The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently released a report on the use of social media by recruiters in 2012. The report revealed that 17% of recruiters use social media as one of their major sources of potential job candidates, although only about 3% use it as their primary source. An increasing number of firms now use social media to not only screen applicants who respond to job advertisements, but also search for passive candidates who might be a good fit with their organizations. In fact, SHRM says that about two-thirds of firms use social media to search for passive candidates. From these numbers, it’s quite clear that social media is already a significant part of the overall recruitment resources for many recruiters and organizations.
Social Media for Recruiters
Social networking sites have generally made it very easy for firms to interact with prospective candidates, so much so that it’s quite easy for an organization to dip their toes in without first considering how this resource fits in with their overall social marketing strategy. As a recruiter, it is important that you do some prior research about the social network that you intend to use, particularly if you are new to it. Not all platforms can work for you. You therefore need to find your best fit. As a recruiter, you also need to be very careful about the tone you set when searching for potential candidates on social sites. Recruiters are known to sometimes be overly aggressive, and this can work against them.
A recruiter can talk about their client’s organization as a subtle way of attracting prospects, advises Rachna Jain, a social media marketing consultant in Michigan. You can subtly publicize your hiring without necessarily inviting submission of resumes. To do this, you can use micro-blogging sites such as Plurk or Twitter to connect with members who do related keyword searches without appearing to be overtly promotional. Recruiters are also advised to exercise discretion about how they use information gleaned from social sites. Using private information such as a candidate’s age or marital status to discriminate against them could potentially attract a lawsuit.
According to a report by Jobvite released in 2012, 80% of recruiters favorably rate candidates who are affiliated to professional organizations. Sixty-six percent value volunteerism efforts in a candidate. Fifty-four percent of recruiters consider grammar and spelling mistakes very negatively, while about 74% consider any references to illicit drugs, posts with sexual overtones or alcohol use a definite “No-No” for potential candidates.
Social Media Use for Potential Candidates
People with active profiles on social networking sites can benefit from them when looking for a job. As a social media user, it is best to connect with people with whom you have something in common. You can connect with people from your professional association, college mates, people working in your industry and so on. Use several social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter instead of relying on just one site. This can potentially increase your chances of connecting with people who are highly relevant to you. Build your networks over time and make sure you are pro-active in your communication. Caveat: be careful about what you post on social sites. Remember every single word you write on these sites can be accessed via Google. It might look like fun to rant about your boss to your friends on Facebook, but this might work against you when a potential recruiter stumbles upon it in your profile. Many people have discovered this when it was too late, after they had lost a potentially lucrative job. For really private communication, it’s better to use email.
The use of social media by firms and organizations is still relatively new, but is already an important part of the recruitment process. It is strongly advisable to keep yourself updated with any new developments on these sites since most are evolving rapidly.