Is Social Recruiting Smarter Hiring? |

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.

Organisations are increasingly looking for innovative ways to make recruitment practices more efficient, effective, engaging and personal. One approach that's becoming widespread is social recruiting. 

What is social recruiting? 

Social recruiting, also known as social media recruiting and social hiring refers to the use of social media platforms (such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, online forums, job boards and blogs) to find, attract and hire talent.

Social media has shifted behaviours from news-sharing to how potential employees look for jobs and how 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. 

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. 70% of hiring managers say they've successfully hired with social media. The onus is on both the potential employer and the potential employee to brand themselves as both parties engage in a process of targeting, selection and screening.

Can you predict recruitment success through social media?

Alone, social media cannot predict if an individual would be an asset or a liability once hired, 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.

A person's social media footprint gives employers (and others) an insight into passions, interests, communication styles, work habits, work/life balance and all sorts of other valuable information. As useful as that may be, we know that a good 'character fit' is equally as crucial when sourcing talent on social media, and that's where psychometric testing can really add value.

Our talent assessment platform allows you to see beyond the CV and someone’s social media presence to identify the personality and behavioural traits that would best suit the role you're recruiting for.

Things to consider with social recruiting

Let’s look at the challenges you might face when considering social recruitment along with some possible solutions

How to start social recruiting

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 social-savvy job seekers with unique career opportunities and benefits.

Stand out as an attractive employer

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 social content and high-quality 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".

Identifying the ideal candidates

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

This is something Thomas can help 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. Attracting the right employee can lead to better team fit and optimised performance, as well as cost efficiency when turnover is reduced. Happy people, happy company!

Make sure you recruit fairly

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 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.

Online recruitment 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 miss out on some of the talent available to them and may not get the full ROI from recruitment sites and job boards they rely on to supply talent acquisition.

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 worlds apart, but social media bridges the two worlds effectively.

How to assess social media recruitment

Glassdoor recommend the following metrics to measure the quality of hires, influence over hires and retention:

  • 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 should be able to build up a report of job searching behaviours and trends around which to tailor your social recruiting messaging and approaches.

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 can be built into your existing recruitment strategy and you should ensure objectivity, personality and cultural fit with the help of psychometric assessments.

Our Guide to Effective Recruitment explains how you can develop a robust recruitment process and how to measure its success.