Why Social Media is the Greatest Tool for Recruiting in History

Category: Articles
Author Name: Jim McKay
Posted: 03-31-2018 07:56 AM
Views: 3416
Synopsis: According to a recent SHRM survey, 84% of companies today use social media to recruit talented employees and over two-thirds of those companies find it effective to find quality candidates and fill management positions in a shorter period of time.  Organizations who use social media in the recruiting process have an advantage over those who don't and will find higher quality talent in a shorter period of time.  Learn how your company can leverage social media in the recruiting process.

Great organizations are always on the lookout for great talent.  Without it, most are destined to fail.  By using social media to find and attract potential employees, organizations can significantly increase the odds of finding talented and successful people. Social media is the largest source of information about people in the history of the world.  Not only can you uncover nearly everything about a person’s work history, experience, and education in social media, you can also read ideas, opinions and comments that came directly from the mind of potential recruits.  Never has finding and evaluating talent been easier.


Social Media Presence


The first step in the process of social media recruiting is to develop a strong and professional social media presence.  A recent study found that nearly 60% of employees counted their employer’s social media as a factor in their decision to accept a job offer.  Social media accounts should portray a workplace that potential talent would love to work in.  Some of the most important traits that employees look for is a positive culture, cultural diversity, business success, opportunities for advancement, recognition, and salary.  However, salary is just one factor.  Most talented employees would rather work in a positive, uplifting environment than get paid a little more and be miserable.


Where the Talent Hangs Out


An increasing number of people these days are using social media as a hangout.  People go to their favorite sites and discuss things of interest to them.  Become part of those discussions and watch for talented people that could help your workplace succeed.  If you find someone who is providing thoughtful commentary or answers to questions, you may have a potential candidate.  These hangouts are a great place to gauge expertise and the ability to communicate.  Potential employees have their guard down and the information they provide is much more valuable that pre-rehearsed answers to interviewing questions.


Hangouts also provide a window into a recruit’s character, values, and attitude.  People in these hangouts provide information about these traits without even knowing it.  The information you gather in hangouts is far more accurate and therefore valuable.


Social Media Accounts as Resumes


Potential recruits who aren’t actively looking for a new job may not have resumes, but their accounts on sites like Linkedin give recruiters information about past jobs and education that will quickly show if they have the experience and knowledge necessary to work in your organization.   This will save employers wasted time of recruiting candidates that aren’t qualified.


Become a Voyeur


The way people interact with others, their attitude, and how they view their current job are often reflected in social media accounts.  If a recruit is publicly bashing their current employer or talking about how much they hate their profession, co-workers, or boss they probably aren’t a great candidate, no matter how much experience and education they have.  Smart recruiters save time and money by watching for these factors before ever approaching a recruit.


This strategy is effective when making a hiring decision as well.  A large percentage of companies now check social media accounts before they hire to check for character, illegal activities, and to verify information.  Organizations now can avoid the massive cost and inconvenience of hiring a poorly performing or unqualified candidate that must be terminated.


The Price is Right


Most social media reporting is completely free.  Paying for advertising, attending seminars or conferences, or hiring professional recruiters are all expensive.  Social media provides a giant pool of talent at no cost.   The money saved on recruiting can be used other places that make the organization stronger.


The Best Talent May Not be Actively Looking for Employment


Chances are that when an organization has a valuable employee, they are doing what they can to keep that employee.  However, that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be open to changing employers if what you offer is a better choice.  In the past, this type of recruit was much harder to reach.  Now, this talent is just a click away.


Organizations refer to employees who are not in the job market as passive candidates and according to a recent SHRM survey 82% of employers cite finding and attracting passive candidates as a reason for using social media for recruiting. 




By listening to potential employees on social media you often find out what is important to them.  This allows employers to shape their company’s culture and benefits to fit the desires of the market.  It also allows recruiters to provide the incentives that a valuable recruit has expressed as important.  For instance, if a diverse culture is important to a recruit, you can highlight your organization’s commitment to diversity or if flex time is important, it can be used as an incentive.


The information found on social media is so valuable that the time needed to fill key management positions decreases significantly for organizations who take advantage of it.  Social media is less effective as a source for recruiting hourly and non-management employees, but it is effective nonetheless.   52% of organizations report that they have found hourly candidates on social media and decreased the time to hire for these positions as well.


Legal Entanglements


Social media recruiting is not without some peril.  When organizations have excluded federally protected groups in their recruiting efforts, they can be sued civilly or fined by the EEOC.  A potential loss of millions is possible depending on the severity of the discrimination.  Often, organizations don’t even realize they are engaging in discriminatory practices.  It takes oversight and a deliberate effort to recruit from all groups to ensure that bias and stereotyping don’t derail recruiting efforts.


Finding talented employees has never been easier.  Social media has opened a world of information and access that no one would have thought possible 20 years ago.  Organizations that take advantage of this giant pool of information will hire more talent and get the edge they need to succeed in today’s quickly changing, competitive marketplace. 

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