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The pros and cons of using social media for recruitment

Is social media recruiting really that important?
Social media recruitment pros and cons

What does it mean to use social media for recruitment?

In case you’re unfamiliar, social media recruitment is the practice (or science, or even art) of recruiting on social media. (Organically, that is. Paid ads are a separate topic.) And to just touch upon two of the most commonly asked questions: it’s meant to be used in tandem with your job boards rather than instead of them, and it works best when it’s a full-fledged strategy that encompasses things like employer brand and DEI initiatives rather than just job posts alone.

But is using social media for recruitment worth it? Especially now, when talent acquisition and recruitment is already overwhelmed with concerns like the Great Resignation and building remote cultures?

To answer that, let’s dive into the pros and cons of using social media for recruitment.

Pro 1: More eyeballs on your jobs.

Social media recruitment isn’t just another way to tell the world about your jobs. It’s the only way to reach candidates where they frequent most. Studies show that 86% of job seekers use social media in their job search. And as people engage with your posts—sharing them, liking them—their contacts get to see them, allowing your reach to keep on growing. You can even ask people to recommend someone for the job if they know of a good fit.

And as proof of the power of social recruiting, check out these testimonials from three of CareerArc’s (a social media recruiting software company) clients:

  • From Texas Roadhouse: “Just within the last 12 months alone, we’ve had close to 400,000 applicants come from CareerArc. We have actually been able to re-engage with 188,000 people that have expressed interest in those locations and divvy them up and into each location and those managers can grab those contacts and talk one on one with these applicants. We have also received 240,000 views from Facebook alone.”
  • From ULTA Beauty: “By partnering with CareerArc, we received 121k job applications—a 70% YOY increase—and made 15k hires, which is 50% more hires than the previous year. It was remarkable, and we attribute this success to CareerArc. Adding CareerArc’s solution and service was the only change we made to our strategy and technology stack that year, and we are so glad we did.”
  • From Boulder Community Health: “Leveraging a platform like CareerArc allowed us to gain a lot more visibility—in general as well as around open job vacancies—in a very automated way with little internal effort.”

Looking for some tips on how to get started on using social media for recruitment? Check out this post on the 3 social recruiting posts that get more applicants.

Pro 2: Using social media for recruitment reaches passive candidates.

Ah, passive candidates. Those frustrating candidates that work hard, believe in their company’s vision, make up the majority of the workforce—and aren’t looking for a job. (Sigh.) But do you know what they are looking at?

Social media.

(How do we know that, you ask? Simple.

Because the entire world is on social media.)

Enter social recruiting: the best—and arguably only—way to attract those passive candidates at scale, because you’re recruiting in a space where they already are.

Pro 3: Reduce spending on job boards.

Job boards are important—no one is denying that. But job boards alone are rarely enough to get the job done. Which begs the question: what do you do next?

One option is to just throw money at the problem. Keep advertising your jobs on job boards in the hopes of getting more views. But that is, understandably, a very costly approach.

With organic social media recruiting, you can boost your overall effect and reach without having to invest in pouring more money into job boards. It’s what led CVS Health to call us, “One of our top sources of applicants and hires and lowest cost for applicants and hires.”

Pro 4: Using social media for recruitment reaches millennials and Gen Z

We all want to hire more millennials and Gen Z. In fact, there are so many reasons to hire more millennials and Gen Z, we figured we’d list some:

And social media recruitment allows you to attract millennials and Gen Z more. Firstly, because millennials and Gen Z are socially savvy and frequent social media often. But more importantly, because to millennials and Gen Z, a job description isn’t enough. They want to know about your culture and brand, and they’re going to social media to find those out.

Which leads us to our last pro.

Further reading: Hiring Millennials vs. hiring Gen Z: What’s the difference?

Pro 5: Most importantly: it’s essential.

Now more than ever, job boards aren’t enough, because candidates want more than just a job description. They care about culture. They care about employer brand. They care about your DEI efforts.

Social media is the best way to show that. With social media, you can create posts that showcase your employer brand, culture, and DEI. Posts like this:

And this:

And also this:

Further reading: Top HR trend: the importance of social media in talent acquisition

Con 1: It requires knowledge of social media best practices.

When and how often should you post? How do you promote your employer brand and culture on social media? What should you post about? A successful social media strategy requires knowledge of social media best practices.

Which is awesome if you’re already knowledgeable, but not as awesome if you are not.

This is far from an insurmountable con, of course. There are countless resources you can find online about social media best practices. Some of our favorites are this post on 11 customizable employer brand post templates, this post on how to stand out from the crowd, and this post on how to craft the perfect social media post. And you can always lean on social recruiting experts (insert shameless self-promotion about our amazing client success managers here) to show you the ins and outs of what works.

Con 2: The “recruiting” part of social recruiting can take time

Even if you know how to manage a social media strategy, just the task of ensuring all your jobs get ample exposure on all your social media channels can be overwhelming, especially if you’re a large company with a lot of jobs. And, when you consider that you don’t just have to post those jobs but also manage them—taking down old posts, reposting current posts to keep it fresh, varying frequency and copy to try different tactics—it becomes an almost Herculean feat.

Simply put: if you don’t have a social recruiting solution and strategic support, it can take a lot of time.

Con 3: Using social media for recruitment can take time to build momentum

Doing something new always takes time. The old school belief of “no followers = no effect” isn’t necessarily true—CareerArc has helped countless clients see success even when they had few followers by optimizing their content for search and turning recruiters into brand ambassadors—but it is definitely true that overnight success on social media is highly unlikely. It builds and improves with time and consistency.

This really feeds back into the first point about social media knowledge. The more you know about social media and social recruiting best practices, the faster you’ll see that momentum take effect.

Further reading: Six ideas to build social media momentum

Careerarc can help with all that.

But here’s the good news. With CareerArc, you can take advantage of all the many benefits of social recruiting without any of the cons. With CareerArc, you can:

  • Automate social recruiting content creation and publishing without losing that personal touch
  • Optimize for social media at every level with a software platform that intelligently matches jobs with the right text and images, hashtags, geo-tagging, and more so your posts are customized while automatically following social media best practices
  • Save you 949+ hours a year (yes, we calculated it) by automating your social recruiting for you. Plus, you get to make the rules, selecting which roles and job categories show up in your feeds and at what frequency, then let the machines automagically take over.
  • Take advantage of the network effect of social media by turning your recruiters and employees into brand ambassadors. By publishing to corporate social accounts, individual recruiter profiles, and more, CareerArc helps you re-engage your existing followers and grow influence with new and extended audiences through real, trusted connections that drive top talent back to you.
  • Revolutionize the way you display open jobs with interactive job maps

Wanna see it in action? Just click here to try out a demo today.

PS: Our goal is to help provide you with the talent acquisition, social recruiting, and retention information you need. Which is why we’re taking requests. Just post in the comments what you’d like us to cover next! It’s that simple.

Bye for now!

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