intertwinedAs each day passes, social media and the hiring process become increasingly intertwined. According to a recent Jobvite social recruitment survey of more than 1,000 human resources and recruitment professionals, 92 percent of U.S. companies are using social networks and social media to find job candidates in 2012, up from 78 percent five years ago.

Additional data show 37 percent of hiring managers use social media to research job applicants, with 65 percent of that group using Facebook as their primary resource.

But professionals involved in the hiring process should do more than simply use social media as headhunting or candidate research tools. The hiring process itself should mimic social media’s latest trends to attract the right fit candidates most effectively.

Here’s why:

We’re Increasingly Busy
A recent MBA infographic shows three out of four members of the American workforce work more than 40 hours per week, one in three of whom work more than 50 hours per week. As our lives grow increasingly busy due to work responsibilities and other personal reasons, tablet and smartphone sales are accelerating, and social media platforms like Pinterest continue to release and revamp their apps to keep us continuously connected.

Professionals involved in the hiring process know that applications don’t only filter in during normal business hours, and they know the right fit candidates may already be employed at competing companies. So to accommodate busy candidates’ schedules, the hiring process should mimic the social media trend of being available whenever people want by making one-way video interviews hiring commonplace.  

We’re Becoming More Visual
According to the book “The Power of Infographics” by Mark Smiciklas, 65 percent of us are visual learners, and by examining the most recent social media trends, I know he’s right. A post on Fast Company explains the rise of visual social media beautifully: The earliest forms of social media were blogs comprised of 1,000 words. Then came status updates on Facebook, which then were shortened to 140 character tweets on Twitter. Now, we’re skipping words altogether, opting for more visual social media like Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr.

To attract top candidates, the hiring process should similarly accommodate people who prefer visuals to text. Professionals involved in the hiring process can do this by integrating video to give glimpses into the company culture, as well as video interviews.

We Like To Be Engaged
When is the last time you read a blog post without a call to action at its closing that encouraged readers to comment? My guess is it’s been a while. Anyone that has been successful in attracting a following in social media understand that people like to be engaged in open two-way conversation; they don’t like to be told what is and what isn’t by soap-box preachers.

To attract the right fit candidates, the hiring process should be comprised of engaging content that is more three-dimensional and social than a static job description. Professionals in the hiring process can do this by integrating a centralized hub of company information into their candidate search strategy. When possible give additional information about vacant jobs, but also allow candidates to ask questions, watch company videos, and see bios and pictures of company recruiters.

In the hiring process, social media can serve as more than simple tools. By paying close attention to the latest social media trends, professionals involved in the hiring process can attract the right fit candidates to their organizations most effectively.

What are your thoughts? Do you think the hiring process should mimic social media trends?

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