Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. Who would have thought that these big three social media sites would have become mainstream recruitment tools to attracting great candidates?
But with a staggering 346 million people who read blogs globally, 2.5 billion photos added to Facebook monthly, and an estimated 75million twitter user accounts, social media provides organisations with a readily available pool of talent.
Browse the web and you will easily find numerous debates on the pros and cons of social media recruitment. However, the conclusion which most research and debates derive is usually ‘those who miss out would eventually lose out’.
So to help guide you, we’ve aggregated some of the advantages and disadvantages of using the big three social networks (i.e Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn) to recruit:
- Use for market research e.g. send out an question to followers for rapid response answers
- Great traffic driver – link to your recruitment blog or careers site, tweet about new job openings
- Excellent multi-site accessibility – accessible from hundreds of different widgets, tools or applications
- You can automate (blog) feeds into your twitter account
- Massive reach – a huge ever-growing audience
- Not a very effective method to broadcast content (jobs or news) with no other interaction – it’s about relationships and conversations
- Too much noise – lots of (often useless) messages which also have a low shelf life
- The 140 character limit can be very restrictive
- Measurement and return on investment can be very tricky
- Mass audience – one of the world’s biggest networks!
- Better targeting for recruiters with Facebook Social advertising
- Recruiters also have the option to have display advertising which is based on the traditional cost-per-click or cost-per-impression model
- Reach (passive) candidates in their natural environment
- With the right tool (e.g. application, game, etc), a recruitment campaign could become viral
- Recruiters can create a free Facebook Page to showcase their organisation and career opportunities (much like a careers site)
- Create Groups & Events to promote careers fairs, open days etc
- Facebook is much more of a personal social network rather than business (ala LinkedIn) so candidates may be unwilling to engage with organisations
- Not all demographics are represented on Facebook
- Accuracy of user data
- Facebook has lots of ongoing privacy/legal issues which could make contacting users more difficult or problematic e.g. tighter privacy settings could affect the ways organisation can engage with users
- Highly targeted and professional network that was built for recruitment
- Very reception audience with higher return on investment for recruiters
- More accurate and structured data on users (profiles are like online CV’s)
- Powerful ‘people search’ functionality to browse network for connections
- You can use the LinkedIn Questions & Answers and create groups to start conversations and position yourself as a thought-leader or expert
- User profiles are Google indexed so can be searched within Google
- The applications/widgets are weak
- Can be time-consuming as it requires you to build relationships first
- Not quite used globally yet (although its getting there!)
- You can only reach 3 degrees from users – again making engagement with specific individuals difficult
- Limited number of ‘InEmails’ – LinkedIn’s answer to emails which allow you to contact other users directly without them being part of your network
Still not convinced? The main thing to remember is that just like job boards, such as jobs.ac.uk, social media should be just one part of your online attraction strategy to bringing more candidates to your careers website. Social media simply complements your conventional recruitment tools rather than providing a replacement.
In fact, integration of different recruitment tools and strategies is essential. So get the mix right and you stand to gain a great advantage over your competitors in attracting the very best candidates!