It’s 2016, and it’s a high time for all recruiters to be accelerating their social media strategy. Gone are the days of ‘toe dipping’ into the great unknown. Social media needs to be embraced as the fantastic (and essential) recruiting tool that it is. Time, of course, is the big issue. All recruiters are busy people, and many recruiters feel that they simply don’t have the time to invest in a social media strategy. That is why, for some, their social media recruitment activity never really gets beyond the aforementioned ‘toe-dipping stage.’ But, with a coherent strategy, commitment and a bit of patience, the potential returns are well worth the investment of time and effort. At the very least, the statistics should open recruiters’ eyes to the possibilities and opportunities that social media affords. There are now over 17 million LinkedIn users in the UK alone, and the fastest growing demographic within that vast pool of potential talent is students and recent graduates. 40% of LinkedIn users check LinkedIn every day. As a business-orientated social networking platform, LinkedIn is usually seen as the job seeking site of choice. In fact, the statistics show that other platforms are even more popular. In a study conducted in 2015, Undercover Recruiter found that of 67% of job seekers are now using Facebook for job seeking, 45% Twitter — with LinkedIn lagging behind with 40%. Indeed, other social media platforms are catching up: 31% of job seekers are using Instagram, 25% are using Pinterest, and 17% are even using Snapchat. Similarly, 47% of millennials are using mobiles when job hunting, online researching is becoming a prerequisite for job seeking, and most UK universities are now producing ‘job hunting using social media’ guides as a matter of course.
1. Reach the passive candidates
The ability for recruiters to reach passive candidates is an important way to stand out from the competition. Social media networking offers excellent opportunities to do this. Recruiters don’t need to be constantly engaged in ‘hard sell’ tactics. In fact, with passive candidates, it’s completely the wrong thing to do. Engaging in conversations, mentioning connections and opening these up to passive candidates when they need them is the way to go.
2. Use the right platforms
In 2015, the social recruiting platform Jobvite found that 94% of recruiters were already using, or planning to use, social media. But it’s easy to fall into the trap of just thinking ‘everybody’s doing it, so we should be’.
Blanket coverage of all platforms is unlikely to bring success — in fact, it will give the wrong impression to your audience. Also, be aware that all social media channels have their distinct cultures. The style and tone of posts — and the general nature of your activity — needs to be adapted to fit in with these.
Researching what social media channels your target market are using is important. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn continue to be the big hitters on the recruiting front, but it’s important to look beyond the obvious. For example, IT recruiters would do well to look at niche community sites within their industry, such as Stack Overflow, to search for talent.
3. Use third party tools
The time needed to engage with social media for recruitment should not be underestimated. It’s not a 9-5 thing or something that a few hours a week will cover. However, it is important to remember that there are a vast number of third-party tools available that can significantly save you time – and make your social media strategy more efficient. Here’s one final statistic to ponder, from The Aberdeen Group in 2015: 73% of 18-34-year-olds found their last job through social media. That is exactly why your social media strategy needs to be accelerated in 2016.