FutureSocial media has taken the world by storm in recent years. With so many people spending their days checking in and posting out, it makes sense for recruiters to take advantage of the phenomenon. While social media recruiting is not a new concept, the way that hiring managers utilize these websites to find the right employees has changed.

Social Media Recruiting Statistics

Over 90 percent of companies use social media to recruit. Much of this recruiting (94 pecent) is currently focused on LinkedIn. About two-thirds of recruiters utilize Facebook when looking for people to fill positions, and just over half of hiring managers use Twitter to recruit. Mostly, these recruiters use social media to support traditional hiring channels by searching for candidates, posting jobs, and vetting applicants.

These tactics, while enhancing the traditional hiring process, only appeal to active job seekers. In today’s global market, however, two-thirds of employees are passive, meaning they’re not actively seeking employment opportunities. Most of these passive job seekers could be swayed. According to LinkedIn, 45 percent of these passive candidates would be open to talking to a recruiter about a potential job switch. Smart recruiters, therefore, are changing their tactics to sway top talent, whether active or passive.

Changes in Social Media Recruiting

Expanding usage of the three major social media sites — Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn — and stepping outside the simple “help wanted” ad mentality can give recruiters a leg up in attracting more passive talent. This expansion can take different forms:

1. Showcasing the Employer Brand

Though companies may believe they have good social media profiles, many miss the mark. The point of a company’s social media profile is not to showcase the accomplishments of the institution as a whole, but rather to showcase the achievements of individuals in the institution. This humanizes employees and makes even passive candidates consider what it would be like if they worked for the business.

One company that does this well is UPS. Their social media pages highlight individual employees and their accomplishments, creating a vision of a working community, rather than an intimidating and complicated business.

2. Starting a Conversation

Many companies hold one-sided conversations on social media, simply using their profiles to post jobs. With more of the U.S. talent market going passive, however, recruiting teams can’t rely on their company’s prestige to sell a job. Some businesses, such as Marriot, have taken steps to start dialogues with prospective employees. The company’s Facebook profile hosts “Career Chats,” in which named employees answer career questions in real time. Candidates can ask general or specific questions about the industry, which may push them down the path to apply.

3. Maintaining an Open Line of Communication

When social media is used for recruiting purposes, there is no reason to leave applicants in the dark while they wait for answers to their application questions. Answering inquiries in real time builds a rapport with candidates. Home Depot does this well by tracking social media applicants through the entire process and not letting an application question go unanswered.

Expanding Social Media Options

While many companies are involved in recruiting via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, there are plenty of other opportunities out there when it comes to utilizing social media. Here are two additional social media platforms recruiters can utilize:

1. FourSquare lets recruiters find out whether candidates are attending relevant conferences or classes. It can also help human resources professionals cater their conversations with candidates to highlight the benefits that would matter most to the individual.

2. Instagram gives recruiters the opportunity to learn more about people who are passionate about their company. These individuals will follow the company and allow hiring managers to find out if they have what it takes to be an asset.

Social media can a valuable recruiting tool if HR and recruiting professionals can keep up. The trick is staying ahead of the curve and making the user process more efficient, more direct, and friendlier. The goal is not only to hire candidates that are actively looking for your company, but also to attract those highly qualified people who might be satisfied in their current jobs. Once your strategy includes both, your recruiting team can really say that it’s doing well.

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