The Internet is changing at a rapid pace, and it is important for companies that wish to remain attractive in the eyes of top talent to adapt their online recruitment strategy appropriately. As the Web becomes a more social place, the traditional, isolated corporate website is becoming a relic of the past. Here are four key reasons why companies should turn their attention outward, focusing more recruitment efforts on communities outside of the confines of their own domain name.
1. Expand Your Pool of Candidates
One of the easiest ways to increase your company’s pool of job candidates is to go to where the potential job seekers are, rather than waiting for them to come to you. Part of your online recruitment strategy should involve spending time on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other sites that are relevant to your industry. By developing a presence in communities elsewhere on the web, outside of your corporate website, you will be better positioned to engage and attract a greater number of talented candidates.
Perhaps the most valuable group of candidates you can find through social platforms are the passive job seekers – those who are not actively looking for new employment through corporate career websites, but are open to new opportunities. While active job seekers are likely to spend a lot of time on LinkedIn, passive job seekers can still be found participating in group discussions and forming professional connections. On Twitter, you can find both passive and active job seekers who tweet about their field of interest, participate in discussions and interact with other individuals in their industry. Facebook is another great place to catch the attention of potential candidates, with the average user spending nearly 8 hours per month on the site. Every employee can become a recruiter on Facebook by reaching out to their personal networks, and an attractive referral incentive can help this channel become an incredibly valuable recruiting tool.
2. Referral Traffic is Powerful
By building relationships in external communities and solidifying your company’s presence outside of your own website, you can greatly increase the number of people who becomeaware of your brand, see your job postings, and visit your web pages. Having a powerful social presence online can mean the difference between dozens vs. hundreds or thousands of visitors each week.
Consider, for example, a niche island resort that gets 80% of its visitors through TripAdvisor, a social space where customers go to rate, comment on and discuss holiday destinations. Recruiters can similarly take advantage of the power of referrals by targeting relevant, popular online communities. When other people share, promote or discuss your content (e.g., job openings or career development programmes), it not only increases your reach, but also serves to validate your claims, as people may be more likely to trust an objective third party.
3. Improve the Candidate Experience
Job seekers are increasingly coming to expect potential employers to have some sort of social presence online. This could be as simple as a Twitter account or Facebook page where potential applicants can ask questions and participate in discussions about the company or industry. This element of conversation – being able to interact with people both within and outside of your organisation – adds a personal, more human element to the job search process. Familiar platforms like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn are easy for job seekers to understand, and are more than likely a major part of their daily routine already.
Burton Snowboards has a separate Twitter account for careers with the company, used to post new job openings and interact with candidates who have specific questions.
4. Being Social is Cost-Effective
The great thing about participating in online communities outside of your corporate website is that most of them are completely free. Apart from your time, it costs nothing to create a Twitter account, Facebook page or LinkedIn group, and the time spent building your presence through social channels will be a lucrative investment. Using social platforms to communicate your employer brand and promote careers at your company is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies out there, and it is an opportunity that every company should take advantage of.
Case Study: Ernst & Young
One example of a company that understands the power of social platforms in recruiting is Ernst & Young. Since 2007, Ernst & Young has used Facebook as a means through which potential candidates can communicate with the company directly. The Ernst & Young Careers page on Facebook allows candidates to ask questions, find job openings and meet current employees. It is a friendly online space that provides an enjoyable candidate experience, and greatly increases the company’s reach to a pool of over 34,000 candidates.
For another great example of social recruiting, see this Deloitte case study.
What benefits have you realised from leveraging external social networks as part of your company’s recruitment strategy? Please share your experience!
Adriana Costello is a writer for Link Humans and a student at the London School of Economics in the MSc Management and HR programme. She also blogs about HR and Social Media for Jumpstart:HR. Adriana has a BA in Psychology and a BSBA in Business Administration from Boston University. Connect with Adriana on Twitter @AdrianaTereza.
Image by Sean MacEntee.