The recent advancements in social media have touched every sphere of our lives – be it our interaction with family and friends or the business networking. It has now become an important customer engagement tool for the companies worldwide, permeating all sections within an organization; whether it is product marketing, consumer research or customer servicing teams.
Recruitment industry is no exception to this trend and as talent becomes scarce, more and more companies and recruitment agencies
globally are targeting passive talent - which accounts for nearly 80% of the available talent pool – and social media with its direct reach can play an important role in tapping this source of talent.
Unlike the conventional broad based search on job portals, the social media platforms like LinkedIn provide a more focused search tool and a deeper candidate insight through their advanced segment based search on geography, role, longevity of services, previous employers etc., guaranteeing a much focused search and a better success rate.
In addition to their powerful search capabilities, these platforms also offer rich analytics on social and business networking of the prospective candidates; which can throw significant insight on the credibility and reputation of the candidates within the industry and a better perspective on their past industry experience. The recommendations section on LinkedIn is already being widely used as an effective reference checking tool for background checks.
Social media also offers an excellent branding platform for the employers with long-term and continuous engagement channel rather than a one-time interaction with the potential employees. Some of the networking sites, in addition to building a permanent follower base, also allow companies to broadcast their regular updates so their followers are kept engaged at all times.
While conventional print media and job boards are still playing an important role in the recruitment process, however more and more organizations nowadays are leveraging social media for their talent needs. This trend is more visible in mid-to-senior level recruitments where it is difficult to locate the right people through conventional hiring channels.
Even social media firms also recognize this opportunity and have tailored their products offering for the recruitment industry. Companies like LinkedIn already generates a significant chunk of their revenue through job advertisements and other talent based solutions for recruiters.
And experts predict this trend to gain momentum as the social media reach increases with penetration in the remote areas through adoption of advanced mobile telephony and smart and powerful handsets becoming accessible. If the growing numbers of recruitment advertisements on LinkedIn and their revenue from talent search solutions segment is any indicator then more and more companies and hiring agencies are already moving towards social media hiring. However there are still many challenges to overcome – for instance the internet penetration is still at very low in India.
Compared to using conventional media this approach is not only cost effective but also shortens the overall recruitment cycle. But to effectively align to this new model, companies need to shift their strategy from requirement centric hiring process to candidate centric process; thus making the entire process interactive and engaging at every stage of recruitment.