Editors Note: This is a guest post by Eva Wislow from Careers Booster. Her opinions are her own.
Here’s something you probably don’t know: each month, 300 million people use Instagram, 288 million use Twitter, and an amazing number of 890 million use Facebook every day. Since the beginning of the social media era, communication has become extremely convenient and effective.
Today the employment marketplace is extremely wide due to the fact that employees can instantly connect with employers. According to some extensive research, 61% of employees use social media networks in order to research companies and potential job opportunities.
Considering these stats, we can confidently say that social media is a huge player in the recruitment process. If we’re open minded and accept the fact that social media is a must nowadays, we can then say that we’ve adapted to the current marketplace conditions.
As you can probably notice, the market changes extremely quickly. One new app might just change the entire course of things. Revolutionary networks such as Facebook create new market conditions. If we want to be productive, we must stay on track and respect the market. Innovation is key.
1. The role of employer branding in the current marketplace
Let’s start with the definition.
“Employer brand is the term commonly used to describe an organization’s reputation as an employer, and its value proposition to its employees, as opposed to its more general corporate brand reputation and value proposition to customers” – Wikipedia.
As you can see, the employer brand is your overall workplace image that job seekers look at when they evaluate your potential employment opportunity. It’s the bread and butter element of your entire recruiting process. Just like your brand’s image influences customers to buy from you, that’s how your employer brand influences your potential future employees. If you choose to take care of it, your brand’s image will create a powerful impact over time.
2. The link between social media and recruitment
As mentioned earlier, 61% of job seekers search for jobs through social networks. If that’s where they look first, it is pretty safe to assume that they will also research a company’s employer brands.
As a company, creating and maintaining a positive employer brand will bring many benefits. First of all, potential employees are going to give your job priority due to the positive employer brand. As a business owner, you may also end up spending less on salaries, as many employees prefer a great working environment to receiving a higher salary each month for working in a ‘slave pit’.
By now we have established that your employer brand image is a key factor in a successful recruiting process. If you understand how to leverage social media, you can probably stay on the top of things.
Social recruiting is extremely popular nowadays, and the more you take the time to learn how to master it, the better your recruitment process will look.
Here’s a very interesting infographic that explains how social media can ruin your employer brand. It also contains useful tips from CEOs and successful employers.
3. The importance of your existing employees
70% of people trust what employees say about a company over what is stated in brand advertising. For this reason your existing employees play a critical role role. If you were to put yourself in a job-seeker’s shoes, who would you trust?
Considering the fact that employees are the key to your employer brand performance and value, you must treat them accordingly. Over last several years, many companies have changed their strategies and placed a greater emphasis on existing employees during the recruitment process.
If companies and brands focus on their employees’ experience, they can establish a productive and friendly environment. Most of the employees are happy to come to work, contribute, and help grow the company.
You can expect to have a great employer brand reputation only if your employees are totally satisfied with the conditions you are offering. So taking care of them is a priority.
In today’s employment marketplace, good reviews and testimonials of an employer’s brand are more relevant than a customer’s review of that brand. That means that your employees are automatically your customers too. They come and go, and if they leave, they should leave good things behind like recommendations, positive reviews and opinions.
4. Using your employees to improve brand awareness
As a business owner, hiring manager or Human Resources professional, you can ask your existing employees to help you spread the word about the employer brand (and also about potential opportunities). Everyone uses social media, so ask your team members to tweet about their awesome experiences at work, share some pictures of team activities, your cool workspace, etc.
Any positive review that’s being shared by an employee is a valuable long term asset for your employer brand. When interested applicants research your brand, your employees’ recommendations can be extremely valuable.
When you are looking to recruit, tell your employees to spread the word about the vacancies. Your team members’ Twitter and LinkedIn posts will improve your chances of attracting potential employees.
5. Have an established social media presence
To be seen as a professional employer brand, you need to create a social media footprint. Depending on what niche you are operating, you should choose the best options for your brand. Let me give you a short example. If your target audience is primarily a female only demographic, you should create an Instagram profile; here’s a list of useful demographics concerning social media users.
Of course, you can choose to build profiles on all the social media platforms, but that won’t turn out to be as productive as focusing on two or three and scaling your efforts continuously.
You also need to create a social following. In order to do that, you need to share useful and relevant content on a regular basis. Keep your social media profiles constantly updated.
After you have a reasonable amount of followers, you can start promoting your brand. Include images or videos of workplace activities, recognise your team’s performance, promote your recruitment efforts, and so on.
6. Using social media to select potential employees
When running your recruitment process, you need facts. You need proof that your candidates are actually as good as they say they are.
In order to test your candidates, you can organize online competitions through social media. Think about a relevant task that would prove someone’s expertise in your chosen field. Let them know that they’re participating and fighting over a potential vacancy in your company.
That’s one way you’ll be able to figure out who’s the best fit for your organisation. If candidates are extremely selective when it comes to the brand of their potential next employer, why shouldn’t you be strict with your selection process too?
According to a recent survey, 50% of employers who used social media in their selection process found an issue on a candidate’s profile that influenced them to reject their application. During the selection process, look at the candidate’s social footprint. Check out their posts, their interests, notice the good and bad things, and include all these factors in your hiring process.
As an experienced HR manager, social media has truly improved my efficiency over the last few years. I believe that social media is the best place to promote your employer brand, attract new talent, and assist in much of the recruitment process.
If you are involved in recruiting in any way, consider some of these tips and give social recruiting a try.