The latest news and advice from our recruitment experts.
“To be or not to be, that is the question” —we may not be in a William Shakespeare play, but I do have an ambiguous question to address. Should we as recruiters and/or business owners embrace the widely popular social media platforms for business purposes, or should we disregard them?
Let’s face it, social media presence in businesses is growing - and in some cases quite dramatically. Despite this increase, over the last few years, some businesses refuse to embrace social media and in doing so, turn a blind eye to this readily available and potentially lucrative business marketing tool.
Statistics show that people using social media are from all avenues and fields of work; billions of people around the globe use social media websites. The social media world and its advantages are at your fingertips!
Recruitment Buzz UK reported recently, that there is a growing number of businesses finding that using social media platforms creates a useful and effective tool that can aid in servicing, promoting and recruiting. In particular, some business owners have engaged social media networks as part of their recruitment drive.
Matt Cutts, Head Of Google’s Webspam Team, recently addressed the subject of whether the apparent social signals from Facebook and Twitter will determine Google’s search algorithm, and if this is the case, the extent to which Google truly factors this in. Cutts says if something occurs on Twitter and/or Facebook, Google can crawl it, then return it in its searches. However determining where you are ranked from what social media provides cannot be confirmed by Google, and at this stage there are no signals of the like in its web search ranking algorithms.
Slightly off topic, but still relevant to my question. Do we then really need and require social media presence for recruiting or not? Will social media help us find the right candidate? Do we really need social media to streamline our recruiting services?
Questions, questions…so let’s outline that Pros and Cons for this, and then I’ll let you decide.
Firstly, social media is the most cost effective marketing tool that you can use. It’s free to set up, gives you the ability to advertise and post jobs across numerous platforms, which in turn will help target specific markets. Social media allows you to advertise your business and available job opportunities to a wider audience for free, compared to conventional and traditional advertising methods that in the past would have made a significant dent in your marketing budget.
Social media gives you complete control, is easily accessible, and the level of engagement from your audience can be visibly tracked on Google Analytics. In addition, you can see leads converted on your website. Perfect!
The likes of LinkedIn will also allow you to engage with potential employees, to build relationships through forums, and target talented professionals in your industry - making the process move swiftly.
With the baby boomers moving out and the millennials moving in, more people are applying for jobs using methods of social media. This is a good thing, right?
Kelly Services General Manager – Commercial, Wendy Hewson, quantified this by saying, “More and more New Zealanders are turning to social media to discuss their work and canvas job openings and career choices. For such a mobile population – particularly with people travelling for their OE – these social connections are making recruitment a lot easier by broadening the reach of their networks”
As Hewson goes on to explain, the workplace is getting younger, it’s built on contact and relationships and social media is bringing these into the modern world.
If we look at the likes of Twitter, the limited characters restricts the ability to express all that is required. As Twitter is seen like ‘Grand Central Station’ for posts, the lifeline of a post is limited.
Remembering these are ‘social’ sites, and maybe seen primarily for just ‘social’ purposes rather than business. Hey, every man and his dog can join a social networking site!
You’re one of many billion people trying to be heard, there is a possibility your voice may get lost. A good way to avert this is by engaging your audience, initiating conversations and asking questions. No one wants to feel like their talking to a computer generated voice.
A consistent presence on Social Media takes time, energy & dedication. Somehow you need to find this amongst the other things you do, or allocate the responsibility to someone who can. This in itself is a cost.
Guy Kawasaki summarises in his latest book, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur – How to Publish a Book, defined the core value of five social media services:
Facebook = People. It's mostly for communicating with those whom you already know and have some connection.
Twitter = Perceptions. It can help you build your reputation and visibility, new ideas and reactions.
Google+ = Passions. It's for sharing your passions with others who have the same passions. Connecting with people who share the same interests.
Pinterest = Pinning. It's about beautiful images and finding great stuff. Reflecting your interests; the expressive you.
LinkedIn = Pimping. LinkedIn can help you position yourself as a serious person and influencer. Marketing yourself to the best of your abilities.
Knowing the ‘pros’ and ‘cons when executing any new marketing or recruiting plan is necessary to any business.. Like it or not, social media is here to stay, so as an employer you should look to embrace it one way or another. If it’s not your thing, there will be someone in your organisation that likely thrives on it.
Determine what you want to achieve with social media, and then you are more likely to succeed.