How has talent acquisition been affected by social media like LinkedIn and others

The use of social media as a talent acquisition tool has revolutionised how people are recruited. Whether you are the owner of a big business or a solopreneur, you would do well to have a clear understanding of how talent acquisition has been affected by social media. If you are yet to use social media for talent acquisition, you should do it now!

There’s a reason why social recruiting has gained immense popularity in recent years. According to Backlinko, the average number of social media accounts stood at 8.4 per person in 2020. Region-wise, the averages were:

  • India: 11.4 accounts per person
  • the United States: 7.1 accounts per person
  • the United Kingdom: 6.9 accounts per person
  • Canada: 6.8 accounts per person
  • Japan: 3.8 accounts per person

Out of LinkedIn’s 875 million users worldwide, more than 310 million are monthly active users. Facebook has 2.9 billion monthly active users (MAU), while for Twitter, the figure stands at 450 million. For Instagram, the number of monthly active users is currently more than 2 billion.

The above numbers will only continue to grow in 2023 and beyond. Social media platforms were once used for staying connected with family and friends, but over the years, people have started using them for expressing their interests and passion, finding the latest trends, doing the research before making a buying decision, seeking feedback on a product or service from their network, and yes, finding their next job as well.

Not using these powerful platforms will mean lagging in the race to onboarding the best talent out there. To ensure your business is future-ready when it comes to talent acquisition, it pays to start using social media platforms wisely.

If you are still on the fence regarding using social media for recruitment, here are some statistics worth pondering upon:

  • LinkedIn ranks at the top as the most-used channel for recruitment efforts. 77% of employers use this platform, which is closely followed by Facebook (63%).
  • Social media was the preferred choice of millennials, 73% of whom found their current roles through them.
  • 66% of recruiters post job openings on social media.
  • 47% of recruiters say social media helps a lot in employer branding.

There’s nothing wrong with using traditional methods like job postings on career websites or in newspapers and reaching out to prospective candidates through headhunting services or professional networking. However, social media is a much more powerful tool to access a wider talent pool and even entice those candidates who aren’t actively looking for jobs.

No wonder why various social media platforms (like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc) have had a significant impact on talent acquisition, and are likely to continue to shape the way individuals and businesses locate and hire employees in the future.

Top 3 Benefits of Using Social Media for Hiring Decisions

1.      Faster and Easier to Reach a Wider Talent Pool

From individuals at smaller businesses planning to make a few hires annually to companies experiencing a surge in hiring or recruiting consistently, everyone can benefit from social media. Not sure how? By expanding your reach and access to a wider talent pool that’s not restricted by geographical boundaries, social media lets you can hire people who you believe will benefit your business.

Unlike newspaper and magazine ads that are limited to a particular geographic area and reach a small number of people, social media lets you reach a global talent pool. This can be especially helpful when you are looking to fill C-suite roles like the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), etc.

Some social media platforms even add features tailored to attract more candidates suitable for the open roles in your company. For instance, on LinkedIn, you can use the

  • #Hiring feature to share that you are hiring on the platform to draw more qualified candidates through your network.
  • #Hiring photo frame on your profile photo.
  • job post’s Meet the Team section to feature your profile.

You could even invite your employees and the management team to share the job and add the #Hiring photo frame to their respective LinkedIn profile photos, thus widening the reach of your ad for open positions.

Recommended Matches is another feature that makes it easier to spot hidden talent, especially for roles that are difficult to fill.

The Hiring in Your Network feature is yet another benefit offered by LinkedIn that notifies job seekers when one of their connections (1st or 2nd degree) is recruiting for a relevant job and even sends notifications to relevant connections, asking them to share the open job role with their LinkedIn networks if they want to.

On Facebook, you can monitor candidates to get a glimpse of how they present themselves to family, friends, and strangers, which will help in final decision-making. If you want to leverage Twitter, you can engage potential candidates on the platform to learn more about their interests and what they value. Such knowledge will help you evaluate their culture fit.

Be it the different social media platforms or their special features, all have one goal: to help you reach more job seekers so you have better chances of finding exactly the right individual for an open role.

2.      Cost-Effective Way to Hire Candidates

Due to the “always-on” nature of social networks, the lightning-fast speed at which posts go viral, the ease with which people tend to engage with posts and updates, and the shareability of posts, vacancy ads on social media can work to your advantage. All these factors help reduce the time and cost of finding, screening, and finally, hiring employees.

Whether you plan to recruit now or anticipate vacancies in the near future, hiring via social media is a cost-effective way to find suitable candidates for your company’s open positions. You could use a free account to find candidates though paid ones have some rich and useful features that will make your search easier and faster.

Even when you aren’t actively hiring now, you can prime your audience for future vacancies in a cost-effective way. Not sure what that means? By sticking to a regular posting schedule of high-quality content, you can increase your visibility across various social media channels.

This will help your enterprise leaders like HR managers and recruiters to position your company or organisation as a positive place to work by highlighting, for example, great benefits, a good corporate culture, or a strong internal promotion policy.

An active presence on social media will also let you create easy channels that potential candidates and job seekers can use to interact with your company. This, in turn, will make the future recruitment process smoother and make you spend a lot less than you usually do on traditional modes of an advertisement on corporate websites, magazines, newspapers, job boards, etc.

3.      Ease of Targeting Specific Groups of Job Seekers

Social media platforms are exceptionally helpful when you need to target a specific group of candidates. For instance, LinkedIn’s automated targeting experience helps you to target the right candidates possessing specific qualifications and skill sets. You can use manual editing of the listed criteria to refine your search further based on a more specific location, skills, level of education, years of experience, etc.

You could also use LinkedIn tools, including Member Interests and Traits targeting, when building your audience based on members’ inferred traits and interests, which can be leveraged later to fulfil future vacancies.

With LinkedIn advertising, you can also choose targeting options from:

  • Audience attributes like demographics, job experience, company, education, and traits and interests
  • Locations
  • Custom audiences created by you earlier using Matched Audiences

All these features help you attract the right people to your message (of a vacant position). And when you are in front of the right people, who are your ideal audience, you will get people who are engaged the most. This enhances your chances of receiving favourable responses to your vacancies.

If you thought only LinkedIn can help you target specific groups of people, think again. Other social media platforms too are doing their bit to smoothen your recruiting process.

On Facebook, for example, you can take a different approach. Instead of aggressively hiring candidates for specific positions, you can share “a day in the life” profiles or use similar but subtler approaches to entice top prospects. The idea is that it isn’t essential to solicit applications right out of the gate.

A good way could be saying “I’m happy to welcome X to the team, who’s an expert in Y” to connect with other members doing keyword searches related to Y. Such posts will help promote your company’s achievements in a manner that’s not exceedingly promotional and even increase the awareness of your employer brand.

Since potential candidates want proof that people enjoy working for your company, your strategy on Twitter could be encouraging your employees to tweet content on behalf of your brand or talk about success stories, recognition received, and similar positive events. Such employee advocacy will organically spread the word about your company culture, which will help fuel your candidate pipeline.

Final Words

Perhaps you have already got your answer to “how has talent acquisition been affected by social media?” But are you not sure of where the future will lead us to?  

Businesses and companies have started recognising that strictly posting on job boards or your company’s career page won’t cut it anymore. As a growing number of hyper-connected digital natives enter the workforce, it has become imperative to reach them on platforms they usually visit and are active on. Whether you plan to recruit local candidates or global talent in line with your company’s work-from-anywhere policies, embracing social media is something you simply can’t ignore.

What’s your take on the matter? Let us know!

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