A Case for Creating a Social Recruiting Culture
December 04, 2015 by Mike Roberts
Social recruiting is much easier said than done. But when its done right, it can make life easier for talent acquisition teams. Although sites like Twitter and LinkedIn may be far down on the source of hire list in 2015, more and more companies seem to be interested in and experimenting with social recruiting than ever before.
An Aberdeen study found that 73% of Millennials found their last job through a social network. So, why not meet them their, on their own social turf?
Where do you start, though? Recruiters need to think outside the box, beyond just setting up an automated job requisition Twitter feed that no one follows or engages with. At its best, social media should be used as a means for building a sense of familiarity and relationships between recruiters, your employer brand, and candidates. Getting to this point takes buy-in and sustained commitment.
The power of the internet, and its uncanny ability to connect disparate individuals as well as accelerate the spread of information should be enough to attain buy-in from senior leaders, and pique the interest of your recruiters. But sustaining commitment is more difficult. Doing so requires a change in mindset—and culture.
To understand the change in culture, it can be helpful to take a page from the digital marketer’s handbook. Because after all, these are the professionals who make a living off brand building and customer acquisition. The best digital marketing teams eat, sleep, and breathe social media—so to speak. It’s part of their culture. They consider and incorporate a social element in everything they do.
Social media has become a cornerstone in digital marketing strategies, mostly driven by the return on investment companies have experienced from it. Just like the recruiting funnel, digital marketers are trying to widen the top of the marketing funnel. Social media enables them to dramatically increase their reach beyond what was possible in the past.
For most digital marketing teams, reallocating resources to the internet has paid off big time. In this case, reallocation refers to taking budget from traditional forms of marketing like billboards and TV ads. For recruiting, that translates to reallocating budget away from traditional areas like job boards, toward recruitment marketing areas like social recruiting.
So, how do you develop a social recruiting culture? It starts with empowering recruiters with the know-how in the first place and creating an environment where social media experimentation is acceptable. The workplace is largely made up by Millennials—a.k.a the world’s first generation of digital citizens—and in many cases the social media animal inside just needs to be unleashed in the context of recruiting.
Acquiring expertise in social recruiting could potentially come via third-party consultants. It could also be catalyzed, on a forward-looking basis, by hiring talent acquisition and other digitally-savvy professionals with a strength in social media marketing and an understanding of how to connect with and engage people on the internet.
Regardless of how you start building your social recruiting culture, the point is to start, even if you start small, with the goal of taking it to the next level again and again.
We love to talk about all aspects of recruiting through the lens of a continuous improvement model. Continuous improvement models are essentially quantifiable approaches to experimentation and growth. Social recruiting strategies can be iterated upon in this manner. And providing measurable proof can help nurture the culture you’re working to build.
Developing a social recruiting culture is not the answer to all of your recruiting challenges, but it’s a move in the right direction toward a wider top of the recruiting funnel. So many aspects of recruitment marketing, such as creating employer branding content and building an awesome career site are powerful because they move past the transactional job board recruiting model toward actually pulling candidates in.
It’s expected that social recruiting will only pick up steam in the coming year. Which side of the digital fence will you be on?
Mike Roberts works at Jibe, a talent acquisition and candidate experience software company. He writes extensively on topics like recruitment marketing, candidate experience, and social recruiting. Check out the Jibe blog and connect with him on Twitter.