Using social recruitment in an employees’ market

The economic upturn means that the recruitment market is starting to favour employees over employers: in this climate how can businesses stand out using social recruitment?

Some things have stayed the same in the past twenty years. Hollywood makes the most successful films, McDonald’s sells a ton of burgers and England can’t play football. One thing that has changed though is work. People now want different things from it and they find employment in different ways.

In this timeframe, a whole generation entered the job market. They grew up in a way that is completely alien compared to what their forebears did – it’s called the Internet. Commonly referred to as the Millennials, this age group has access to an unprecedented amount of knowledge, past and present, at their fingertips. In fact, in his book The Organised Mind, Daniel Levitin states that in 2011, people took in five times as much information every day as they did in 1986, which is the equivalent to a 175 newspapers. This access to information dramatically changed the way this generation view the world.

Today, it’s not just millennials that see the world differently. Although other workers may not be ‘digital natives’, they have certainly become ‘digitally fluent’ – and therefore have equally strong expectations in many ways. This means that the vast majority of employees now hold stronger views on how they will look for their next job, how they want to be recruited and engaged by these companies and ultimately how they want to work for them. In turn, this means that recruiters and talent managers have to start approaching their jobs in a different way.

The budget’s the bottom line

Following the 2008 downturn, businesses focused on cutting costs and staying afloat, while employees focused on keeping their jobs. But this has changed.

The United Kingdom has been showing signs of recovery for some time, but the recent budget announcement and employment figures added fact to conjecture. In the latest statistics on the UK’s workforce, the ONS found that unemployment is down to 5.7%, while the number of people in work reached an all-time high. When this is considered alongside projections that joblessness will dip to 5.3% this year, it becomes clear a change is occurring.

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Analysis of the above statistics suggests that up to one thousand jobs will be created every single day across Great Britain. This rise in the number of jobs and fall in unemployment is pointing towards one thing: a shift in power, particularly for skilled workers. The recession made people less picky about their job, leading them to accept positions and policies they wouldn’t accept in a rosier economic environment. Now there is such an appetite for a workforce with the right skillset that it has become a market owned by employees, rather than employers.

Safety in social

This newly empowered talent pool is feeling more confident than at any time in the last decade or more. And so businesses need to adapt if they are going to attract the best and brightest candidates. In order to reach this new pool of skilled candidates, you must employ new methods for finding them and delivering engaging content to them. This begins with your employer brand and recruitment strategy.

Traditionally, recruitment was a bit of a dark art. A few years ago, people did not change jobs as often as they do now. Seeing a recruiter or looking for a job was something done very ‘hush, hush’. However with platforms such as LinkedIn effectively allowing people to showcase their capabilities at all times, the fluidity of the job market is more obvious than ever before.

The result for businesses is the need to broaden their recruiting horizons. Seen as an ‘untamed’ space by many businesses, the social jungle is nonetheless where the future employees of those businesses can be found. Talent management and recruitment professionals need to start engaging prospective employees through the channels and devices they use in their day-to-day lives, or risk missing them entirely. Social recruitment must become a priority.

Looking inward

Social media is not just vital for how you find people, but also how they view the job. Living life through social channels has made the typical individual more open with information and more inclined to share their views. They also expect to get more of a window into the world of those they work with or their employer organisation. Those who are not visible often won’t be able to build trust or rapport.

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One of the best ways for your company to find and hire the best candidates is by creating a strong, personable brand. People want to work for businesses that have personality and verve, rather than a faceless corporation. They want to work for a company that does good and that offers them the ability to grow in their chosen career field.

To achieve this, companies must broadcast their message through social and mobile friendly campaigns, acting in such a way that imitates how people access information; wherever they are, whenever. Achieve this and you will not only find the best candidates now, but prepare yourself for the future.

Finding the future

There’s an understandable caution when any sort of change happens within a business. For the world of recruiting, social media must be looked at as one of the greatest opportunities. HR and recruitment professionals may themselves only be making their first foray into social recruiting, but they need to act as innovators, drivers of change, and bring their business up to speed.

This necessity will be driven from the very top of the business. Attracting the right talent is a rising priority on the C-suite agenda, and the only way to achieve the aspirations of the leadership is to move with the times. If your business wants to continue to prosper for the next twenty years, it needs a talent pool to match its ambitions. And that talent pool is living in a social world.

Further reading on recruitment: The decision to hire in-house help

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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