Is social recruiting smarter hiring?

29 May 2020
6 minute

It's time for recruiters - whether in-house or external agency-based - to step away from being process-driven, reactive and admin-heavy and to instead focus on developing recruitment and people management approaches that align with the organisation's values and wider technological growth in the industry and the corporate world at large. More and more, organisations are looking for innovative ways to make recruitment practices more efficient, effective, engaging and personal. 

One approach to becoming widespread is social recruiting: recruiting candidates by using social media platforms as talent databases and for advertising.

Social media has shifted behaviours from news-sharing to how potential employees look for jobs and potential employers promote themselves. As workplaces are more age diverse than ever before, with Baby Boomers, Generation Z and Millennials sharing a workspace, the traditional methods of gaining insight into company culture are being replaced by social media research.

70% of hiring managers say they've successfully hired with social media

- Betterteam

Alongside this, learning how social media can be used effectively in both recruiting efforts and an individual's job search is becoming increasingly important to successful talent acquisition.

The onus is on both the potential employer and the potential employee to brand themselves as both parties endure a battle of targeting, selection and screening.

Can social media alone predict if an individual could be an asset or a liability once hired?

The simple answer is no, but a lot of information can be deciphered. Using 'big data', the Cambridge Judge Business School launched Predictive World, an interactive online experience in which users discover how much a cyber-system can predict about them using digital records of their behaviour and generate psychological predictions from users' Facebook data.

A person's social media footprint gives employers (and others) the best insight into passions, interests, communication styles, work habits, work/life balance and all sorts of other valuable information. And, as intelligent as that may be, we know that a good 'character fit' is equally as crucial when sourcing talent on social media, hence the importance of psychometric testing. Thomas' assessments have become an essential resource, reducing business disruption, employee churn, recruiting costs and even potential damage to brands, as our clients can attest.

Things to consider with social recruiting

As you read through the following, perhaps reflect and see if you can relate. Do you have similar challenges? Are you already implementing solutions? Are there elements you should hone for success?

Where to have to be strategic!

Cross-company collaboration is becoming increasingly necessary for recruitment success. Social recruiting isn't just sharing job posts on social sites; it's about a partnership between recruiters, hiring managers and marketers to create strategic social plans and develop engaging content to grow talent pools. With regular content and various platforms for communication, you can begin to offer an impactful candidate experience, nurture candidates over time and win over today's savvy job seekers with unique career opportunities and benefits.

Candidates can afford to be more selective, so make sure they select you

We've gradually shifted to a strong employee's market, meaning that social platforms allow for potential employees to advertise themselves to businesses (E2B). With employees in demand, creating a positive and authentic employer brand through content, social and quality of communication can be the differentiator to being the preferred company over another - you can showcase culture, reinforce messages, build trust in your brand and ultimately convert talent. Put simply, people need to be immediately engaged with a brand to apply or they'll just "scroll on".


Target ideal candidates even more with assessments

Detailed ad targeting is also something to consider. Just because you have the same gender, the same interests or live in the same area, it doesn't mean you react in the same way. We are all individuals with different personalities. To target ads on social media as accurately as possible towards personality will give you better ad results.

This is something Thomas can help you with! When you understand the profile of an ideal employee, using our job profiling tool for example, and know the competencies and abilities you need in that person, you can target ideal candidates on social media with much more ease and precision - you'll know what to look out for in social media profiles when initially screening. Attracting the right employee can lead to better service and customer satisfaction, as well as cost efficiency where turnover is reduced. Happy people, happy company!

Ensure fairness is in your social recruiting strategy

Some of the best talent out there might have limited access to social media and its various platforms due to a number of factors, such as cultural norms, geographical location and, of course, the choice not to have a social media presence. This is very important to bear in mind when considering inclusion and not disadvantaging candidates. Therefore, social recruiting should not be your only recruitment tool - make sure you integrate it with existing career application processes.

Reduce any unconscious bias with assessments

Also, unlike more traditional recruiting processes, information that is usually protected is more often than not shared via social media. Depending on how private people choose to be with their profiles, gender, race and age can be exposed and potentially (unconsciously or otherwise) affect hiring and screening decisions. Offering psychometric assessments can add objectivity and reduce unconscious bias.

Humanise the online recruitment process for passive candidates

Job candidates continue to abandon online job applications before completing them at a staggering rate. Various studies have found the rate to be anywhere from 60% to 90%. Employers suffer because they aren't accessing all of the talent trying to reach them, nor getting the full ROI from recruitment sites and job boards they are relying on to supply talent.

Social recruiting gives you an opportunity to humanise the process and build relationships with passive candidates (perhaps instigating conversations using existing content) to turn them into potential candidates. Employers who don't respond to candidates quickly (or at all) not only damage their employer brand, but decrease their future talent pool by putting people off applying for future roles. Respond to candidates like your business depends on it... because it does!

Humanity and technology could almost be seen as antithetical and worlds apart, but social media bridges the two worlds together.

How do you measure the results of your social recruiting strategies?

Glassdoor recommend the following metrics you can measure around quality of hires, influence over hires and retention, which should serve as a good starting point:

  • Cost per hire
  • Time to hire (e.g. the conversion rate between applications and jobs)
  • Candidate demographics
  • Cost per applicant
  • Source of applicants (e.g. platforms that the candidates are coming from)
  • Candidate engagements (e.g. social likes, shares, follows)
  • Competitor intelligence (perhaps target in a different way than your competitors!)
  • Company reputation and ratings.

Eventually, you might be able to build up a report of job searching behaviours and trends to tailor your social recruiting messaging and approaches to this.

In summary, social recruiting can give you the opportunity to strengthen your brand image and provide a pool of unique candidates to choose from. Social recruiting should be built into your existing recruitment strategy, your wider recruitment process, and you should ensure objectivity, personality and cultural fit with the help of psychometric assessments.