Can you believe that LinkedIn has been around for over 13 years, Facebook over 12, and Twitter over 10 years?
It’s no secret that social media has become a very effective channel for recruitment, and its use by recruiters is far from a new idea. But because user behavior is constantly changing and new niche channels are always cropping up, it can seem difficult to stay on top of all the latest trends.
More challenging, though, can be to keep up with all the buzz while keeping the old learned lessons of past front and center. These proven takeaways can be easy to forget but are no less vital to finding and attracting top talent today.
- Active jobseekers don’t act as you may think
Truth: would you start your job search at LinkedIn Jobs or at Google?
Most active job seekers start at Google, type in their skills, add their preferred location and ‘jobs’, and hit enter. What’s at the top? That’s where I’d be investing my advertising budget.
People use social media to keep in touch and hold online conversations; they don’t see social media as a job board. They may look at your company’s presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, but they’ll do this more to discover who you are, what you’re doing, and also how you treat people (don’t forget that ignored comments say as much about you as being interactive with fans and followers).
So with this in mind, don’t just broadcast your jobs on your social profiles.
- LinkedIn usage is continuing its decline
When I started using LinkedIn back in 2014, it was a great place to be. People were open to connecting, updates were visible and searchable, you could have great conversations in spam-free groups, and LinkedIn provided useful features that kept people active on the site.
Once LinkedIn became a public company and more focused on pleasing shareholders, things changed. LinkedIn has taken away so many of its useful features that far fewer find it valuable as a networking tool in 2016.
Only 100 million users visit LinkedIn each month, pitiful compared to the 1.65 billion people who use Facebook each month, of which 1.09 billion are daily users. Facebook keeps adding cool features that keep you there, including the new “emoji-like”, the ability to save links and updates, the event pages, the buzzing Groups, the ability to create VIPs so you see important updates (or unfollow the annoying ones), and the updated Notes, which is akin to LinkedIn blogs but with higher visibility.
- LinkedIn Inmails Are Far From Effective
Nothing illustrates this point better than this recent viral tweet:
Holy smokes. A Google recruiter sent me an email using the skills listed on my LinkedIn Profile.
It is *gold*. pic.twitter.com/1zGkDgRwku
— Paul Fenwick (@pjf) May 11, 2016
What shocks me about this exchange is that:
- Paul is surprised that someone used the skills on his profile
- Paul took 11 months to reply to an InMail from Google
- The Google Recruiter didn’t follow him up in the interim using another method.
- The tweet went viral because so many people can relate to it!
It is far more effective to use LinkedIn as a starting point, gather more information from their other public online behavior, and use the phone! It’s exciting to receive a call about a career opportunity, right?
- Cell, Cell, Cell! Applying to Your Jobs via a Mobile Device Should be as Easy as Checking Facebook
Speaking of the phone… please pull out your mobile device. Head to your career page and try to apply to one of your own opportunities.
What challenges do you encounter? Could you attach your resume? Did you have to create an account? Does it send you to your desktop?
En route to my keynote at RecruitDC last month, I boarded my flight using the ticket on my phone, ordered an Uber from the airport using the app, and logged into my online banking using my thumbprint—painless.
Applying to your job should be as easy!
- Treat people as people on the social sites they’re actually using!
Take a step back and think about who it is you’re looking to hire, and then go and speak to the people in your business and ask them about the networks they use. Do they have a preference for one site over another? Are they in niche forums?
Do this before you jump onto the latest social trend; Snapchat may be where it’s at right now, but is it right for your recruitment?
Social media sites evolve to better provide people a place to converse online, be it around a work topic, an interest, or simply as a way to keep in touch with family and friends. In many ways, they’re like a pub, and you’d never stand in the door and yell, “Want a job?” So join the conversation, share your knowledge, add value, treat people as, um, people.
With 3.2 billion people now using the Internet, it’s noisy and people want ease! It’s important that hiring companies keep adapting if social media is to remain an effective method of recruitment, but it’s also key to remember some of the underlying realities.