Coburg Banks | Multi-sector UK recruitment agency

The 8 Crucial Benefits of Social Media Recruiting

By James Ball | Aug 3, 2015 | Attracting Staff

Recent studies have revealed that a whopping 93% of recruiters (including us!) exploit social media when recruiting staff.

That can hardly be a coincidence!

The truth is; if used properly, social media can improve your quality of job candidates, decrease your cost-per-hire and speed up your entire recruitment process.

Not convinced?

Below, we’ve outlined the 8 undeniable benefits of social media recruiting, guaranteed to change your mind…

1. Extend Your Reach.

3 LinkedIn job advertsHow NOT to attract the best staff for your business: simply post your job advert online and wait for the applications to come streaming in!

Job boards and CV databases are great and they will help you to track down people who are actively looking for a new role, but there is a whole pool of people out there that you could end up missing out on.

You simply MUST post your job adverts on social media too – and we’re not just talking about LinkedIn.

True, LinkedIn is by the far the most popular professional networking tool and it should be top of your list, but to access many people, with different backgrounds, skills, and characters, you should utilise the whole range of available resources.

Recruiter Pro Tip.

If you’re serious about reaching a variety of different people, then you should post your vacancies on a variety of platforms, including but not limited to…

  • Facebook.
  • Twitter.
  • Google+.

There are so many different resources out there, why waste them?

Have you ever considered getting creative with Pinterest? Instagram? Or even Snapchat?

To learn more about advertising with Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat, click on the article links, above.

2. Screen Candidates.

Most recruiters use social media as a screening tool (recruitment agencies will automatically do this for you).

On receiving an attractive CV, the next logical step is to do a little background research on the applicant and what better way than to check out their LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook profiles.

It’s not stalking; it’s research!

Recruiter Pro Tip.

different linkedin profile picturesIt’s important to take anything you see on an applicant’s online profile with a pinch of salt; it’s highly unlikely to be an accurate reflection of the way they’ll behave professionally.

(For example, try not to judge a candidate on their profile picture, just because they look a bit ‘over excitable!’)

That said, most sensible candidates will be well aware of a recruiter’s tendency to stalk social media profiles and thus theirs will be clean…

It’s best practice to use social media to make sure that there’s nothing really, really wrong with a candidate!

So, for example, a candidate’s Twitter profile may reveal trolling tendencies (and I wouldn’t recommend hiring anyone who takes joy in upsetting others).

In this way, you can reject clearly unacceptable applicants, without wasting time interviewing them.

3. Save Money!

For the most part, social media recruiting is free.

In fact, all you really need to start targeting and talking to suitable job candidates is a profile or an account.

This makes it a great place to start your recruitment drive – and if it doesn’t work? – No harm, no foul, move on to a different approach.

Recruiter Pro Tip.

LinkedIn does offer a pretty fantastic paid service called “LinkedIn Recruiter” which might be worth investigating.

Using this tool, you can access over 17+ million people that you aren’t connected with and you can use a range of filters to more successfully target your searches.

This tool is very expensive though and would only be worth it if you had a substantial team that are dedicated to recruitment.

You could also consider Facebook and LinkedIn paid advertising (click on the links to discover more) although, this too can get expensive and there’s no guarantee that you’ll be successful.

Of course, posting on social media sites, tracking results and contacting each and every suitable candidate will take up an awful lot of time, so it’s worth factoring that into your calculations.

4. Engage with Candidates.

Using social media, as opposed to faceless CV databases and job boards will allow you to engage with your candidates before (and after) approaching them.

Start a conversation, suss out their ‘cultural fit’ and at the same time, publish great content, to keep yourself ‘top-of-mind.’

You might not have a vacancy right now, but by constantly engaging your network, when you do have one, they’ll know and trust you (hence they’ll be more likely to apply or refer others to the vacancy)!

The more engaged a candidate, the more you’ll learn about them and the more they’ll learn (and love) about you.

5. Sell Your Company.

example of a LinkedIn engaging updateDid you know that 67% of job candidates will check out your company’s social media profile?

