While unemployment is now around 7.8 percent and more jobs were added last month, it is still easy for the 12.1 million unemployed job seekers to get discouraged. Applying to jobs through traditional and old-fashioned methods often becomes a frustrating, dead-end exercise for most job-seekers. Many of these outdated practices waste a candidate's valuable time and barely provide any meaningful interaction with the employer or recruiter.
On the other hand, while the candidate pool is large and growing, screening and finding the right candidates from the deluge of applications received for every open position has become a huge challenge for employers. The reality is that it can be hard for an employer to find candidates with the skills and qualifications needed, even though there is no shortage of applicants.
As a result, an increasing number of organizations in every industry are looking outside the traditional hiring methods to make their recruiting campaigns more targeted. There are, no doubt, a ton of inefficiencies in the traditional recruitment process. Job-seekers and employers are not getting enough opportunities to engage effectively and determine the right fit for each other. Employers as well as candidates have realized that one of the more effective and efficient ways of improving visibility is through social media engagement and referrals.
According to a study by McKinsey, social media can add a potential 1.3 trillion dollars in value to the struggling economy. This value takes the form of better enterprise collaboration and communication, leading to real gains in productivity. On a more local level, the burgeoning social marketplace is even helping individual states during this tough economic time. In a recent overview of the pace of job recovery, social media was cited as a component of California's economic growth.
These examples demonstrate the power of social media as a solution to common enterprise obstacles. Productivity rises when you take away the barriers to collaboration, and increase interaction between team members, leading to better hiring.
Social media can also be an essential facilitator with high ROI for finding candidates who will become the next generation of leaders in your organization. Here's how:
Easier Candidate Communication
Social media makes communicating with top talent faster and more intuitive for businesses along the spectrum from Fortune 500 to emerging startups. Unlike outdated methods of communicating that are unable to get to the right candidates in a timely way, the vast promotional powers of social media make it possible for a company's open positions to gain large exposure. With social media platforms, it is easy for employers to get their company and its open positions in front of targeted candidates in a real-time way and without making it seem like an unwanted cold-call. Passive as well as active candidates that are connected with the employer brand through its social media platforms, can be notified of new job openings and other relevant company updates in a seamless and meaningful way, providing the candidate an opportunity to apply or respond quickly.
Employers can get a better feel for a candidate's written communication skills and professionalism, while job seekers can get the personal interaction they crave. This cuts down on the traditional recruiting process, allowing open positions to be filled with great candidates faster.
Companies can even build up their own talent communities, which are online destinations where candidates with certain skills and interests gather. By continually replenishing their talent pipeline for future job openings, companies can stay competitive in the talent marketplace.
Social media recruitment platforms allow and encourage current employees to get the word out about their company's open positions to their connections who can further share it with their connections and so on, potentially reaching thousands of great candidates in a very short time. This is good news considering that a bad hire can sometimes set companies back a total of $50,000. Current employees understand the company culture, organizational structure, and unique needs of the business. They are more likely to refer candidates who can thrive and grow in the organization.
Effective Job Marketing
Social media is a simple but powerful tool to market your company's open positions, while simultaneously promoting the corporate brand. Creating branded social media destinations centered around your company will allow you to easily promote your open positions to a group of interested potential applicants. Unlike traditional recruitment methods, these online portals are evergreen sources of information and content for interested candidates. Social media should be used to craft and market a narrative about the benefits of your organizational culture. Since the content shared in the social media platforms can be viewed any time, employers can focus on bringing top talent into their talent communities and then serving them with great content.
Thanks to the power of social media and the Internet, companies can find more creative hires just by looking at how candidates choose to apply for positions. Candidates can now take advantage of the many social and digital tools available for sending infographics, videos and blogs to enhance their candidacy. Unlike the traditional bullet-point resume, these new creative application techniques are opening a window into your company's future. In today's idea-driven economy, enterprise recruiting cannot afford to overlook the value creative hires bring to the table.
Modern Day Reference Checking
The traditional reference check methods are increasingly considered time consuming and not always helpful, as employers tracked down references who were often cagey about a candidate's prior work performance. Thanks to the power of public social media profiles, you can easily gauge how candidates conduct themselves in public. If your candidate is inappropriate and unprofessional on their social media profiles, those behaviors will likely translate to the office. With social media, you are better able to focus directly on the candidate and his/her abilities, resulting in a more comprehensive snapshot of the individual.
With the economy still suffering, social media can hold the key to easing the recruitment process. A faster and more efficient system can help more job seekers land their dream jobs. while providing employers a more efficient and effective way to connect with talent and fill their open positions.
What are some ways social media has improved your hiring process? Share in the comments!
Sajjad Masud is the Co-Founder and CEO of Simplicant, a cloud-based social recruiting platform transforming talent acquisition and making enterprise-level recruiting technology accessible to companies of all sizes. Connect with Sajjad and the Simplicant team on Twitter and Facebook.