August 27, 2014

What Recruiters can Learn from the #IceBucketChallenge

Boy dumping a bucket of water on his headThis summer, a special ice bucket challenge was issued. It began in a little old American city, called Boston. Since then, it has become one of the most powerful and successful social media campaigns of 2014. By now, if you haven’t seen someone performing the #icebucketchallenge on Facebook or Twitter then you should checkout the ALS Association website and learn what the non-profit organization is about. This year, the ALS Association has rallied $22.9 million in donations to its cause so far. The challenge has earned support from celebrities, professional athletes, and CEOs. Just recently, Facebook released its social data and showed that 15 million people have posted about, commented or liked a post related to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. There have been over 1.2 million videos posted of participants taking the challenge.

So what can such an inspiring social movement teach recruiters about social recruiting? Take the social challenge to improve your social recruiting skills and nominate others to share these three vital lessons.

The Power of Social Recruiting

The social impact of the ALS Challenge is another simple reminder that social media is a powerful marketing tool. And while 94 percent of recruiters and human resources professionals have stated they already use or plan to begin using social recruiting, the power to impact recruiting exists through social networks. Social recruiting can enhance how an organization finds and vets candidates. Candidate quality improves by 49 percent and time to hire gets better by 33 percent when social recruiting is used. Plus, social media allows you to look beyond digital resumes. Social recruiting lets you gain insights to candidates’ attributes. And don’t forget, it also creates opportunities for candidates to find and engage with you in real-time.

The Power of Social Engagement

While Facebook has seen 15 million people engage in content related to the #icebucketchallenge, Twitter has seen 2.2 million mentions of it on its network. Just think about how social engagement can be used to build talent pools and generate leads for a moment. Social media isn’t going to entirely replace the 78,352 minutes recruiters spend on the phone, on a yearly average. But it does provide a simple solution to connect with candidates and stay on their radars. Recruiters can follow candidates on Twitter or Facebook to connect with them and engage with them socially later on. If a candidate posts an interesting article or thought, then share his or her content or jump into the social discussion. Don’t fall off the radar with candidates. Become a resource for candidates during their job hunting experience. If you notice a grammar mistake on a candidate’s resume then point it out to him or her and share an article to that offers resume building tips. Learn to establish a social connection with them.

The Power of Referrals

One of the reasons the ALS Challenge has been so successful is because it has a powerful call-to-action that’s driving its momentum. The challenge invites nominated participants to dump a bucket of ice water on their heads or donate to the ALS Association. Participants are also invited to record their experience and nominate others. In recruiting, when social recruiting is performed at a high-level then job seekers will take the time to refer friends and family to the recruiter responsible for helping them. Effective social recruiting boosts employee referral quantity and quality by 33 percent. Even better, employers have ranked referrals as the best source for quality job candidates, giving it an 8.6 ranking out of 10. Obviously, earning an ice bucket challenge nomination is different than earning an employee referral or candidate referral. But the idea is there; if you can provide job seekers with healthy career opportunities that tap into what they’re passionate about and present quality candidates to hiring managers then the opportunity to generate a consistent flow of referrals and leads should present themselves to you.

Remember To Take The Social Challenge

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a great modern day example of how powerful social media is. It should also be a reminder to recruiters that social recruiting needs to be a part of their game plan, if it isn’t already. So far, over 14.4 million job seekers have used social media to search for a job. And it is possible to find success with social recruiting. Just ask the 73 percent of job seekers that have been hired successfully via social media. Social recruiting is a skill that’s a part of the recruiting world now. Recruiters need to challenge themselves to find social recruiting success because of the opportunities that social media offers. Job seekers are actively searching for jobs through their social networks.  And the fact that organizations that have embraced social recruiting are noticing 49 percent better candidate quality is an encouraging statistic to remember. So if you’re not considering taking the challenge that social recruiting presents then at least consider giving a small donation to a non-profit organization of your choice this year. Remember, we’re all in this together!

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Fernando Ramirez is a social media and content strategist for TalentCulture. He's built social media strategies for Fortune 500 companies and talent communities in the HR and Recruiting Technology space. Fernando is a passionate blogger and fantasy football strategist. He is based in Boston.
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