The Best Practices of Recruiting on Social Media:
A candidate’s “first impression” traditionally takes place in the first few minutes of an interview.
Interestingly, social media networks have allowed candidates to make a first impression without meeting a single person.
Even for passive candidates, they are also using social media sites to network, so the recruitment industry naturally has taken a shift.
It’s apparent that social media is an integral part of recruitment in this day and age so creating that first impression through candidates is vital. Your company’s brand is not just a logo anymore; job seekers are now looking at your company through your social media pages. Millennials have grown their interest in the social recruitment process and according to 84% of organizations are currently using social media for recruitment and that 9% of those who don’t yet use it are planning to.
Social media has given candidates and recruiters an efficient way to engages, recruiters now have to create the distinction between what is too much engagement or not enough across different social media platforms.
When it comes to social media recruiting, there aren’t any rules that are written in stone, but once you find the sweet spot to utilize social media best, top talent will flock their way to your company.
The Do’s and Don’ts
It’s recommended that companies have a social media policy that covers both the brand’s appearance to the public and rules for how the employees reflect the company on their personal social media platforms. However, keep in mind that the level and depth of the policy should be dependent on both the company and the industry it belongs to.
Additionally, it may benefit the company to consider establishing a policy or rules with their recruiting team or HR department, in terms of how to navigate social media sites with job applicants and candidates. At the very least, the policy needs to explicitly state that in the case that you use social media to research candidates, the investigation must be directly related to the job they will eventually perform. For example, it’s suitable to look into the Facebook and Instagram profiles of the social media director you intend on hiring, but most likely not for an electrical engineer. When LinkedIn is concerned, it is likely necessary to look into in any case, due to both employees and employers viewing the network as an online resume and professional resource.
In some aspects, establishing policies or rules is related to the basic principles of social media recruiting. Your recruiting process should have an organized approach, and your team should be familiar with the skill sets and experiences that are essential for incoming candidates. Social media can provide information that can get in the way of the company hiring a qualified candidate.
Ultimately, it’s impossible for recruiters to un-see what they’ve already seen. Even though the outcome may seem far-fetched, candidates who don’t receive the job at your company might return and accuse you of basing your decision on information on their social media profile. When your team is complying with policies, you have a defensible position, as well as a consistent and unbiased process for every applicant.
Contemplating fit and open-mindedness
Many recruiters tend to use social media networks to get to know the culture and background of potential candidates. However, it is extremely important to keep in mind that culture fit does not necessarily entail fit within the company.
After all, it is within diverse teams, whether that’s in opinion, culture, or background, that innovation and collaboration thrive. Organizations require a unique team of people who think differently to change things for the better and grow as one unified group.
However, keeping culture and backgrounds in mind is still somewhat important in the hiring process. You need to use the candidate’s culture and background to help you analyze their fit for your company’s goals and values. Keep in mind that this assessment is nearly impossible to perform by solely looking at the candidate’s social media networks. After all, there’s only so much you can learn about a person’s true beliefs by just scrolling through their photos and discussions, and it would not be a fair assessment anyway.
That being said, there are some smart strategies that you can employ to find out if a candidate has the right values to successfully integrate into your company culture. It can be super effective to evaluate a candidate by inviting them to attend a social event with the existing team. This way, it provides real interactions for you to assess rather than purely informative photos and captions online.
Using social media recruiting correctly
The fact of the matter is, usage of social media programs varies widely between generations and demographics. Since not everyone will be using social media the same way, for the same purpose, it is both unwise and unfair to analyze candidates based on their usage of various social media platforms. In fact, it may be unwise to include social media in your evaluation at all, as it may add in unfair bias based on your judgment of the information that your candidate chooses to make public.
For example, if you seek out candidates using Facebook profiles, you will be missing out on tons of qualified candidates who simply don’t use Facebook as a social media platform. For certain industries, it could prove to be more beneficial to find employees while staying off of social media.
In general, it is important for us to make decisions based on the candidate’s true personality and fit with the company rather than their social media profiles. Often, people focus on the convenience of finding people on social media to realize that they may be skipping out on the best candidates. It is important to utilize social media, but it is equally important to focus on other methods of assessing your candidates as well.
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