Social media has undoubtedly changed the way that many businesses market themselves, their products and their brand to potential customers. For recruiters working in a competitive market, social media provides a unique opportunity to connect with potential employees. Successful social recruiting is achievable with the right tools but there are potential pros and cons to consider.
Social media isn’t a “quick fix” and it takes time and dedication to produce quality content. Social media won’t work for recruiting if the only time your company uses it is to post the occasional job opportunity.
Posts, tweets and updates need to be regular and consistent so that you can grow your following organically through quality and timely content. It shouldn’t be just about what jobs are available but about building a rapport with your audience and engaging with them. That kind of relationship and engagement, however, takes time and effort to get right.
There are potential legal pitfalls in screening and searching for potential candidates on social media as profiles may reveal information that is usually protected during the recruitment process. On an application form, for example, you can’t ask someone their religion, ethnic background or sexual orientation but this information is often obvious through profile information, particularly on personal profiles.
As a result, information that you are not allowed to consider when recruiting and wouldn’t normally have access to could be used to discriminate against recruits. Comprehensive guidelines should be created to make sure that this doesn’t happen and to protect your company.
Whilst social media platforms are accessible and used by all ages and demographics they inevitably have a key following which can mean that they lack diversity for recruiting. LinkedIn users, for example, have a predominantly older and higher income so it may not be the right place to promote to career starters or a younger demographic.
If you are specifically looking for a certain level of experience or management level then a platform like Instagram which has a higher percentage of younger users wouldn’t be appropriate. Identifying where your potential recruits are is key but if you recruit at all levels it can mean that you have to maintain and develop a presence on different platforms to compensate.
If you have an established following and presence on social media then you have a ready made receptive audience. Adding a link to your Tweets and Posts is free. You can pay to promote and increase your reach but creating quality content and making it shareable will also reach your potential recruits for free.
Encourage your followers, likers and your employees to share your recruitment posts so that they reach a wider audience – it’s a strategy that works but doesn’t cost you anything extra.
Social media as a marketing strategy is unique. Unlike traditional methods which only allow for one way communication, social media thrives on two way engagement with your audience. Even if you aren’t currently recruiting, you can build relationships and communicate with your audience so that they are primed and in place.
When you do want to recruit you have a willing network that can help make the process cheaper, because they will share your content for you without having to pay for it, and quicker. A successful recruitment campaign on social media could lead to a role being filled before traditional media has even gone to print.
If you are a recruitment agency, your followers are likely to be potential clients (who will be able to see how effectively you can use social media to find the right employees for them), or someone who is themselves a prospective candidate looking for a job. If you are a company or organisation your audience are already interested in what you do and what you can offer.
In either case your existing audience are already interested in you. If you choose to pay to promote or advertise your job opportunities then you can be very specific about who you want to target through demographics, location or interests ensuring your posts get seen by the right prospective candidates.