Social recruitment looks set to redefine the way businesses attract new recruits, as smart organisations recognise the value of social media in engaging the new generation of talent and giving them a competitive edge. But what steps can employers – who are themselves new recruits to this form of recruitment – take to ensure they connect with the best candidates?
The media generation
Gen Y are different. They require a new approach to engagement. For the first time in history the youngest generation are an authority on the greatest change happening in the workplace – technology, the internet and the new form of communication.
Although up until recently it has been easy for employers to shy away from social media, the time has now come to recognise its potential as a powerful tool in attracting talent. The younger generation – or Gen Y – have grown up on the internet, their daily lives are carried out as much online as offline.
As a generalisation Gen Y are not only but also often focused on exactly what it will take to get ahead, possessing a positive, forward-thinking mentality. In order to appeal to this generation of talent, who spend a significant amount of their time immersed in this digital world, it makes sense to adopt a less traditional, more social media-savvy approach. After all this generation are spending longer on social networking sites than they do in lectures!
Where to start?
The new trend for social recruitment has evolved in response to these generational changes. It is an approach which helps reduce the communication gap between candidates and employers and makes managing the talent pipeline more cost effective and efficient for businesses. Although employers may initially be fearful about using a social networking site for recruitment, it is in fact very simple to master. It’s well worth the effort since social recruitment is a perfect match for today’s smart candidates who engage naturally in the ‘global community’, interacting and sharing views online as a matter of course. Consequently building relationships with talent through social recruitment will be the most accepted way of connecting with them.
Why not stick with the tried and tested?
Social recruitment should not undermine the role of more traditional recruitment strategies, which still have their place. There is no doubt that work experience and internships provide an excellent way of starting from scratch, although many organisations are choosing their interns through social recruiting. Graduate fairs, the milkround and careers services provide resources for gathering ideas and making initial contact with potential employees, while recruitment consultants and online recruitment sites will continue to fulfill an integral role in their own way in providing information about vacancies.
Tried and tested methods like online sites remain a key focus of recruitment campaigns, with most students recognising them as a resource for specific opportunities. The drawback here is that there is no way to build relationships. And while links to corporate recruitment sites may provide more insight into a company, they only act as a one-way communications platform.
The recruitment market is going through a new paradigm shift. At BraveNewTalent we believe that the change from print marketing to online marketing in the 90’s and early 2000’s is as radical as the change from online to social. They are completely different beasts and require both a different approach and also different success metrics.
Since recruitment is all about relationships, it makes sense that social media should have a big impact on this sector. This new ‘social recruiting’ approach aims to help employers foster relationships with potential recruits. It flips the traditional recruitment model so that rather than going out into the market fishing for talent, your prospective employees come to you, the employer, through social media, in other words from ‘top down’ to ‘bottom up’. This approach helps reduce the communication gap between candidates and employers and makes managing the talent pipeline more cost effective and efficient for businesses.
Using new media channels to interact directly with candidates offers many advantages. Apart from reducing costs, employers can connect with Gen Y in an environment they understand and through a communications avenue they can relate to. Conversely, talented individuals can take control of their careers by creating professional profiles, researching and connecting with their desired employers.
How it works
One example of the new breed of social recruitment sites is BraveNewTalent.com, a platform that allows Gen Y jobseekers to use social media to follow employer brands of their choice. The social networking platform allows users to have a professional profile when they engage with the employers they have an interest in. The site enables employers to see and engage with a community of followers prior to the application process, creating ‘Talent Words™’ in order to build their community.
The Talent Words™ concept is a more cost effective way of attracting highly targeted candidates for the recruitment sector. It uses social media marketing to entice talent into a single community. Employers are then given all the tools to bring together everything they are already doing on the social web – their Twitter and Facebook accounts, blogs, news, YouTube videos, job listings etc. You can access a broader pool of talent and use social media to network with and recruit leading talent while at the same time creating a favourable buzz around the employer brand.
- Research where you need to be: Come up with a social recruiting strategy. This involves thinking of the end goal.You will know about Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter; these are great to use but were not created specifically for employers to engage with Gen Y. They have their limitations for an end to end social recruiting solution. There are a new breed of social recruiting platform that includes BraveNewTalent – If you choose to join a social recruitment site such as BraveNewTalent.com as an employer, all you have to do is subscribe to the service, create a profile page, add content and information, and you can foster communities of candidates and build long-term relationships.
- Build your employer brand: Use the social recruitment platform to build your company’s brand and demonstrate what you have to offer, your values and your ethos. Give interested jobseekers an insight into day to day life by uploading video content and demonstrate your authority and knowledge by including careers advice.
- Communicate on your target audience’s wavelength: Demonstrate that you are an innovative, forward thinking employer with awareness of the key issues related to your industry. The online world is about sharing knowledge, and the more you share, the more you will increase your value to others, and be perceived as a valuable commodity. Don’t just use it as a broadcast channel but take the opportunity to engage.
Don’t miss out
Social media is radically changing the way many employers approach the recruitment process. This new channel can radically cut costs as well as add to the rentention of candidates. It is simple that better informed, engaged candidates make better employees. It is no surprise, therefore, that employers such as Accenture are publicly announcing that they aim to hire at least 40% of their talent through this new medium. Understanding how social media can be used to your advantage in the recruitment arena is an essential tool if you are to keep ahead of the talent recruitment game. Make it a part of your strategy – if you don’t try you’ll never find out, and you could lose out!