Social media recruitment

Leveraging Social Media for Recruitment and Branding Efforts

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By Nigel Hapuarachchi

Regional Director of Business Development

Between the transition and normalization of remote work, the economically uncertain “Great Resignation,” and the ongoing challenge that is the “war for talent,” the changes within today’s job market seem to be completely unpredictable.

The newest change within the workforce? The way individuals in the job market are seeking out hiring opportunities. However, this method seems, arguably, here to stay.

A 2022 study conducted by the Harris Poll and CareerArc found that 58 percent of job seekers in the United States are using social media platforms to explore career opportunities. In fact, 48 percent of Gen Z and Millennials with real-world work experience have applied to jobs that they found through social media.

What does this mean for businesses?

Social media has proven to be a major tool in the talent attraction and hiring process. To reach the widest pool of talent, it is critical that companies establish a legitimate presence on multiple platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. A Forbes article citing a startup tech company that received over 7,000 applicants solely from TikTok advertising has provided substance to the argument.

The same Harris Poll and CareerArc study found that minority groups, specifically 49 percent of Hispanics and 46 percent of black individuals, were more likely to have discovered a job via social media when compared to their white colleagues, who only made up 28 percent of the results. Social media attracts a diverse talent pool which can aid in helping companies reach their diversity goals, especially in positions that might have otherwise gone unseen by qualified individuals.

Social media recruitment best practices

Three best practices to reap the benefits of social media recruitment:

  • Employee Advocacy: A company’s social media presence is hugely important because employees can be ambassadors for the brand by sharing content. This can be one of the most powerful and cost-effective ways to increase employer brand awareness. The same Harris Poll and CareerArc study found that 66 percent of Gen Z and 67 percent of Millennials would be willing to share their company’s content on their personal social media pages. Organizations should leverage this willingness to promote by providing templates or creating content that employees feel a strong personal connection to and that aligns with their values. Additionally, allowing your employees to talk about their experience with a company or industry on a public platform might intrigue potential employees to inquire more about the company.
  • Ensure that your online presence accurately reflects your brand: A brand should have a consistently active and professional social media presence. According to a study conducted by Gallup, company culture attracts the top 20 percent of candidates, meaning online presence carries substantial weight when it comes to attracting talent. That being said, companies can optimize their social presence by featuring real employee testimonials, highlighting company values, and successful team efforts on a range of projects. The account should essentially act as a professional “behind the scenes” look at life at your company. It is important not to mislead candidates and viewers reaching your company through this lens. A misrepresentation can result in poor reviews and a reputation that is hard to shake.
  • Measure results: Utilizing social media to recruit new talent will not be nearly as valuable if your leadership does not know what kind of content is or isn’t working. A social media team should set goals to determine what they want to achieve out of their social presence. Likewise, they should identify metrics to follow to determine if these goals are being met. Social media managers should pay attention to the traffic their ads and posts are driving to your site. Efforts should be focused on where you are seeing the best ROI (return on investment) and adjustments should be made to practices whose performance is not as successful.

While our economy is ever-changing, it feels safe to admit that social media is here to stay. Consequently, the most well-versed in this area are the Gen Z and Millennial generations, who also happen to be almost 45 percent of the workforce. Organizations would be wise to build their social presence, engage in employer branding, and win the war for talent through social recruiting efforts.

This blog was authored by Acara Regional Director of Business Development Nigel Hapuarachchi.