The COVID-19 outbreak has left the job market in shambles. With several industries facing the brunt of the global pandemic, the soaring unemployment rate is one of its worst outcomes. In India alone, the unemployment rate had touched 24% in May 2020, and the youth unemployment rate is predicted to rise to 32.5% by September 2020.
As organizations try to adapt to new ways of working, recruiters must also rethink their approach to engaging and hiring talent. While some sectors are opting for mass layoffs, sectors such as edutech, software, and e-commerce are thriving. And, although these sectors continue to have an ongoing demand for new talent, recruiters are having a tough time meeting these needs.
Recruitment Challenges Amidst COVID-19
Here are the three major challenges coronavirus has posed for recruiters:
1. Bulk Hiring
Many organizations are still not well equipped to meet this demand due to inadequacy on both – people (recruiters) and technology fronts.
Experience-based industries like travel, hospitality, entertainment and events are adversely affected; many industries have seen a sudden spike in demand for new talent. As the recruitment process has largely gone virtual now, recruiters are having a tough time meeting this requirement.
2. Finding the Right Talent
Switching jobs in this situation entails a massive lifestyle shift. Accepting a new job requires candidates to go through an onboarding process, training, and getting accustomed to the new environment. This is a cumbersome process and impacts an already skewed work-life balance. Candidates are content with what they have and not looking to disrupt the work-life balance by saying yes to a new job opportunity. Therefore, despite having a large talent pool, recruitment managers can’t tap into it right now.
3. Lack of Agility in the Hiring Process
The digitization of the recruitment process has made almost every interaction virtual. Right from candidate screening to interviews, everything is done through an online interface. The process lacks the personalized touch of interacting face-to-face in a physical environment and is hard to scale. Recruiters are finding it challenging to keep everyone engaged through the hiring funnel, making the process clunky.
How Social Recruiting Rises to the Challenge
Social recruiting uses social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram to attract and recruit new talent. Social recruiting is effective because it starts influencing the prospect even before they start looking for a job switch.
The old-school way of recruitment relied on one-to-one reviews and interactions. Social recruitment has managed to scale this process by allowing recruiters to do the same process for multiple candidates during the early stages, such as candidate screening.
The global pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty around jobs. Social media, in this case, has enabled organizations to pivot their recruitment strategy and processes to make hiring more efficient.
Using Social Media Platforms to Recruit New Talent
Social recruiting has become a crucial part of the recruitment techniques, and organizations can be seen doubling down their efforts on this method to employ new candidates faster. Here are seven ways you can use social media channels to recruit new talent:
1. Be Active on the Right Platforms
Often times, recruiters misinterpret that social recruiting means focusing exclusively on LinkedIn, but nothing could be further from the truth. While LinkedIn is just a part of the social recruiting puzzle, its other pieces depend on the type of person you are hiring.
For instance, although LinkedIn is a useful platform to connect with different types of candidates, Behance and Pinterest are arguably the most powerful platforms to connect with designers.
Recruiters also need to tap into various communities and forums. There are plenty of groups on LinkedIn to connect with marketers and salespeople. Similarly, Subreddits on Reddit are potent communities to connect with candidates with specific skills, such as technical writing, and so on. However, recruiters need to follow community/group rules, as these groups tend to have strict guidelines for posting hiring ads.
Tip: Organizations can build their own communities on professional platforms as a way to build a group of potential employees.
2. Engage With Passive Candidates
Identifying the right passive candidates is a task. They are tough to spot, as they are not actively looking for a job, so they can’t be reached out on job boards. In the present situation, recruiters can adopt the following two approaches to connect and engage with passive candidates:
Outbound Method: This is the typical way of connecting with a passive candidate on a one-on-one basis. You connect with the prospect via LinkedIn or AngelList and ask them if they are open for a job switch. If they agree, you take the process forward; else you keep the door open by adding them to the talent pool. This process can be time-consuming but yields maximum output as you are connecting with individuals directly.