That gives you the perfect opportunity to sell yourselves as an employer of choice and attract better, more relevant candidates to apply for your jobs.

You should make a real effort to post interesting content regularly to engage your candidates, but also to get your brand out there (the more shares you get, the more people will hear about you!)

Recruiter Pro Tip. 

Make sure that the content you publish is…

  • Fairly inoffensive and uncontroversial. Let’s be honest, controversy does sell on the internet…but there’s a difference between engaging people and offending them. There IS such a thing as bad publicity (as these unlucky lot know well).
  • Interesting to your audience! It’s no good going on and on about something which YOU find interesting but everyone else finds incredibly boring. You can find an interesting twist for any subject matter, just check out this financial blog.
  • Reflective of your true company values and culture – a sure-fire way to attract likeminded individuals.

The better, friendlier and more helpful your posts, the more attractive your company will become – not only to potential employees – but to prospective customers too!

6. Approach Passive Candidates.

You could already be missing out on a huge pool of potential superstars… passive candidates – those who are employed and currently NOT seeking a new job.

Not interested in passive candidates? Why ever not?

  • By definition, they won’t be interviewing (or even looking) for other positions.
  • You can target them more rigorously (you choose who to approach).
  • They’re clearly not desperate and willing to accept any old job; you’ll know they care.

LinkedIn is your most valuable tool for hunting down and contacting passive candidates.

But it’s also worth remembering that every time you publish content on other sites (like Facebook) and it gets shared, more people will see it, hear about the company and be tempted to apply for jobs in the future.

(So you’re already reaching and speaking to an awful lot of passive candidates)!

To find out more about contacting passive candidates check out our recent blog, aptly named: “How to Approach a Passive Candidate.”

7. Get More Referrals.

Getting your staff to post vacancies on their personal (as well as professional) social media profiles can yield some really great results for three reasons…

  • They’ll screen the responses. employees are unlikely to recommend anyone who they feel wouldn’t be suitable for the job – it’s too risky for them.
  • Your reach will widen. Your staff are bound to have a completely different group of connections to your company’s.
  • You’ll attract similar people. We mix with likeminded people, so referrals will often be more likely to fit into the company culture.

In fact, the same principal could apply to your friends and family…do you know anyone that would be willing to a post a job advert for you?

The more people who see it, the likelier you are to find your superstar!

Recruiter Pro Tip

You could even offer a prize or reward to the staff member who finds the successful new recruit!

That would certainly ramp up your recruitment drive.

8. Attract Modern Minds.

Is it really important to you that your candidate is up to date with the latest tech and online trends?

You’ll probably expect them to be using most (if not all) of the social media sites, then…

Taking a glance online will allow you to quickly suss out how often and how efficiently they use social media sites.

This is really important if you’re hiring creative staff, for example, you can learn a lot about a person’s tone of voice and writing skills from what they’re willing to post on social media.

The Dreaded Downside.

Social Media recruiting takes time.

To pull it off successfully, you need to be able to commit a huge amount of time to…

  • Building up a network of followers, friends and connections etc.
  • Engaging with those followers, friends and connections etc. That’s got to be at the very least one or two posts a week (not including the individual contact you’ll have to maintain.)
  • Contact candidates. It’s not the same as sending an email blast out to thousands, you have to invest time in searching for and individually messaging the right people.

…and you’ll have to persuade your employees to do the same.

If you can do that, then social media recruitment is certainly worth it.

If not, then we highly recommend finding someone else to do it for you (in fact that’s one of the key reasons that hiring managers are using recruitment agencies again.)

Good Luck.

PS. If you’d like more guidance on optimising your recruitment process, click here to sign up to our blog and we’ll send over a weekly email revealing more insider secrets…

- James Ball

James Ball

James is the founder and owner of Coburg Banks and a recruitment expert from Sutton Coldfield in the UK.  He regularly advises companies on how to improve and get the maximum ROI from their recruitment processes.

> More blog posts by James Ball

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