Recent years have seen the influence and importance of social media grow in various areas of work, life and business, including recruitment.
Research has shown that the vast majority (96%) of hiring teams now use social media in their efforts to attract candidates and acquire new talent. Nearly two-thirds (64%) use dedicated social accounts for recruiting and employer branding.
The likes of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter offer enormous potential to engage with people who can make a big difference to your business. If social media isn't already driving your recruitment strategy, there are some compelling reasons why that needs to change.
1. Enhanced job visibility
Given the sheer number of people who use social media on a regular basis, you can't afford to ignore these platforms when you want your job openings to be seen by as many applicants as possible.
Facebook alone has nearly three billion monthly active users, while dedicated professional network LinkedIn has more than 800 million members.
If you want your available roles to have as much exposure as possible, they need to be highly visible in these channels.
2. Engagement with passive candidates
People who are the perfect fit for your company and key positions within it might not be actively looking for a job right now.
That's why your efforts to identify and connect with exceptional talent should extend to passive candidates - those who might not be hunting for a role, but could be open to a new opportunity if the right offer came along.
Making connections and building relationships on social media is the best way to engage with these individuals and show them what you have to offer as an employer.
3. Connection with more qualified candidates
Social media gives you the opportunity to learn more about candidates, their skills and their experience, either through examining their profiles or speaking to them directly.
This makes it significantly easier to whittle down your applicant pool and focus on those people who are best-suited to the jobs you have available.
Social media can also be the cornerstone of your efforts to hire exceptional talent through employee referral programs.
4. Targeting specific talent pools
Platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter provide tools for recruiters to tailor their job posts and target specific groups, based on factors such as skills, interests and work history.
You can also take advantage of platform-specific features such as Twitter hashtags and dedicated industry groups on LinkedIn to refine your recruitment activities and connect with the right people.
5. A stronger employer brand
Just as modern-day consumers use social media to help them decide what companies to buy from, jobseekers look to these platforms when forming opinions about employer brands.
Research from Capitalize has shown that 80% of candidates considering a potential employer look up the profiles of current staff on social media. Six out of ten people said they research organizations on LinkedIn before making a job application.
Make sure you're following best practices to build and maintain your employer brand on social media, such as sharing valuable content and responding to your audience.
6. Reduced cost of hire
Recruitment can soon become a costly endeavor if you're having to pay for ads to be posted on multiple online job boards and other outlets.
When you take a social-first strategy, however, you benefit from the fact that creating accounts and pages on social media platforms costs nothing except the time required to do it well.
Furthermore, you always have the option to take a paid approach with social display ads, which provide a high level of control and the ability to change elements that aren't working.
7. Shorter hiring times
As well as being an affordable option, social recruiting can drive your overall efficiency by reducing the time required to find and hire the people you need.
This is partly thanks to the immediacy of social media and the real-time conversations it allows you to have with prospective applicants. When people have questions about jobs you've posted online, they can get a quick response and potentially start a dialogue that makes the hiring process quicker and easier for all involved.
8. Candidate screening
Making a bad hire is every recruitment professional's worst nightmare. As well as wasting time and money, it can cause stress for internal teams who have to deal with the disruption of rapid staff turnover.
You can reduce this risk by screening candidates on social media and looking out for signs that they might not be a good addition to your workforce. While any individual's social profiles should be viewed with leniency and an open mind, you should also be vigilant to serious red flags such as online bullying or offensive remarks.
9. Insights into people's personalities
On the positive side, researching candidates on social media will help you build a clearer picture of their personalities, interests and professional ambitions.
As well as allowing you to make an informed judgment on their suitability for your business, this means you can take steps to enhance the attractiveness of your job offers and development pathways for candidates you're particularly keen to hire.