Inbound Method: In this method, the organization uses its social media presence to attract passive candidates through content. The goal is to convert passive lurkers into active engagers, where they take the time to communicate with you. This can be done by showcasing your work culture on social platforms using formats such as images, videos, and blog articles. Organizations have the opportunity to infuse their company culture through language, voice, and tone. For instance, creating content that uses lighthearted humor can showcase your laidback yet productive approach to work.
3. Optimize Your Social Presence
While doing an online search, your potential candidates look for other online avenues besides your official website. It would help if you optimized your profile from the search engine’s perspective to make it findable.
When it comes to the LinkedIn company page, fill out all the relevant details, products, services, showcase pages, etc. to provide maximum information. If you have made any particular changes in your recruitment process in the light of COVID-19, make sure to highlight it in the description.
The official Twitter account can briefly highlight the positions the organization is hiring for or simply say, “We’re hiring!” along with a link to the careers page. If it makes sense, you can create a dedicated Twitter account to post new jobs, which can also be used to showcase company culture.
Making small tweaks like these can make a noticeable impact when candidates are trying to find more information about the company.
4. Use Live Videos to Interact With the Candidates
In recent months, social media usage has grown exponentially as these channels enable people to interact with their social circles virtually. Organizations should use live streaming as it allows them to engage with candidates in real-time.
You can invite your employees from various departments to speak on the topic of their expertise. It allows your prospects to get a glimpse into the type of work they’ll get to do in your organization.
By announcing beforehand, you’ll ensure that the intended audience is made aware of the live session. To boost engagement during the session, devote a specific time for live Q&A.
5. Create an Employee Advocacy Program
One of the biggest benefits of launching an employee advocacy program is the reduced time to hire. Employee advocacy from the recruitment perspective is a program where your employees share new job openings and company culture within their network. Employee advocacy works because of the trust and affinity between your employee and their peers. When employees share the organization’s content, it establishes a vote of trust in the minds of their peers about the organization.
While establishing an advocacy program was easier in pre-COVID times due to the simplicity of internal communication and training, HR professionals need to adopt a new approach. Instead of conducting in-class training sessions, create an introductory video course along with a course booklet that employees can refer to. Instead of having them write every single post, caption or description, provide them with a set of templates and words that they can use readily. Finally, introducing an incentive program for every successful referral would turbo boost employee advocacy.
6. Run Social Media Ads
Social media ads enable recruiters to connect with the most relevant candidate through sophisticated targeting capabilities. Facebook and Twitter have quite powerful targeting methods, but LinkedIn outshines almost every other social media platform in this area.
Using LinkedIn, you can target individuals through criteria such as industry, age group, location, education, company size, designation, industry, to name a few.
You can devise a funnel where you qualify potential employees through LinkedIn and target them on Facebook and Twitter through remarketing ads.
The built-in analytics feature lets you analyze your ads’ performance so you can optimize them to get the desirable results.
7. Use Social Recruiting Tools
There are two categories of social recruiting tools that are immensely useful for recruiters.
The first category is the native recruiting tools offered by platforms like LinkedIn and AngelList. These tools provide you with access to their platform users. Recruiters can set advanced filters to go granular on the hiring criteria, get personalized recommendations on how to tweak these filters to get better results, and identifying candidates who can be moved through the process swiftly.
The other category is the web-based applicant tracking system (ATS). ATS aggregates information on a candidate that a recruiter needs to make a decision, from the candidate’s social media profiles.
What’s Next for Social Recruiting?
Remote work has become the new normal and will continue to remain so in the coming times. While social recruiting will continue to gain a wider acceptance among organizations, recruiters have the responsibility to make this process as frictionless as possible. This will require them to pick the right set of tools to keep the candidates engaged till the end of the onboarding process.
The result of going remote is improper work-life balance. Therefore, organizations need to create an environment that will help them maintain the work-life balance. This doesn’t pertain to the social recruiting aspect, but creating a culture your employees are certain to be proud of and which impacts other facets of the organization, especially recruiting.