Using Social Media Tools For Recruiting
In recent research Bond International Software found that only 25% of candidates have used social media to find a job, and of these, only 14% found it helpful. While this highlights that social media isn’t a popular platform for candidates to find a job, the use of social media varies between demographics and age groups. The research found that age groups from 25-34 were the most likely age to use LinkedIn as a platform to look for a job while C-level Executives (46%) and Executive Directors (50%) were also the most likely group to actively use the platform to find a job.
But while social media recruiting tools such as Facebook and LinkedIn might not be the most useful for consistent candidate sourcing, there is the possibility that highly-skilled candidates are using these platforms to search for new employment. Therefore, to help recruiters utilise social media platforms correctly to locate the best talent, we have put together some best practice advice.
Check their endorsements, but be wary
Endorsements are a feature unique to LinkedIn. They are essentially an indicator of how others rate that candidate’s skills and expertise – and can only come from first-degree connections, i.e. people that person is connected with.
However, as they can be acquired relatively easily, the value of endorsements has frequently come into question. Acquiring an endorsement is as easy as pressing ‘like’ on a Facebook post – all you need to do is be connected to the person you wish to endorse and then click on the skill you want to rate them for.
Furthermore, endorsements provide little value beyond giving people an idea of their skillset, as they do not provide any detail or examples of how they have used those skills. In this instance, recommendations would be far more useful, as they would most likely come from an individual who has witnessed that candidate’s skills first-hand.
With this considered, it is vital that recruiters take the time to analyse a candidate’s endorsements and determine whether or not the skills they have accumulated are actually accurate and representative of that individual.
Do they follow any professional groups?
Professional groups provide recruiters with a great indication of just what candidates are invested and participating in, as well as highlighting their commitment to their own personal and professional development.
Candidates who regularly join groups relevant to their industry, contribute to them and participate, are the kinds of candidates who love to educate themselves and others. These are the kinds of candidates who would be a benefit to any business.
Do they have a photo of themselves – and is it professional?
A candidate’s profile, be it on LinkedIn or Facebook, is effectively their digital CV and forms a significant part of a recruiter’s or employer’s first impression. It is in their best interest then to choose a professional photo which will help them to capture not only the attention of employers and recruiters and gain their approval, but also convey their professionalism.
For recruiters, it is important to appreciate that some employers will want to see a visual representation of their candidates. It’s not about how the candidate looks, but rather how they present themselves. If they want to be perceived as professional, they should look polished, well-dressed and approachable.
Have they been recommended by anyone?
Recommendations are like glowing miniature seals of approval – they effectively tell anyone visiting your profile that a company, former colleague or manager holds you in high regard and respects your skills.
However, just as with endorsements, recommendations can be artificially created and sometimes incredibly vague. And therein lies the problem: how do you determine if they are genuine – and if they are, what value do they bring?
You should look for recommendations that clearly highlight an employee’s specific achievements in detail, provide examples of their work, and how they contributed to the business’ goals.
Make sure your recruitment proposals are interesting!
As with any social media channel leveraged as a means to contact candidates, ensuring your messages are as personalised, specific and informative as possible, is key to getting a response.
We have spoken in-depth previously about how best to communicate with candidates, but here are a few quick points you should always remember when it comes to contacting candidates.
- Be friendly, but professional
- Introduce yourself
- Be specific
- Do follow-up
In today’s world, your candidates are constantly bombarded with information relating to a particular job opportunity, and many of these emails and messages will be generic and irrelevant to what they are actually looking for.
Your recruitment proposals, emails and messages therefore need to be interesting and intriguing enough that your candidates open your mail – and engage with you.
Have they shared any good content recently?
Candidates who regularly share high-quality, thought-provoking content are generally those who are more invested in their industry and want to educate others on particular developments. In addition, those who have written and shared their own content are likely to be knowledgeable and have a strong understanding of the industry for which they have written.
These are the types of candidates that will constantly push to educate themselves to refine their understanding of an industry or business – and would therefore prove to be excellent candidates for recruiters.
Ultimately, while social media recruiting tools, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, might not be the most effective in generating a large number of high-quality candidates, those high-quality candidates are, nevertheless, there.
And, with over 1.87 billion monthly users on Facebook (which accounts to 22.9% of the world’s global population) and 467 million on LinkedIn (as of 2016), there is no reason for recruiters not to leverage these social media platforms for candidate sourcing, as the cost is relatively insignificant and the possibilities vast.