The rise in social media
The room was full of HR professionals, laptops on desks - surely an HR conference? No, the scene was from the social media in recruitment workshop last month at the British Library, an event aimed at educating the HR profession on the best use of social media in their recruitment strategy.
Social media is no longer solely used by the younger generation as a means of gossiping, sharing photos of one another or reliving the weekend’s antics. Things have moved on considerably and organisations are increasingly using social platforms to recruit talent, interact with existing and potential customers and also to promote their brand. As technology has developed, organisations are becoming more and more socially savvy and in turn reaping the Benefits of what web 2.0 can offer.
Social media reducing recruitment costs
The recession is hopefully behind us and the job market is slowly but surely picking up. However with hiring budgets still tight and organisations looking to find ways to gain an edge over their competitors, many have turned to the likes of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
A means to reduce recruitment costs, these platforms allow organisations to post job information but also interact with candidates and share information on the culture of an organisation prior to the application stage.
Twitter - a key platform for recruiters
Statistics suggest that an increasing number of jobseekers are using social media to find jobs. In actual fact, the fastest growing group on Twitter is the 18-34 year-olds who account for 45% of users and the second is the 35-49 year-olds who account for 24%. Therefore 69% of Twitter users fall into a recruiter’s target audience - clearly this is a sign that Twitter can be used to attract talent and organisations becoming aware of this are using it more and more.
There are also plenty of tools that integrate with Twitter which allow organisations to hone in on the type of candidate they are looking for. Tools like followerwonk.com and twellow.com will search the bios on Twitter to generate a list of candidates which match the keywords that have been entered - a simple yet effective method of finding talent.
Organisations can simply use Twitter to feed jobs through, but a much more effective use of the tool is engaging and interacting with your audience; Twitter should be used for conversations not monologues. If an organisation is to successfully use Twitter and other platforms they must abide by this - 80% of information posted should be adding value to the audience and 20% should be about opportunities.
LinkedIn - a useful tool for networking
Research suggests that membership of LinkedIn in the UK has hit the 4 million mark. According to LinkedIn, this growth has been driven by: "the increasing realisation that an online professional profile is the best way to present yourself publicly because of the opportunities that come your way." Furthermore, it's estimated that 75,000 recruitment professionals are using LinkedIn either to source candidates or indeed be found.
It's important to note however that like Twitter, LinkedIn is not a job board but rather a networking tool which can be used to source candidates and interact and learn with other professionals and like minded individuals.
HR fans growing on Facebook
Facebook has only relatively recently appealed to organisations - after all when Facebook first arrived in the UK, it was only open to university students. Things have moved on rapidly though and now organisations are using ‘fan pages’ as part of their recruitment strategy.
Once a fan page is set up, it's easy to manage and is another free resource on the market to engage and attract talent and has successfully been used worldwide as an extension to a career site. In some cases it has almost acted independently as an organisation’s career portal.
How to use social media effectively to recruit
There are tangible Benefits of using social media in recruitment. Although there are a range of other recruitment tools available - the likes of print media, career fairs etc, social media looks set to increasingly become a significant part of any recruitment strategy.
What's important to remember is that for social media to work as a recruitment tool it has to be used correctly and not just as a hard sell to your audience - people that are engaging via these methods are interested in engaging with other people, and sharing information. Understanding that is the key to a successful social media campaign.