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2016 social recruitment trends forecast

Christine Del Castillo
Christine Del Castillo

Former Community Manager at Workable specialized in employee experience, talent brands and our event series, Workable Ideas.

Social recruitment seems to have almost slavishly followed the stages of the Gartner Hype Cycle. We’ve trekked over the “peak of inflated expectations” and waded through the “trough of disillusionment,” pretty soon the “slope of enlightenment” should rise ahead of us. We know that social recruitment isn’t going to replace everything else we’ve been doing but promoting your jobs to your most engaged audience makes sense.

How to recruit employees effectively on social media

Here’s what the landscape looks like today. A quarter of all job seekers use social media as their primary tool for job searching. And every year, a new wave of hyperconnected digital natives enters the workforce. At the moment,
seven out of ten 18-34 year olds report having found their previous job through social media. And, nearly half of all employee referrals come in through social media.

Recruiters will naturally go where great candidates are. Nine out of ten companies use some form of social media to attract, source and engage qualified talent. Plus, more than half of all recruiters rated candidates sourced from social media as “highest quality.”

The bottom line: A social media recruiting strategy drives results, is mainstream, and here to stay. The practitioners are becoming more advanced and so are the tools. We’re no fans of the phrase “war for talent”, but we can’t deny that it’s a competitive atmosphere. Keep an eye on the following social recruitment trends. Checking these boxes will put the leaders miles ahead from the late adopters in 2016.

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What are the most effective social recruiting strategies?

Being less “antisocial”

Nine out of ten candidates are likely to apply to a job when it’s from an employer brand that’s actively maintained. What does that mean? It means that someone at the company is responsible for joining relevant conversations, responding to reviews and giving candidates an attractive preview of the work environment, culture and available opportunities via the company’s social media profiles. Seven out of ten recruiters agree and highlight company culture as a way to compete against other employers.  Those social feeds populated by an endless stream of robotic job alerts will be yesterday’s news. Hopefully.

Smarter sourcing

Social media offers unprecedented access to millions of high-quality candidates for free if you know how to find them. In short, social networks are the new Google. In 2015, sourcers (we used to call them “head hunters”) skilled in boolean and x-ray searches were in high demand. These are applicable to the most populated channels to hunt for candidates such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Facebook Graph search deserves a worthy mention as another way for sourcers to find more candidates.  This year, social sourcing will continue to be a coveted area of expertise. Diving into social sourcing? Boolean Blackbelt offers detailed and hype-free advice. We also like these tool recommendations from Sourcing Monk. Once you’re ready to reach out to candidates, there are email recruiting tools for reaching out effectively.

Moving beyond “the big three”

For years, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter have been recruiters’ top hunting grounds for socially-savvy candidates. But lately, savvy recruiters using social media for recruiting  are trying out some new channels . Instagram leads the pack of newcomers (31% of job seekers have reported finding a job through this social network), with Pinterest and Snapchat not far behind. In addition, recruitment experts know that candidates for specialist jobs are on specialist networks. Several specialist job boards have been created on these networks as a means of attracting these candidates.

Social media integrations for recruitment

More recruiters will be saving time by using job boards and hiring tools that boast smart integrations with social media sites and professional networks. Workable, for example, works seamlessly with social media. The Chrome extension enables you to import prospective candidates from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Dribbble, Behance, and Github.The stack of resumes sitting on your hard drive can also be automatically enriched with social profile data when you upload them to Workable. Finally, we’ve got a Facebook Jobs tab, so that your biggest fans are automatically notified about open positions at your company.

One-click job applications via social networks

The novel-length job application form may continue to annoy job seekers this year. However, those who want to get ahead and attract today’s heavily mobile audience should feel encouraged to add the option of a “one-click apply” button to their custom job application forms. These have been around for a while, but we believe that they will start to proliferate. Some job boards, such as Indeed have this functionality, and Workable’s own forms enable job seekers to apply on mobile via LinkedIn with one click. Thought: Why should LinkedIn have all the fun? Job seekers on professional networks like Dribbble and Github should be able to apply to jobs through those networks and import their work samples at the push of a button.

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