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Three ways Social can save the Recruitment Industry

Social-media-recruitment_aExtensive research indicates that - like every other aspect of business - the recruitment industry is amid a period of radical change as a result of the impact of Social Media.  Not only is Social Media already contributing a great deal to the recruitment process at present, but in time is likely to dominate, making the traditional tools of recruitment - the telephone and the job ad - redundant. Equally, for candidates, an extensive and transparent Social footprint is increasingly becoming mission critical to a successful career path.

According to a HR and Recruitment Trends Survey by the Novo Group (2012) , 73 per cent of HR leaders have successfully made an appointment using Social Media, 49 per cent have reported a greater pool of candidates from Social Recruiting and 20 per cent reported recruitment taking less time with Social.  These trends will only amplify.

The biggest concern of course for the Professional Recruiter is that Social affords companies the ability to fully insource their recruitment, representing an existential threat to consultancies who have not embarked on their Social journey.  The only way to remain relevant is to understand Social Recruitment better than the client.  Furthermore, evidence suggests Generation Y candidates to be far heavier users of Social Media in their search for new opportunities.  These candidates will in turn become clients as their careers develop.  Therefore demonstration of Social Recruiting best practice is the most effective way to remain relevant to future candidates and clients alike.

A Survey by US Recruitment Technology firm Jobvite in 2012 discovered that in 2012 over 90% of employers used Social recruiting inJobvite-Social-Media 2012  .  In terms of channels, the survey revealed that 2/3 of Companies now recruit via Facebook; over half use Twitter and almost all use LinkedIn.  Furthermore, 43 per cent of respondents felt that the quality of applicants has improved thanks to Social Media.

Specifically, Social Media can deliver three key business advantages:

  • Pre-qualification: Social Networking provides the opportunity to exploit a wide network at the click of a button.  Most importantly it reverses the use of 1-2-1 meetings from being explorative, qualifying and speculative network maintenance to relevant and timely execution devices to advance opportunities that have already become apparent.  This is an incredibly important productivity gain - how much of a recruiter’s time is wasted qualifying the not-qualified?
  • Inbound Web Traffic: It is well-established that the job-filling process begins with a Google search - for both employer and candidate.  A fundamental principle of Social Media leverage for the recruitment industry is Social SEO - the combination of Social Media and Search Engine Optimization.  Increasingly, key search engines such as Google and Bing are seeing Social triggers as indicators of content and destination popularity.  Therefore, the opportunity to “game” one’s search rankings with Social meta data via Twitter, LinkedIn and (in this case) most particularly Google+ is an important advantage to understand because of the increased traffic levels it can drive to both owned ads (i.e. those on your own website) and to ads on third party sites (such as
  • Thought leadership: Even without blogging (although it must be said this is the most powerful way to execute on Social SEO) using both third party content and thought leadership messages to attach your brand to a strategic keyword or phrase is a very effective way to increase search rankings - especially for niche sector specialists - and to influence those Socially clustered around those keywords strategic to your business.  As well as the power of LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ to “game” your rankings; it is worth remembering that advanced Social users monitor permanent searches on certain keywords, providing digital real estate for you to gain prominence on.

Therefore small recruitment consultancies - or even lone operators - can use Social Media to ensure their survival and punch above their marketing dollar weight in terms of raising brand awareness or driving inbound web traffic.  Ultimately, when executed systematically and as part of a routine, Social Media should have relatively minimal impact on either profits or time.

For more on this, it is worth reading this excellent guide for better Social recruiting: "4 Social Recruiting mistakes your company is making".

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