Social media is a term that is heard a great deal these days. As frequently as it’s heard, one could start to think that it is the cure-all solution for just about every business need, including recruitment. Using social media for recruiting, sometimes called social recruiting, often utilizes multiple media channels. As a result, the notion of a single source of hire is becoming considerably less relevant, if not completely obsolete.
As The WorkPlace Group has discussed in its blog post Source of Hire: Capturing both the chicken and the egg, utilizing multiple sites and sources provides many different ways for candidates to learn about your company and its open positions. By the time candidates click on the “Apply Now!” button, they have likely seen information about your company and openings in job postings, tweets, industry blogs, emails, referrals from others and/or even online reviews of your company.
Why Use Social Recruiting?
Creating positive employment branding messages and a positive recruitment experience can both influence candidates to apply for positions as well as refer others in their network to do the same. The question then becomes, how do you utilize a mix of social recruiting tactics effectively to promote your employer brand, help attract qualified candidates for your current openings and build a talent community for future openings?
Social media can provide persuasive communication channels on a global basis to capture the attention of both potential job seekers and gainfully employed candidates. Social recruiting is a great way to create and establish your corporate and employment brands, communicate your current job openings and future needs for talent as well as establish more personal on-going relationships with your candidates.
Which Social Media Sites Should We Choose for Social Recruiting?
With so many social media channels available to us, which ones should we choose for recruiting? In evaluating sites for social recruiting, it’s important to understand the differences and strengths of each media outlet. User demographics, usage, relevance and accuracy of information are important criteria to determine whether the social media channel has a user base that is representative of your target talent needs. Below is an overview of the most popular sites used in social recruiting: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Seventy-three percent (73%) of recruiters report that they have hired a candidate through social media, with LinkedIn being by far the most popular source at 79%. Facebook was a distant second, with just 26% of recruiters reporting a hire from that source.1 However, Facebook has a much larger user base, with over 1 billion users, compared to LinkedIn’s 187 million.
There are also differences in each site’s demographics regarding age and gender. LinkedIn and Facebook are more popular with users over the age of 45,while Twitter is more popular with millennials between 18 and 29. LinkedIn’s user base is 67% male, so it might not be the most effective way to reach female candidates. Although not typically used for social recruitment, Pinterest leads the pack with an 80% female user base.
It’s also very important to take into consideration the best uses of different social media sites. A social media site’s effectiveness as a social recruiting source can be affected by more than just your company’s efforts. LinkedIn, which is widely viewed as the traditional site for business-related social media, is better for searching and contacting candidates, but Facebook and Twitter are better for generating employee referrals. Only 14% of LinkedIn users check their accounts regularly, so messages can frequently go unnoticed and information can quickly become outdated. While you’ll probably reach more job seekers on Facebook, actual job posts will get more views when they are posted on LinkedIn. As for Twitter, although you may reach more millennials there, it’s virtually impossible to post a full job description in just 140 characters.
In addition to using social media as a way to convey job openings and searching for candidates, recruiters also use social media sites to “research” candidates. A whopping 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn when sourcing candidates because it typically gives a broad outline of the person’s professional background. Looking at a person’s Facebook or Twitter accounts can give recruiters information on candidates that might not be apparent from their resume alone. Ninety-three percent admit to “snooping” on applicants’ social media profiles before deciding whether to proceed with them or recommend them for a position.
The Right “Social Media” Tool for the Job
Not all social media sites are created equal. When putting a social recruiting strategy in place, select social media channels that are aligned with and facilitate achievement of your recruitment objectives. A social media site’s user demographics, usage, and currency of information are all important criteria that impact which sites you should use and how (e.g., employment branding vs. promoting a job posting vs. direct candidate sourcing).
As with many other areas of recruitment, the ball is definitely in the court of the employer and recruiter when it comes to creating engaging employment brand messaging and a positive recruitment experience for candidates. The WorkPlace Group has extensive experience using social media to help our clients maximize the impact of their recruitment efforts. For more information about how to incorporate social recruiting in your talent acquisition efforts, please contact an associate at The WorkPlace Group® today.
