Whether you are a client seeking a new employee, a candidate seeking a new opportunity or the recruiter trying to make this all happen, the one thing that connects all three is how they go about fulfilling their individual requirements.
It’s no secret that social media has and continues to make an impact on the way we recruit, compared to the way we engaged with each other say 6-8 years ago.
When I first started out the traditional method of seeking candidates was through the generation of endless job ad postings and the inevitable long and laborious task of visiting numerous CV search engine sites, all to find that gem of a candidate amongst all the noise that tended to clog up your search. None of these sites can I add, at the time, were linked to the words, low cost!
This process, although straightforward and effective to a degree, was without a doubt a very costly exercise; you couldn’t just sign up with one site. You had to have an account with them all. Partly because job boards seem to go through peaks and troughs when it comes to popularity and you can bet your bottom dollar the one site you weren’t subscribed too would be the one site that everyone seemed to be uploading there CV on that month. Admittedly, this merry little dance would always provide results if you had the patience to follow a rigorous structure to your day. The down side of course was the costs involved and the impact it had on your profit.
Don’t get me wrong there are always be job boards out there that are tailored purely to your individual sector and although they may provide limited results, you can pretty much rest assured that you will find relevant candidates.
However, since the introduction of the likes of LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other preferred social media sites, slowly clients, candidates and recruiters are finding new methods of utilizing these tools far more cost effectively and with much better results.
For example a couple of years ago 90% of our annual budget for advertising and CV search engines was spent on traditional methods like Monster, Total Jobs and Reed to name but a few, along with print advertising. This model would deliver on our targets and give the business the profit margins that set us in the comfortable bracket.
It wasn’t until we invested time into understanding how best to utilize and maximize on these new social media channels that were being talked about so vigorously in the market place, that we really felt the impact. At the time the general consensus by others is that they couldn’t see how you could “monetize” these channels. Many recruitment agencies seemed baffled by this technology and more so were/are reluctant to take that leap. Sadly, today there are recruitment agencies out there who still rely on traditional methods and although their results may be seen as steady or even perhaps slightly declining, the inevitable will happen, which is they will get left behind.
Since we made the decision to understand and action how to engage with our audience via these social media channels, we now invest over 50% of our advertising and CV search/job board spend on social media recruiting, which before were a minority investment for us. I can see this increasing as we look forward to 2012/2013.
This decision has allowed us to build much stronger relationships with our clients and candidates, as well as allowing us to build brand new relationships with candidates that would otherwise be harder to interact with on a daily basis. To put this into some sort of perspective, since making the transition in the way we find and communicate with our audience we have seen an increase in business efficiency, revenue and – that all important word – profit.
As our world embraces the social media revolution or evolution (depending on how you look at this) we as individuals, whether it be for personal or business, are interacting with social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter on an increasingly regular rate via all kinds of devices, such as smart phones, tablets and desktops… and this movement isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.
With so much face time via these sites can you really afford not to invest in understanding how best to utilize these tools? Especially when these channels are far more cost effective than other traditional methods that our industry tends to rely on.
Obviously, the proof is in the pudding but from our point of view the results speak for themselves.
In closing, what I will that we recruit for the marketing and broadcast sector. In this case our audience does tend to be the early adopters to the social media wave, which now dominates most of our professional or personal lives in one way or the other. So it’s probably fair to point out that this article is based on our own experiences. For example, if you recruit for the building and construction trade then the chances are that your audience will have less down time when it comes to social media.
Tom Howe is the Founder of WE ARE THOMAS*, the specialist Search, Selection & Retention Consultancy that focuses within the Marketing arena and lover of all things bespoke!
Photo Credit NSDesigns & KramiumHR