Over the years, the culture of recruitment evolved according to the scene and technology. Print (job) advertisements moved to digital platforms, and with the advent of social media, employer branding became a recruitment strategy, that appeals largely to the younger, tech-savvy generation.
We are all aware that conventional methods of hiring and recruitment are becoming obsolete in today’s digital age — you know, methods involving ye olde print advertisements, waiting for candidates to stumble upon them, to apply for your job opening, etc.
These old-timey strategies are losing steam, not just from the employers’ perspective, also from candidates’, because they require a lot of time and effort from both parties. Much like an actual steam engine that is a lot of work for its engineer and a lot less pleasant to ride for the passenger than a streamlined high-speed train. The employers will have to craft the job advertisement, send it for publishing (whether for print, or to be published on a digital platform), and then wait for results. While the candidates have to painstakingly look through classified ads or job boards, to find something that tickles their fancy; something that goes down their preferred career path. Not only are these methods slow, they are ineffective most of the time.
Ironically, as tech-savvy tech startups are supposed to be, many of them are not maximising the benefits of social recruiting. Plenty of companies use social media, a fair share even use them to build or promote an employer brand but most don’t execute the final step of broadcasting the job openings right there in front of the largest audience. Kang Junyoung, the CEO of a Korean social dining app, Withmeal, shared with us that he does not trust online job portals, and instead, prefers the old-school method of putting up job ads on university notice boards.
The use of social media together with a strong employer brand makes a really potent recruitment strategy. When “social media” is mentioned, though, there is a tendency for people to think of the four major social media platforms right away: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and especially in the recruitment scene, LinkedIn. Most employers use these sites to screen their candidates. However, even though these platforms dominate the social media scene, let us not forget that other social communities exist, such as GitHub, MeetUps, or even University Alumni pages, just to name a few.
A plethora of platforms tend to be overlooked by employers when they attempt social media hiring, as well as screening for candidates. Granted, information on candidates on such community-styled platforms may be more nuanced, since a lot of interpretation is required for discerning the characteristics of the member, as compared to LinkedIn, where the candidate’s background and experience is listed out explicitly. However, with experience and insight, one will be able to discern a lot more about a potential candidate, such as their traits and personal habits, which may be considered for a cultural fit, or for diversity.
One example of a company using social media for recruitment, is L’oreal. The brand used WeChat, the popular Chinese mobile app much like WhatsApp and Facebook combined, to recruit for their management trainee program. The pool of candidates that L’oreal discovered via the social media app was one that they would have never considered if they stuck to using conventional screening methods and even just the conventional media. It was a well-planned move to use WeChat in this particular scenario, in this particular region, as the platform is most popular in China.
Jumping on the social media train can be immensely helpful for hiring: you can reach out to passive candidates, since they are more likely to spend time on social media than on job boards if they are not actively looking for jobs. There is also the option of actively searching or screening for candidates. Before getting on board though, it is important to know the entire network so that you can stop at all necessary stations. To tap into the full potential, you need a holistic approach, so that you will not get lost in a steam of data, but rather, get a bird’s eye view.
Did someone say bird’s eye view? Here at TalentDash, we scour the internet for relevant candidates by looking into these lesser known communities. Just because a candidate does not have a loud presence on LinkedIn, it does not mean that s/he is not the perfect catch; our job is to make sure you never miss these low-profile but high-potential candidates. We give you a bird’s eye view of the talent pool.