Why social media STILL isn’t your top hiring channel

By

Anna Dickson

February 14, 2018

December 13, 2017

Industry experts have been suggesting social media will become the pre-eminent hiring channel for years. But it hasn't happened yet. Our latest research 'The Art of Securring Your Preferred Candidate' sheds light on why.

You could be forgiven for thinking that social media is now the preferred option for companies seeking new employees. Networks like Facebook and LinkedIn have, for some time, been touted as the next big thing for recruiters. With millions of active users, surely it would be difficult for an advertised position to pass unnoticed?

You only have to go back a couple of years to find a plethora of reports claiming that this would become the preferred channel for publicising vacancies. The theory being - if candidates were spending so much time on these platforms, then recruiters would be missing an opportunity if they didn’t have a presence.  

Expectation versus reality

Yet, despite the high number of would-be candidates scrolling through social media feeds, these networks are still not the first choice for people actively looking for a new role. Our latest research 'The Art of Securing Your Preferred Candidate' has revealed that job hunters are more likely to search using more traditional routes.

The study, which surveyed 2,000 individuals who had changed jobs in the last three years, found that 85% used job boards, either ‘very frequently’ or ‘frequently’, and 70% said the same for company career sites. Whereas, a much smaller percentage of candidates used social media platforms – just over a third searched on LinkedIn (37%), and even less on Facebook (30%) and Twitter (22%).

Yet, social media has its place

Although social media is not the primary option, it does have an important role to play for recruiters. Along with allowing candidates to find advertised jobs, social media also enables organisations to reach talent that may not actively be looking for a job at that precise moment. And from an employer branding perspective, these platforms help recruiters generate awareness of the brand and company culture generally.

When reviewing investments around employer-branding, this research determined that the company career sites are a good place to start. With 7 in 10 active candidates searching for jobs on company career sites, they present a significant opportunity for employers to create a positive impression for their organisation.

Career sites provide a strong alternative

Self-service portals, which allow candidates to log in to a careers site can further enhance the candidate experience. Candidates can browse vacancies and manage their applications whilst at the same time get a flavour of the team and company culture. 

Sites like these help brands to present their organisation in the way it wants to be perceived by prospective employees. It allows them to distinguish themselves as a good employer and encourages candidates to return to check for updates – even when there are no job availabilities at the time. The better the experiences for candidates, the more chance a brand has to engage with, and build bonds, with those potential employees.

The best way forward

The reality is that, rather than focus on one channel; organisations need to consider all three avenues: job sites, their own career sites and social media networks as each route offers different benefits.

It’s also worth remembering that, while the hype around social media has enabled it to steal more than a fair share of headlines in recent years, traditional digital hiring channels still offer great value too.

Download the full report

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About the author:

Anna Dickson

Product Manager - Talent Management

Anna is a Product Manager specialising in all things talent management. Anna brings an understanding of the changing needs of the market and the user, in order to ensure the software evolves to meet the needs of HR and recruitment professionals.

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