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16 October 2013

How to Improve Your Candidate Experience with Social Media

Posted by JeffW

This post is by Jeff Waldman, founder of Stratify, a social HR solutions company, and SocialHRCamp, an experiential learning HR unconference that has run events in Canada, the United States, Singapore and Philippines.

We live in a brand-focused world driven by experiences. Every touchpoint that someone has with your brand shapes their perception of your organization, and customers will rely heavily on their gut feelings about brands when it’s time to buy.

The emergence of social media has created a level playing field within the consumer space. That old notion that the “small guys” can’t compete with the big boys to attract and retain customers is long gone.

The same changes have happened in recruiting. Talent prospects approach organizations the same way they look at products they’d like to buy. Would I want to work for company X? Do I like their corporate culture? What do my friends say about them? What does the online world say about them? What has been my experience when engaging with them? These are the same types of questions we ask ourselves whenever we are making buying decisions. Buying a product or making a decision to apply for a job—it’s the same thought process.

How Brand Experience Affects Social Media and Recruitment

The “post and pray” practice of recruitment is slowly but surely waning, simply because it’s losing its effectiveness. With social media, so much emphasis has been on sourcing talent—“direct sourcing” through social media profiles that fit the desired job, organization and candidate traits. Direct sourcing through social media is essentially just a highly technologically advanced way of head-hunting. The only change here is the platform that is being used to find talent.

If the brand experience is so critical these days, and social media is an uber-powerful brand-building channel, shouldn’t we be focusing most of our attention on building the strength of our employer brands? Here are 5 key ways that social media can impact candidate experience and shape employer brand.

5 Ways to Impact Candidate Experience Through Social Media

  1. Include Social Media Profiles in Your Application Process.

Applicant tracking systems are typically a drain on the applicant experience. The applicant spends a lot of time creating profiles—entering data, attaching documents, answering a series of questions, etc. Allowing candidates to pull their social media profiles into the application process significantly reduces the amount of time and effort required from each applicant.

  1. Humanize the Traditional Resume.

Resumes are ineffective at showcasing a candidate’s personality and overall fit. How can words on a page truly portray character traits, personality, work ethic, drive to results, and the many other important aspects of a top candidate? They can’t. Social media profiles showcase images, videos and other visually stimulating elements that provide a more holistic perspective of a prospective employee. Adding social profiles to the candidate experience help create a more complete application.

  1. Treat Candidates Like Customers.

HR practitioners and recruiters can learn a lot from marketers. Take a walk down the hallway and start collaborating with your marketing peers. Marketing’s audience may be different, but both marketers and recruiters are focused on building strong relationships with people. Approach candidates the same way you’d approach prospective customers, and shoot for engagement.

  1. Lean on the Power of Referrals.

Our social circles play a big role in our decisions to buy things—new cars, phones, laptops, tablets, restaurant choices and yes, workplaces. Think about it: If your top employees love working for you then they are more likely to tell their networks about it and encourage friends and contacts to seek employment with your organization. Research has shown that quality of hire significantly increases through employee referral. To maximize the impact of referrals, take the process online to social media and let the world see what’s going on at your organization.

  1. Avoid the “Black Hole” Experience.

One of the worst feelings as a job seeker is spending a lot of time time on a job application and then never having any further connection with the organization after they hit the “apply” button. Social media is an easy, quick way to engage with talent prospects. Plus, by engaging with candidates publicly on social media, you’re creating positive conversations about your organization that other potential candidates can see.

At the end of the day, there’s a clear positive correlation between social media engagement and employer brand strength. The better you are at engaging with your audiences online using social media channels, the more success you will have when it comes to hiring.

Talemetry delivers all the tools recruiters need to find, attract, and engage the talent they need today – and tomorrow – in a single, simple and social cloud-based solution. As the leading provider of talent generation solutions, the Talemetry software-as-a-service (SaaS) suite includes talent sourcing & CRM, job broadcasting, career sites and candidate application solutions. Schedule a demo today to learn how Talemetry can help you find better talent faster.

Topics: brand experience, candidate experience, recruitment, social media

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