Social media in employer branding: Is this the key to successful social recruiting?
There is one question that employers want to know when discussing social recruiting, and it crops up time and time again:
What do job seekers expect with regards to social media, and how do they interact with social media with regards to recruitment?
There are usually three reasons behind this question:
1) Companies are considering social media as part of their recruitment strategy
2) Companies are using social recruiting, and want to improve their success rate by ensuring they are doing it 'properly'
3) Companies deciding not to be using social recruiting methods, use the answers to justify why they stay away (a good example is the 2009 Facebook fear campaigns in the press)
This is currently a very important area for employers, as their 'employer brand' is fast becoming very key indeed, in the transparent and viral nature of social media. HR Directors AND Marketing Directors should now be equally concerned with the power of their brand, because as with product and services, prospective employees are the lifeblood of any organisation.
There is a very interesting trend report carried out recently by Potentialpark Communications- a global research company on employer branding and online recruitment - that asked 16,000 job seekers across Germany, France, China, the US and the UK, that looked at social media in the decision making process of job seekers.
Vanessa Meyer who works for Potentialpark and helped produce the findings of the report, gives her opinion, "when the companies that chose not to have a social recruiting strategy in 2010, see a rise in the percentage of job seekers that look for career related information and opportunities through social media next year, the decision to go forward with a social recruiting strategy will be irrefutable. The upside of waiting till 2011 is that these companies will have a much faster learning curve than those who went in first and accumulated the "know-how" of social recruiting the hard way - through trial and error."
One of the findings of their report is really interesting to me, and I guess not that surprising - career sites are still HUGELY important in the recruitment process for employers. The graphic below from the Potentialpark trend report proves this:
Companies need to integrate social media into their career sites, making them user friendly (not something many career sites have taken into consideration, in my opinion!) and use social networks as traffic drivers to them. Here is the potential problem for me, with this: social media is 'sexy', fun, real-time and the future of communications on the web, but many career sites are just plain awful and don't portray the employer brand very well at all.
So you attract candidates via Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, you get them excited about you as a brand and an employer……………………then they land on your career site………………..DOH! Too complex, over engineered, boring and no well thought out user experience quickly send them away again! The result is that your employer brand takes a beating!! And the double whammy is that with social media being so viral and transparent, bad experiences get shared around!!
Another really important fact from the trend survey - and remember this is from 16,000 job seekers, is the reliance on the internet (and search of course) as an online information tool.
With search engines like Google and Bing now fully indexing the social networks like Twitter, Facebook (company pages) and LinkedIn so effectively, it is absolutely imperative that companies have a full social footprint to ensure the job seekers find your company. No longer is it sufficient just to rely on SEO on your career site to drive traffic, you need to be looking at a wide range of social channels.
Many people are starting to turn against the phrase, 'social recruiting'. Many people still don't understand it, and the implications for recruitment strategies.
But, whether you want to call it 'social recruiting', 'social media in recruitment' or even 'social media recruiting' - one thing is certain, organisations who think that social media isn't for them will definitely be left behind over the next couple of years. It won't replace your current recruitment strategy, but social media will definitely become intrinsically linked to both you employer brand and your recruitment strategy.
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