Long gone are the days when recruiters advertised in the classified ads and prayed to find the rare gem among the many résumés landing on their desks. Today, thousands of potential applicants are available at the click of a mouse. Here's how social media has changed recruitment.
- The Possibility to Access Candidate Profiles
This is the most important change brought about by social networking. Now, recruiters can reach out to applicants rather than wait for the latter to come to them. Not only can recruiters search for an applicant's profile on social networks using their résumé to get a better idea of this person, they can also actively search for the rare gems who are still unaware they can change jobs. If someone seems like a good match for the company, nothing prevents recruiters from reaching out to them, even to those not actively seeking work.
- Private Lives Exposed
The trade-off to this accessibility to candidate profiles, is that their private lives are now exposed to potential employers. Who hasn't heard of a recruiter rejecting an interesting candidate due to an unflattering Facebook profile? As much as employers need to maintain a positive image, they must be equally cautious of their first impression after viewing a social network profile. The latter does not clearly reveal whether the candidate has the job qualifications.
- Increased Speed
Upon viewing a job offer on Twitter or LinkedIn, it is now possible to apply right away. Within minutes, a company that is hiring can receive more applications than it did over an entire week several years ago. A simple "Message to All" on Facebook can generate dozens of spontaneous applications. Obviously, this avalanche of applications has to be screened in order to find the truly interesting ones. To do so, many companies rely on application management systems such as Taleo, which conduct an automatic preliminary sorting based on your criteria.
- More Accessible References
Lastly, if it's possible to view someone's profile in just a few clicks, it's also possible for example, to see who has endorsed the candidate for their skills on LinkedIn. This brief glimpse can indicate if the candidate is recognized by their peers and if they have good connections. Regardless, recruiters still need to call the references, because speaking directly with prior employers always remains a rich source of information.
- Building a Vast Pool of Potential Candidates
This capacity to reach out to thousands, even millions of people, enables companies to anticipate their recruitment needs and build effective talent pools. As explained by French corporate digital transformation expert Franck La Pinta, recruiters need to escape the hunter-gatherer rationale, in which they are urgently responding to their company's recruitment needs. Instead, they need to adopt a nurturer-breeder rationale, in which they are nurturing talent with a long-range perspective.. No more hiring just anybody out of desperation!