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Social Media Recruiting – An overview

With rapidly changing trends in the labor market, the context within which firms are operating today has become more volatile, complex and unpredictable. Around the world, many employers complain about their inability to find the right talent within their organizations and thus are no longer able to remain competitive.

Consequently, they not only need to work harder to retain their best people, but also devise more innovative hiring practices. Traditional post-and-pray recruitment channels, such as paper-based job advertisements, billboard postings or radio announcements, in which employers ‘post’ vacancies and ‘pray’ for suitable candidates to apply, no longer suffice. Although these passive recruitment methods are nowhere near extinction, it is important to note that they only have a very limited ability to reach a highly specific audience and should be used in combination with additional options for reaching and engaging candidates. After all, the growth in technological capabilities and universal access to the Internet have opened new doors to the field of Human Resources and enable recruiters to undertake more innovative approaches when setting out to hire talent.

In fact, it is nowadays recommended to complement passive job postings with an active approach towards job candidates as well. This illustrates a shift in the balance of power between employer and employee: It is not the candidate who is applying or a job and trying to impress the hiring organization, but rather the employer is applying to the candidate and is trying to generate an interest in the vacancy. Differently put: Now, more than ever, talented individuals have the negotiating leverage to ratchet up their expectations for their careers.

With these aspects in mind, social media recruiting has recently emerged in the recruitment industry and is considered a valuable solution when it comes to facing the ongoing challenges in the labor market.  Hereby, companies are incentivized to fundamentally rethink their sourcing strategies by proactively identifying and contacting suitable candidates for vacancies on social media networks.

After all, more than 4 billion people have access to the World Wide Web, of which nearly 80% are active on at least one social media account. This represents a major opportunity for recruiters when it comes to identifying their desired talents across the globe.

Benefits of Social Media Recruiting

The main benefit of this innovative recruitment approach can be attributed to the fact that social media recruiting is able to detect the estimated 80% of passive candidates, who are looking for better opportunities, but are not yet committed to a full-blown job search. As people in this group are currently employed, they are not under any pressure to search for alternative career options, but will consider making a job change if the right opportunity arises. Given they represent much wider pool of professionals than those actively looking for a job, it is argued that employers, who rely on active seekers despite the ongoing talent shortage, will find it impossible to fill key functions with suitable candidates. In addition, it is assumed that passive candidates tend to be more successful and desirable in the labor market than those actively searching for employment and therefore hold a higher market value. In a broader recruitment context, this implies that top candidates no longer apply from their own initiative, but instead wait to be approached by hiring organizations.

Take aways

It can generally be noted that social networks, such as XING and LinkedIn, are among the most popular channels recruiters can use to identify suitable candidates.

Although the importance of these career networks in a recruitment context can no longer be denied, recruiters should note that they only make up a minor part of the Web- people also leave various other digital footprints that are readily available for potential employers to read and see. By aggregating data from several platforms, they are given a more comprehensive and diverse insight into the individual than if the information was gathered from just a single platform. Consequently, recruiters can, for instance, explore a software developers path of social media engagement on Github or Stack Overflow, whereby marketers may have presented their online portfolios on Behance or their own personal blogs.

Do you need assistance in your social media recruiting? Talentwunder’s global talent search engine can help you find suitable talent and displays the social media networks they are present on. That way, you can easily reach out to your desired target group on their most preferred channels! Talentwunder furthermore calculates their probability of changing jobs, as well as their relocation probability.