Social Media and the Candidate Experience

Social media has grown into a strategic imperative in corporate recruiting. Recruiters now use social media sites to brand, source, communicate and build relationships in ways that increase the speed and depth to which companies can add to their ranks.

The online candidate experience is no exception. In addition to building out detailed career websites to add to their applicant tracking systems, some companies have added social media to humanize the experience for the end user.

Case-Mate, an Atlanta-based maker of cases for smartphones and other electronic devices, does a number of things to integrate social media into its online applicant experience.

The first thing most job seekers see when they visit Case-Mate’s careers page is a series of videos describing what it’s like to work for each of the company’s main departments. Each video, which is posted via YouTube, is enabled with sharing options allowing the user to pass it along to another potential job seeker with the click of a button.

The bottom of the careers page features links to other social media — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube — in addition to its own blog. The blog, which is written and managed by Case-Mate’s recruiting team, features entries written mostly about the company’s culture. There are also entries about new employees.

Both of the company’s primary recruitment managers also offer links on the career page directing users to their personal Twitter accounts. Online job candidates can connect directly with a face and a name should they have questions throughout the initial application process, said Alex Putman, the company’s director of talent attraction and recruitment branding.

Putman said part of the reason it’s important for recruiters to put their own face on social media throughout the online candidate experience is so candidates can feel they have a personalized relationship with the company.

“At the end of the day we have a product that we sell as a company, and anybody who is applying is going to have an opportunity to look around our website and be customers,” Putman said. “We want them to have a positive experience in all aspects of the company.”

Another way to add social media to the online candidate experience is to adopt applicant technologies that enable candidates to pull in parts of their social media profiles for their submissions.

Ryan Cook, global recruitment operations leader at building management consulting firm CH2M Hill, said the company allows its applicants to pull in parts of LinkedIn profiles to complete most of its online application.

“It can auto-populate name fields, experience fields … instead of making the end user complete and populate everything,” Cook said. This helps limit the amount of time candidates spend completing the initial online application.