1 Surveys by Jobvite.com and jobcast.net
2 Kiss, J. (2014). Facebook
One of the first questions recruiters often ask candidates is how they heard about the position. In recruiting, we call this the source of hire. This is the source from which the candidate came to apply for the position. More specifically, the source of hire is simply the source that led directly to a job application. But what lead the candidate to that source and what was it about the source that motivated the candidate to apply?
Job candidates are discovered through a variety of activities and sources: job ads and postings, social media postings, tweets, job fairs, e-mails, resume databases, networking, outreach, direct calls, referrals, LinkedIn, job boards, etc. You get the idea. Job seekers and potential job candidates are all around us and there are a multitude of ways to identify and attract talent to your organization.
When HR professionals refer to the metric source of hire they are most interested in the specific source that led to the candidates job application. The thinking is that if we know the specific source, then we can focus all of our recruitment efforts on those sources and eliminate spending money on all the other sources and recruitment activities.
As it turns out, the source candidates often list as the source of hire is not always the only source that led them to apply or the source that most motivated them to apply. Here at The WorkPlace Group we are able to track the recruitment channel that drove the candidate to us. For example, we can see that a candidate clicked on our indeed.com job posting and then applied to our recruiter position. However, their job application might list referral as the source of hire. In this very common example, which source would you count as the source of hire? Was it indeed.com or referral? Objectively we know it was indeed.com. However, the most influential source that motivated the candidate to apply was likely the referral.
How Does a Source Come to Attract the Attention of Candidates?
Lets start with the basic concept of priming. Psychologists describe priming as a memory effect in which exposure to a stimulus influences response to a later stimulus. Two important aspects of priming are perceptual (first noticing the stimulus) and conceptual (attaching meaning to the stimulus). Priming is one way we come to associate words and symbols like the name of your company with its logo. For example, when you see the Golden Arches you know its McDonalds or if you hear the slogan Just Do it you think of Nike.
Priming is like effortless thinking – through repeat exposure to the pairing of words, symbols, and slogans, we come to automatically recognize, attach meaning and respond to them. For example, have you ever had the experience of feeling like you noticed something unique for the first time (like a car you are thinking of buying) and then all of sudden you notice it (the car) everywhere? The thing you never noticed before now seems quite common. You came to recognize it automatically, almost as automatic as breathing. It is so familiar that you no longer have to dig into your memory bank to recall it.
When we advertise job opportunities on multiple sites, across social media, through direct emails, networking and calls to candidates you get the idea we are priming candidates to respond (Van Hoye & Lievens, 2007). To prime the right, qualified candidates we need to repeatedly expose candidates to our job opportunities as well as manage the message so the right candidates respond and apply.
Create Positive Memories for Candidates
Candidates are more likely to apply to subsequent job opportunities and refer others to do the same when they are repeatedly exposed to positive messages about your company from multiple sources (Turban, 2001). Recruiters not only have the chance to expose candidates to the job or company, but they also have the opportunity to create positive memories for the candidates through positive recruiting efforts. In other words, the ball is in the court of the employer and recruiter when it comes to creating a positive recruitment experience and employer brand messaging for the candidate (see How Important is the Candidate Experience During the Hiring Process for more on this topic).
Consider the Value of All Sources of Hire
Rather than a source of hire, consider sources of hire. Identify sources that facilitate links to your career site or job application versus sources that influence or motivate candidates to apply in the first place. One without the other is like the chicken and the egg adage of what came first: some say the chicken, others say the egg. In either case, both are relevant, and without either, you wouldnt have a chicken – or in the case of recruitment, an applicant.
Recruitment analytics can help determine which sources are working for or against your investment. The WorkPlace Group has extensive experience working with recruitment analytics and helping clients determine where recruiting budgets should be focused in order to maximize each dollar spent. For more information about how to incorporate strategic recruiting analytics, please contact a WorkPlace Group associate today at https://www.workplacegroup.com/contact/.
