based on having the right information about candidates and clients, a thorough understanding of people, and using this knowledge effectively. This means that social media, particularly LinkedIn, is exceptionally useful; an automatic pool of candidates all sharing their work experience and giving a thorough run-through of their professional lives. However, it is one part of a much bigger picture!
What’s key to remember is that while social media platforms can be used to assist in recruitment, they cannot be the only tool recruiters use and do not provide the other considerable leg-work involved in making a successful recruitment. Other elements of the recruitment process include personality testing, thorough screening, and intelligent selection between applications. It’s these aspects of recruitment that we mustn’t lose sight of in the abundance of social media.
Building on this, the value of a central hub of dedicated recruitment experts who are personally involved in both candidates’ job searches and clients’ businesses is invaluable, especially given the proliferation of digital platforms for job posts. Job hunters want access to a whole range of companies in their preferred areas, and may not have the time and resources to search for them, so people who can make applications on their behalf, should the golden opportunity come up, are extremely helpful. Recruitment agencies can also ensure confidentiality for candidates who are applying in smaller jurisdictions – Jersey being a prime example.
This works both ways, as it also provides a hub for employers to use so they can tap into a pool of candidates actively looking for work, who have been vetted by trusted recruitment partners, with personal recommendations possible. This is the human touch that will make all the difference in securing the perfect recruit, perhaps now more than ever.
Bearing in mind the required balance between harnessing digital innovation and human intelligence and experience, here are 5 key tips for effective use of social media in the recruitment process:
1. Numbers are important, but they aren’t everything
Of course employers want to expand their reach to potential clients. In the past, recruitment meant an advert in the newspaper and word of mouth references; potentially missing some promising candidates purely due to the limited reach. Now the reach has grown exponentially. The point now is to ensure that information is getting through to the right people out of many – the number of Facebook likes on your page don’t necessarily correlate with the right people being reached by a job advert. Recruitment agencies can help here, the people interested in our channels are often far more likely to be looking for a new job!
2. Content is key
That said, recruitment agencies must ensure their channels are well managed, and their content is engaging, clear and springs candidates to action. This means regular updates, posts and a willingness to engage with their audience beyond posting job advert after job advert.
3. Social media is the first step of many
As all recruiters know, landing the right person with the right job is a multi-faceted process. Social media enables that all-important first point of contact, given its directness and ease of use, but when used effectively, it spurs candidates to action beyond it. We all present ourselves in a particular light online, so the value of interviews and personality tests become even more important, as it allows a potential employer to experience a candidate’s true personality. Screening is also essential, this is something that can’t be dispensed with.
4. Think carefully about demographics
The social media community is a diverse one! For employers looking for graduates however, they must bear in mind that the early 20s demographic is typically composed of so-called ‘digital natives’. Employers seeking graduates will benefit from engaging through social media – particularly at this time of the year, with a fresh batch of graduates about to join the job market. On the flip side, it’s important to remember that there will always be a pool of people not on social media, or who are using channels that your business isn’t familiar with. You don’t want to miss out on great talent for your business by forgetting them!
5. Candidates must think about their digital footprint
The proliferation of access of information about potential employers of course works both ways! Just as candidates have unprecedented access to information about potential employers, through social media and searching the wider internet, employers will also have a degree of access to them. Candidates need to be careful that they don’t do themselves a disservice with what they’re posting online. Linked to this is the importance of key words – when employers are using digital screening software, it can pick up or reject applications based simply on the presence or absence of a particular word. As always, candidates must read the job description, and appreciate the renewed value of words in the digital world.
As we move towards the digital age, we must tweak and culture-fit our methods. This includes implementing social media to recruit effectively. However we must remember that recruitment goes beyond social media, and while still understanding its crucial importance, we must not forget the indispensable human interaction.