Social media have proved to be a powerful recruitment resource for companies. A recent CareerBuilder survey found that the 39 percent of hiring managers research candidates via social media to find out more about them. In a recent article in The Atlantic, an editor discussed how he found his latest hire via Twitter.
But of their many virtues, perhaps social media’s best benefit is the flexibility they offer. There are many ways in which recruiters can use social media to recruit — regardless of company size, culture or industry — and thanks to advancements in technology, the options are only growing. Consider the following new trends in social media, which more recruiters are using to their advantage to engage and attract employees.
1. Gamification: Gamification is “the use of game thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context to engage users and solve problems,” according to Wikipedia. In a recruitment context, gamification is helping employers increase their brand recognition, engage candidates, train and develop employees and enhance employee referrals. Risk Management Solutions, for example, partnered with a company called Plague Inc. and made itself a character in the popular iPhone game as a way to boost its employment brand and turn employees who play the game into brand ambassadors. On Facebook, companies such as Best Buy, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s are using the popular CityVille game to build their brands and engage candidates, while Marriot created its custom My Marriot Hotel game, wherein users are challenged to solve hotel-related workplace problems.
2. Open Graph Search: With Facebook’s Open Graph Search, its recently implemented semantic search engine, recruiters go beyond their basic Facebook network to find candidates for open positions. Open Graph Search enables users to run searches such as “registered nurses who live in Chicago” or “engineers in Detroit” and find people on Facebook who fit that profile. Users can narrow their search even further with qualifiers such as gender, school, interests and company. Like all search platforms, Open Graph Search isn’t perfect, but its potential is huge, and experts predict it will be a powerful complement to the recruitment process.
3. The seven-second recruitment video: If the idea of making a standard two- to three-minute recruitment video is too daunting, consider using Vine, a mobile service that lets users capture and share looping videos of seven seconds or less. With Vine, employers can post short, informal videos that give a quick peek into their company and the culture. From quick tours of the offices to a quick introduction to the executive team or employees, these videos can help candidates visualize themselves at your company.
4. The 140-character résumé: Let’s face it: Résumés tell only a fraction of the story. Whether they realize it or not, candidates reveal a lot about their personality, interests and professionalism on social media. With so many recruiters using social media to screen candidates these days, it may only be a matter of time before companies cut out the résumé altogether. That’s what Union Square Ventures recently did, according to The Wall Street Journal. The New York-based firm recently asked applicants for an analyst position to send links to their “Web presence” instead of a résumé. Meanwhile, StickerGiant.com uses custom online surveys to screen applicants and weed out unqualified candidates. Likewise, when Enterasys was hiring for a social media position recently, the wireless network provider announced it would consider candidates only via Twitter, opting to look at their Klout scores and Twitter followings instead of résumés.
5. The video interview: While video interviews have been around for a while, with platforms such as Skype enabling recruiters to meet with candidates face-to-face, technology is increasingly evolving to allow for faster, more reliable streaming. And now that Google+ is the second most popular social network, it makes more sense for recruiters to start taking advantage of Google+ Hangouts, and use it to meet candidates they’re interested in bringing in for in-person interviews. Like Skype, Google+ Hangouts are free, but unlike Skype, they don’t require the installation of any special software, which makes the platform a more practical choice for both recruiters and candidates.