Van Hoye, Greet, & Lievens, Filip. (2007). Social Influence of Organizational Attractiveness: Investigating If and When Word of Mouth Matters. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 37(9), 2024-2047. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1559-1816.2007.00249.x/abstract)
Turban, D. (2001). Organizational Attractiveness as an Employer on College Campuses: An Examination of the Applicant Population. Journal of Vocational Behavior. 58, 293-312.(https://business.missouri.edu/sites/default/files/publication/turban_2001_jvb.pdf)
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics today’s U.S. unemployment rate is hovering around 5.5%. This is a significant improvement to the 10% unemployment rate that was reached in 2009. How does the 5.5% relate to the actual job market of today? A recent article by US News and World Report presents data suggesting that the current unemployment rate does not accurately capture how Americans are living and working today. It is important to note that the official unemployment rate only counts people who are actively seeking a job. Those not actively looking for work, those working part-time because they can’t find full-time work, and workers who are underemployed are not counted. If we include these individuals, the unemployment rate equals 11% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, February 2015). This is 25% higher than when the Great Recession started in 2007.
Who are the Underemployed Workers?
Based on the job market data, it is safe to say that there is a large number of professional workers who are working in jobs that are below their skill levels, as well as part-time workers who are actually in need of full-time jobs. Although the number of new jobs in the last few years has increased, the majority of those jobs are at the entry and low-experience level. Therefore, those laid off at the start or during the recession may have only been able to find new jobs that underutilize their skills and experience. For example, someone who held a Director-level position pre-recession, may now be working as a manager.
The WorkPlace Group® has seen first-hand instances of underemployed workers on numerous occasions. For example, a recruiter at The WorkPlace Group® recently read the resume of an applicant who, on a cursory review, would be deemed not qualified. At first glance, her most recent positions involved temporary or contract work in roles that were a step back in comparison to her earlier work experience. But, upon closer review of her resume, it became obvious that she has extensive experience as a Senior Publications Editor & Publishing Specialist at a multinational mass media firm with just the specialized knowledge and experience our client needed. She is just one of the many underemployed workers who are likely to be passed over by hiring managers looking for specialized talent.
How To Find Great Talent Among the Underemployed Workers
As recruiters go through the selection and hiring process to find great talent for their employer, it is often difficult to determine if a candidate is the right fit for the job based on his or her resume. HR managers or recruiters might find themselves skipping over some great, quality candidates if they strictly focus on candidates’ current positions. It’s important to note that although someone may have taken a step back in their career due to labor market conditions, it does not mean that they aren’t looking to get back on track in their field or career advancement. While a resume tells us whether the candidate has the right experience for the job, it may not tell us the whole story. The WorkPlace Group® has some great tips for helping identify hidden talent among the underemployed:
1. When reviewing a candidate’s resume, evaluate their employment history for the past 10+ years, rather than the past 5 or 7 years. Consider candidates who had a consistent progression in their career prior to their most recent roles.
2. While reviewing a candidate’s resume, pay particular attention to candidates with educational credentials and certifications not required in their current role. These are likely to be candidates who are currently underemployed workers and will welcome an opportunity to work for your company.
3. When reviewing candidates look for individuals who are continually developing their skill sets. Candidates taking courses or attending seminars related to the positions they previously held may be currently underemployed and will welcome an opportunity to work for your company.
4. While interviewing candidates make sure to have a deep conversation about their job transitions to get an understanding of their current capacity. Topics to consider:
a. Does the candidate express feeling under-utilized in their current role?
b. Would the candidate prefer working in their current capacity or their prior capacity?
c. Is the candidate looking for a management or more senior level role?
d. Is this a role available with their current employer and why have they not moved into that role with their current employer?
The WorkPlace Group® Discovers Hidden Talent
While the unemployment rate seems to show promise in the job market and economy, the underemployed may beg to differ. Underemployed workers are out there, and more often than not are keenly interested in getting back on track in their chosen field and careers. The WorkPlace Group® has proven methods of finding and recruiting this hidden and talented workforce. For more information about how to tap into the underemployed market, please feel free to contact The WorkPlace Group®.
With the number of people in the workforce, and the number of businesses – from startups to public global companies – candidates have a wide range of career options. With the latest job reports, showing unemployment at 5.5%, its lowest level since 2008, job seekers are back in the driver seat. Employers now need to be concerned with the degree of satisfaction candidates have with their hiring process. A poor experience will deter future candidates from applying to the employer’s open positions and top talent will likely reject the employer’s job offer.
