Recruiting Today Takes Social Skills

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Not only can social media offer the most complete picture of a candidate, but it’s also the vehicle of communication that comes most naturally to most job candidates. As candidate expectations change and social technologies expand, the rules of recruiting are being redefined.

Sourcing Talent: Recruiters can get to know potential candidates online long before conducting interviews. Most candidates have extensive online profiles, offering detailed information about their background and work experiences. Rather than make a hiring decision on a paper résumé and in-person interview, recruiters can now learn more about prospects ahead of time.

This effort of finding talent and getting to know them through social media doesn’t make recruiters obsolete. All the information available makes the selection process more complex. Recruiters have become even more vital, as their roles have evolved to that of a marketer, technologist and salesperson to keep talent coming in the door and staying there.

Employer Branding: Recruiters now have more information about candidates, but candidates also have more information about working at your company. Company culture, employee opinion and salary data are available online.

Crucial to creating social media buzz about open jobs is an established employer brand — your company’s reputation as an employer. With social media, there are likely lots of people talking about your company — employees, former employees, interviewees and customers. Make sure the message you want to convey is getting across.

Candidates are more fragmented across the Web than ever, so you have to be where the target talent is. There are numerous platforms for communicating your brand such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter. Managing your brand across all these platforms is a big job, so employer branding is important.

But managing employer brand takes adynamic content marketing approach. This means finding ways to tell your company’s story through blog posts, video, microblogging, case studies, employee profiles or online job reviews. Video, in particular, has become increasingly important to recruitment content strategy. Research has shown video content is much more likely to show up in online search results than other forms of content.

Candidate Experience: Before social media, the candidate experience was very transactional, not personal. Recruiters were like order-takers at a drive-thru joint, and candidates were simply moved through the process in a mechanical way, often using onerous Web application forms requiring numerous steps.

Today, candidates expect to be treated differently; they prefer a human touch. Social media allow the application process to take place more quickly using mobile devices. By interacting with candidates through social technologies, recruiters can make the process more engaging. Responding to comments on Facebook or blog posts can start or continue conversations with potential employees.

Recruiting Technology: Gone are the days of the paper résumé. Today, social media sites such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn have transformed recruiting technology. Applicant tracking systems also now have social capabilities, automatically matching users’ social contacts to jobs that may fit.

Candidate relationship management software can capture rich living profile data and use it for recruitment initiatives. The ability to create internal databases of social profiles, competitor intelligence and past applicants is at our fingertips.

Furthermore, the move toward open Web sourcing tools can solve the problem of candidate fragmentation online. These tools simplify Web sources to a single search of aggregated information on talent, making sourcing more efficient.

Recruiting Analytics: One of the best things about social media is that it’s highly measurable. No longer are the days when recruiters had to rely on candidate survey information on a paper application. With analytics, recruiters have access to plenty of information; they can consider engagement metrics, reputation, brand impressions and source analytics.

Remember these things as you build your social recruitment strategy. Doing so will help keep your company abreast of the race for top talent.