How social recruiting can help you hire top millennial talent

Written by
David Lahey

24 Nov 2015

24 Nov 2015 • by David Lahey

Two million jobs could be targeted at the younger generation through social media

This is driving UK investors, and even the government, to spring into action. To ensure that the UK stays ahead of the digital-evolution curve, organisations such as Innovate UK will be investing £30M a year over the next four years to support innovation in the UK’s digital economy. At the same time, within the context of the recovering economy, the UK job market is becoming increasingly competitive. According to the summer budget report, two million jobs have been created since the start of this parliament, and a further one million are set to be created over the next five years. But there is a real skills shortage (1) : STEM and otherwise. 

This begs the question, how do companies identify and secure talented candidates who possess the requisite skills to develop their digital strategies? Fortunately there is a clear solution: building digital into your recruitment strategy.  

Social media recruiting is a must

First, start by developing a comprehensive social media recruiting programme. Why, I hear you asking? Because the majority of the candidates who possess the digital skills to fill these new roles belong to the ‘Millennial’ generation and that’s where they live. This is a generation that has grown up being connected to the Internet and are constantly communicating with each other and with the brands they love via social media channels. 

In all likelihood, most of the sought-after candidates who possess the digital skills your company is looking for will not be actively seeking jobs. LinkedIn’s Talent Trends 2014 survey found that 60% of people describe their current job-seeking status as passive . Yet this same pool of passive (2) talent is very likely to be active on social media networks, so you need to be in a position to use these tools to engage with them.

The message is clear, to get the most highly skilled and digitally savvy candidates, you have to go where they are... social media.  

Attract and engage your target audience

Building a social recruiting strategy is easier than you think. Ensuring that your brand has a presence on the right social media platforms is the first step to success. If done right, these platforms will present you with the opportunity to convince ‘passive’ job seekers that your organisation is the best place to work. It will also give you an opportunity build your talent pipeline through referrals. 

The best platforms to build a profile for your business are LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, according to the Jobvite Job Seeker Nation 2014 study (3). Take Facebook for example, 67% of job seekers are active Facebook users , so it is a great channel to launch your social media recruitment strategy from. Sharing links to job vacancies on Facebook extends the reach of your recruitment campaign and acts as a lead generator, directing interested candidates to the careers page of your website, where they can find out more about what life would be like if they joined your team. Do this across the ‘big three’ social media networks and you will be well on your way to enhancing your recruiting strategy. And, here’s the big plus--it’s free and only takes a few minutes.

Promote your company culture

Company culture is essential to the Millennial generation. They want to feel that the company they work for invests as much in them as they do in it. Your employer brand is therefore vital to your social recruiting success as it helps to showcase what you stand for and attract the people who will best fit in your culture. 

Your corporate career site is the cornerstone of this part of the strategy. A good career site can be promoted via social media channels, to effectively showcase the benefits of working for your organisation. This can be done by posting about specific activities, projects, or missions that are taking place within the business. One way of ensuring that your posts that are even more targeted towards people who possess digital skills, is to develop a picture of what your ideal candidate looks like. Once you have built up a profile of the interests and skills your perfect candidate has, joining Facebook or LinkedIn groups where these subjects are discussed and interacting directly with people can prove to be a beneficial way of driving engagement with your brand. 

The key to success in promotion is to do it consistently. Think about developing a calendar of sorts that will help you to keep track of what you will post about the company, where and when. Also, do not forget that there are numerous tools out there, such as HootSuite and TweetDeck, that can help you to schedule posts, so that you do not have to be on social media yourself all the time.

Last, but not least, ensure that your career site is built to handle mobile traffic. Jobvite’s Job Seeker Nation study showed that 43% of job seekers have used their mobile devices to engage in a job search in the last 12 months. After all, when last did you leave your house without your mobile phone?

Encourage referrals from your employees 

So how do you develop a profile of your ideal candidate? A great place to start is with your current employees, as they (hopefully) already possess both the innovative digital skills and characteristics you are looking for. Chances are that your employees’ friends possess similar skills, work ethic, and personalities. This also means that their social media networks provide a very rich talent pool you can tap into; all you have to do to access it is engage your existing employees into sharing your news and job openings with their friends.  

Our recent social recruiting survey revealed that 60% of recruiters believe that the best employees are found through referrals. In addition, research shows they perform three times better over their first three years on the job . So encouraging staff to participate in your recruitment process by offering incentives makes this a win-win scenario for everyone. 

Another advantage of using these platforms is that they allow you to measure how successful your recruitment drive has been, through tracing prospects in your talent pipeline back to their social network sources. This leaves you perfectly positioned to identify and reward the employees who brought them to you, while also ensuring that your recruitment strategy is genuinely working to help you minimise the digital skills gap. 

So, why not start dipping your toes into social recruiting today to tap into the rich Millennial talent pool.

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