The Candidate is Your “External” Customer Too
When we think of a company’s “brand,” we typically think of a specific product or service. Your service or product represents the collective organization. Candidates will be attracted to your organization because of what you do and how you do it. The expectations candidates have of your organization area direct reflection of your brand. And it’s important that your “Employment Brand” is experienced in the same positive manner as are your products and services. Good experiences travel fast, but bad experiences travel even faster.
Whether your business provides a service to others or you are trying to sell a product, you are always responsible for servicing not only your external customers, but also your internal customers – your employees. And while recruiting, you must also consider your candidates as customers or prospective customers. Your corporate brand may not necessarily always match your employer brand, but in order to attract top talent, you must market your corporate employment culture. In doing this, human resources becomes your corporate employment brand ambassador.
Why You Should Create a Positive Candidate Experience
It is very important to always create a positive candidate experience, regardless of whether you hire the candidate or not. Each candidate has an opinion and a voice that could potentially be heard all around the world, thanks to the Internet. A negative candidate experience can affect a candidate’s desire to work for you, and it’s pretty much guaranteed that others outside your organization will hear the (not-so-positive) story. It is well known that the public is more inclined to vocalize their opinions about a negative experience rather than a positive one. And with social media and other review websites being so popular, it’s easy for that one negative experience to be shared easily and quickly.
The WorkPlace Group’s Advice For Creating a Positive Candidate Experience
Though there are a lot of moving and interconnected parts to creating a positive candidate experience throughout the recruiting and selection process, by following a few simple tips you increase your chances of leaving a positive impression on your candidates. By making the experience a positive one, you will be setting yourself apart from other employers and ultimately set yourself up for high quality hires.
1. Simplify your employment job application process
If your job application is too long, candidates can easily be turned off and may not finish completing the application or choose not to complete your employment application, at all. If it is overly complicated, it could confuse or deter candidates from continuing in your hiring process, as well.
2. Make sure your job descriptions are accurate
Write out the job description as if you were performing the job. Do not use a stock job description found from another company or position you think is similar to the one in your company. The job description should accurately represent what the candidate would be doing, if hired. You should also ensure that all job descriptions are posted with no typographical errors, as they negatively impact your employment brand.
3. Customize Form E-mails
If you must use e-mail templates, brand them. Make them sound less like a form letter and more like a personal message to a candidate. You want to make sure candidates know that there are humans behind your Applicant Tracking System and the are not left feeling like just another number (or, in this case, resume).
4. Communication is key
Communication is key to shaping the candidate experience. If you aren’t communicating in a timely fashion with the candidate, then the likelihood is pretty good that the candidate will get frustrated, and possibly even lose interest. So, if you expect to accept applications for a few weeks, don’t create the proverbial “black hole” for the candidates that have applied in the first couple weeks.
If you receive an application, confirm that you’ve received it. Provide updates throughout the screening and selection processes so the candidates are not kept hanging and wondering. And, if you know a particular candidate or applicant will not be hired, tell them right away. Do not wait until the job application process closes to tell candidates that they will not be hired. Candidates may not be happy that you did not extend a job offer to them, however, they will appreciate you being respectful by keeping them informed about where they stand throughout the hiring process.
5. Pick up the phone
If you’ve interviewed candidates, whether in person or over the phone, and have decided not to move forward with them, it vastly improves the candidate experience if you pick up the phone to personally let them know of your decision. This creates a more personal experience and sense of trust and respect of you on the part of the candidate. And be sincere. This is potentially a person’s career and life on the line. Deliver the message you would want delivered to you, if you were in the candidate’s shoes.
These are just five easy and basic tips to creating a positive candidate experience during the recruiting and selection processes. Attracting top talent is more difficult today than it has been in years past due to the opportunities available, as evidenced by the low unemployment rate. To speak with one of our experts about your candidate experience, contact a WorkPlace Group® associate today.
As The WorkPlace Group gets ready to partner with Fisher & Phillips, a New Jersey-based employment law firm, on an upcoming seminar luncheon, we would like to share with you a valuable article they wrote about the upcoming New Jersey ‘Ban the Box’ laws. Please take a look at this New Jersey employer ‘Ban the Box’ FAQ by Fisher & Phillips to better understand the new March 1st regulations that will go into effect in New Jersey.