There is no denying that social media has changed the way we live our lives. It has impacted the way we get our news, how we interact with our loved ones, what we do, what we wear, and what we buy. It’s given users a platform to share their passions, their opinions and is used in social change efforts. It’s also changed the way that brands market to consumers, and of course, in the world of HR, how employers recruit talent. With social media usage being one of the most popular online activities it’s a no brainer that using such platforms to attract and engage with candidates should be part of your recruitment and social media strategy in 2020 if it isn’t already. If implemented the right way, social media recruitment is both a time and cost-effective way to attract and hire.
As of 2019, 3.2 billion individuals were using social media (Emarsys, 2019). While candidates are still certainly using job search engines like Indeed, Glassdoor and Monster, the features on social media go far beyond posting a job opening and description. Though LinkedIn, meant for professional networking, job searching and connecting with like-minded individuals in professional spaces is technically considered a social media platform, other platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are also incredibly powerful tools employers can use to potentially attract, engage and hire talent. Through, pictures, videos and text, employers and brands are afforded the ability to capture attention. Employers can give job seekers, including the passive candidate, a look into company culture, values, achievements, notable company updates and job openings.
Millennials, who spend a lot of time scrolling, posting, liking and sharing, make up the majority of social media users at 90%, and more than three-quarters of Generation Xers (77.5%) are on social media, too. To many people’s surprise, baby boomers are also on social media, with almost 50% reporting having at least one active account (Emarketer, 2019). This data shows that employers can reach all generations via social media recruiting efforts, even those who are not necessarily job searching.
With that said, not all social media channels are created equal, and each can be leveraged differently. Below we describe the difference between 4 social media platforms employers are using to interact with candidates.
- LinkedIn (Recruiter): Designed to be a professional social networking site, LinkedIn is the most successful choice for corporate recruiting, with 500 million users and 10 million job postings. It’s also the most popular job search platform and probably the one you’re most familiar with. It’s mobile-friendly and is filled with a strong talent pool, allowing users to connect with, and manage candidates so you can prioritize those most open to hearing from you. You can using certain recruiting features for free, or purchase add-on features to enhance your efforts.
- Facebook: Facebook is the market leader in social media with ~68% (two-thirds) of US adults liking, sharing and commenting on the networking site (Pew Research Center). Facebook launched a business feature in 2017 where page admins (your employer /brand page) can create a job post, track applications and communicate directly with applicants. After posting a job, admins are able to review applications and contact applicants on the Facebook Messenger app, all on mobile and all in one place. Just as with other posts, they can boost job posts to reach a larger or more relevant audience. You can learn more here.
- Instagram: While not your traditional recruitment platform, the use of Instagram does offer several benefits in the recruitment space when used correctly. Employers are learning to use Instagram’s direct message feature to communicate with candidates, and according to a LinkedIn survey, half of all professionals are following companies on instagram and social media as a way stay aware of their jobs. Instagram offers a unique story-telling feature where employers can showcase culture, values, new product launches, employee milestones and more to give a deeper look into the company. The use of #hashtagging search words relevant to posts is another way to further your reach.
- Twitter: 140 characters might not feel like a lot, but it can be enough to show candidates that your company should be on their radar for job seekers. Twitter isn’t necessarily a stand-alone strategy either, but more of an additional tactic for your main social media recruitment efforts.
According to Career Arc’s “The Future of Recruiting” study, 91% of employers report using social media to recruit candidates. Job seekers agree that professional and social media platforms are the most valuable resource for their job search as compared to job ads, recruiting agencies, job boards and career fairs. In fact, Aberdeen Group research has reported that 73% of millennials found their last position through a social media platform/site. That same study found that 99% of job seekers believe that attracting top talent is impacted by how an employer manages their brand and reputation on social media. If you’re not already using one or all of these platforms, consider executing a plan to do so. Of course, posting content that resonates with them is another topic. Check out the below “Industry News” articles to read more on social media recruitment and companies who are doing it well.