It is hard to imagine a time when social media was not an integral part of our normal day-to-day activities. Social media is now reported to be the fourth most popular online activity with more than two-thirds of the Internet population engaging in social networking. How does this phenomenon impact on recruitment? When social media recruitment was first mentioned around 2006, it became a hotly contested debate as recruitment specialists and human resource managers sought to reconcile the traditional process of recruiting with the advent of social media. Social networks are characterised by sharing content, while job search
is very often a private and sensitive activity.
The dramatic growth of recruitment using social media in the last five years leaves little doubt that it has a role to play in seeking prospective employees. In 2010 it was reported that 70% of companies globally made use of social networks to interact with employees through LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
"However, it is important to realise that recruiters and hiring managers cannot only rely on the use of social channels such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn," cautions Tim Gregory, General Manager of online job board
Careers24. "Social media recruitment is effective as part of a complete recruitment mix where traditional activities such as print ads, headhunting and referrals are married with new media channels such as online and mobile job listings and social networking."
Adds Roxanne Dallas, Engineering Recruitment Specialist and Managing Director at Mass Staffing Projects, "No recruitment tool should be used exclusively - you can get good results on LinkedIn and Google, but I have had great results on portals too. It is important to have a range of resources at your disposal."
It is also key that organisations choose the most relevant medium when engaging with the candidates it wants to reach. Companies might use multiple channels, traditional and new, based on who they are targeting.
Says Gregory, "When companies add social networking platforms to their recruitment mix, it allows current and prospective employees to engage and build an affinity with them, as well as allowing for referrals and a chance for candidates to catch a glimpse of the company culture and atmosphere."Careers24
was approached by Media24
to advertise their 2012 Graduates in media internship programme and bursary programme for journalists. To reach the right candidates Facebook and Twitter was added as part of the recruitment mix. The programmes were advertised on Careers24, and Media24 created a special Grad24 Facebook page to attract applicants. Applicants could apply to the internship programme and bursaries from the Grad24 Facebook page through a specially designed Careers24 microsite hosted on the Grad24 Facebook page.
Careers24 also used their own Facebook and Twitter channels to advertise the Grad24 programmes as well as extensive banner advertising on the Careers24 site. This integrated approach resulted in a phenomenal response to the Grad24 programme. Says Jasmine Adam, HR Manager of Media24, "We wanted to leverage on social media to attract talented, young people to join the media industry. We approached Careers24, who created a seamless integration from our Grad24 Facebook page to Careers24. We had an overwhelming response -the link from Facebook worked well and helped to create an easy application process."
Following on the success of the Media24 campaign on Facebook, Careers24 has created an extension of this idea by offering companies a Facebook plug-in whereby they can allow candidates to directly apply to their vacancies advertised on Careers24 via their company Facebook page. "It's an easy first step for companies that wish to extend their online recruitment activities and engage with prospective job candidates via social media platforms."
Gregory concludes, "Social media recruiting allows for companies to find potential candidates on their territory and engage in a richer, more meaningful dialogue with them. Used as an extension of a listing on a job board, chances of sourcing relevant talent are increased significantly."
The Careers24 Facebook application will be available to companies with job listings on Careers24 as of September 2011.