Are You Using Social Media as a Hiring Tool? You Need to Start!

“Gone are the ‘spray and pray’ days of posting an opening to a job board and hoping a few qualified candidates respond before sifting through mountains of unqualified résumés.”

Jay Moye, Editor, Coca-Cola Journey

Ninety-four percent of companies use or plan to use social media for hiring. My question is: what in the world is wrong with the other six percent? Social media isn’t “changing” the hiring game – it has already has! If you’re one of the six percent, you’re waiting for a train that’s already left the station. Catch up, and get on board. We can’t approach hiring the way that we always did.

No HR? No Worries

Social media is a viable, and effective, alternative for small businesses that may not have a human resources department. Through LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and other networks, you can stay on top of industry trends – and you can stay in the hiring game.

Source this responsibility to a trusted individual and leverage these platforms for more effective hiring. And the sooner you figure out your hiring strategy, the better. If your company isn’t large enough to support an HR function, it is even more critical to get online and get social.

How are Leaders Using Social Media?

While more companies are getting in the game, there’s still a great deal of experimenting taking place. You can take a few different avenues, depending on your specific goals:

  1. Providing Information

Social media can be an excellent platform for relying information and building brand awareness. Remember, you need to treat your recruiting and hiring process like a marketing initiative: instead of “Why should we hire you?” the question has now become: “Why would I want to work for you?” This is one way to show them what you have to offer.

Microsoft does this well with their consistent and fun Twitter presence, Microsoft Careers. They seize the opportunity to introduce job searchers to the company – but there has to be more. And there is. They offer interview tips, feature innovative roles, highlight key benefits, and post openings. In an especially masterful touch, they even thank current employees:

Wouldn’t you want to join a company that was that openly appreciative? And that called your work “epic”?

Most importantly, Microsoft engages people – whether they’re looking for a job or not – with relevant information that offers insight into the company.

  1. Seeking Talent

Another route some companies take is to identify and follow people with whom they want to start a conversation. According to a recent Jobvite survey, recruiters reported that some of the best hires came as a result of direct sourcing, and social media plays a large role in this.

Direct sourcing is a way to find people with the right skills, competencies, and experiences, and companies look at both those who are actively looking for jobs and those who are not. What exactly are they looking at? Among the many factors:

  • How does this person respond to different situations?
  • What kinds of messages/information are they posting?
  • Would this person represent our company in a positive way?

The Wall Street Journal reports that 19% of employers have found “information that sold them on a candidate, such as communication skills or a professional image.”

A side note: Employers also find reasons not hire people – a slippery slope you want to be very careful of. Remember social media is one tool among the many you should be using, including assessments and interviews.

  1. Going Where the Talent Is

The “how” of recruiting/hiring via social media varies, but the “why” is the same: that’s where your talent is. Millennials were born with a phone in their hand, and they’re adept at using three or more screens at a time. Older generations have adapted as well: how often do you watch TV while browsing on your tablet with your phone within reach?

Social media is a world more people are navigating not only easily, but seamlessly. Does it make sense for your organization not to be there?

Here’s where potential candidates aren’t: job boards (with the exception of targeted niche sites and job aggregators, for now anyway). Job boards typically ask searchers to enter two pieces of information: what job they’re looking for and where. There is nothing nuanced about, nothing personal. Searches often lack relevance for the job-seekers, and the job-seekers often lack relevance for the hiring managers!

The bottom-line is that talent is comfortable with social media. They’ve used it as a tool for communication, information, entertainment, and now they’re using it for finding the right job with the right company. They’re using all of the resources at their disposal – but not every company is using every resource at theirs.

How you engage potential candidates online is up to you. But you need to do it. If you’re one of the 6%, it’s time to get with it. And if you’re like a lot of the other 94%, it’s time to get better.


Have questions about the solution that is right for your business? Contact Strategic Human Insights today and one of our consultants will be happy to reach out to answer all of your questions!