By now, social media has proven 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; and just last week, in a piece for The Atlantic, an editor discussed how he found his latest hire via Twitter.
But of its many virtues, perhaps social media’s best benefit is the flexibility it offers. There are so many ways in which recruiters can leverage 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 top talent.
- 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 even 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. Over on Facebook, companies like Best Buy, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s are leverage the popular CityVille game to build their brands and engage candidates, while Marriot created its custom My Marriot Hotel game, wherein users are challenged with solving hotel-related workplace problems.
- 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 like “registered nurses who live in Chicago” or “engineers in Detroit” and find people on Facebook who fit that profile. Users can get as detailed or as vague as they want and/or 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 compliment to the recruitment process.
- The 7-Second Recruitment Video: If the idea of making a standard two- to three-minute recruitment video is too daunting, consider using Vine, which limits all posted videos to seven seconds. With Vine, a mobile service that lets users capture and share short looping videos, 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, the possibilities of using Vine to show your company off and help candidates visualize themselves at your company are endless. .
- The 140-Character Resume: Let’s face it: resumes only tell 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 anyway, it may only be a matter of time before companies cut out the resume 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 resume. Meanwhile, StickerGiant.com, utilizes custom online surveys to screen applicants and week through unqualified candidates. Likewise, when Enterasys was recently hiring for a social media position, the wireless network provider announced it would only consider candidates via Twitter, opting to look at their Klout scores and Twitter followings instead.
- The Video Interview: While video interviews have been around for a while, with platforms like Skype enabling recruiters to meet with candidates face-to-face, it’s worth mentioning again, as 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. (And, hey, if Google+ Hangouts are good enough for the PUSA…)