How to use Social Media to find a job
Times are changing in the recruitment industry and recruiters are realising a need to evolve which means you, a job seeker, needs to know how they’re evolving so you know where to look for that ideal role or next career step.
Recruitment has already changed a lot over the last 10 years. We now live in a world where highly skilled people have the luxury of choosing the company which most suits them and this suddenly puts the candidate in control rather than the company.
A Candidate Market
What does this mean? Well, it’s the very reason why companies like Google have big open work spaces and slides in the office along with other perks & initiatives – they need to in order to attract top talent.
If you’re a company and you want to attract top talent it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to do so without a modern working environment, perks and of course an attractive salary + benefits package.
A lot of this has been driven by the expectations of a younger generation of employees. People who expect flexibility, who are comfortable working on the go or out of a coffee shop, a worker who embraces co-working spaces and other types of initiatives and this has indeed changed the landscape of working conditions, office environments and recruitment.
Aggressive Job Search
The other change has been as a result of the 2008 recession. Fewer jobs & higher unemployment saw vast numbers of candidates applying for every single role and hence job hunting became very competitive. I was fortunate in that I didn’t have to look for a job during this period but in a situation where tens and tens of people are applying for roles it really did put the job seeker in a position where they had to be very quick on the mark with any new roles which became available.
These two changes in the recruitment industry have preceded the next change and one which Greg Savage, a recruitment influencer, has championed of late. Recruitment needs to become marketing.
It’s not enough for recruiters to simply rely on job boards to find candidates anymore. Recruitment agencies and businesses now need to play a longer term game, a digital and content marketing game.
As Greg Savage suggested at the Future of Recruitment conference in June 2016, recruiters and businesses need to work on building relationships which may not bear fruit in 1 week or 1 month but in 10 months or 12 months or even 18 months.
What does this mean for you, the job seeker, I hear you ask?
It means that businesses and recruitment agencies are going to be working harder to build a relationship with you. They realise it’s no longer about simply sending out a job advert and waiting for the active candidate applications to come in.
No, they need to show off the business, demonstrate values, highlight success and slowly drip-feed all of the great things they do to you, the job seeker. And this is where it gets interesting – what if you’re not currently looking for a job? The fact that you’re not actively looking for a job labels you as a “passive candidate” in recruitment terms but this doesn’t mean you wouldn’t be interested in the right role if it came your way, does it?
You see, recruitment is changing from solely focussing on the active candidate to applying equal focus on the active AND passive candidates.
So, how does all this link to you finding a job on social media?
Well, social media is going to be at the forefront of this change. This is a change driven through content marketing and supported by social media. Let’s pause, let me quickly provide a quote which tells you what content marketing is.
As Joe Pulizzi, Founder of The Content Marketing Institute, put it…
Content marketing is…
“The art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyers more intelligent or perhaps entertaining them to build an emotional connection.”
Thank you to the Content Marketing Academy for the quote.
Ok, so businesses and recruitment agencies are going to write and produce content which they’ll share on social media to engage with you, the active or passive candidate. Got it?
Indeed, companies are already doing this and some are doing it very well. It’s not new but there are a LOT more companies who will realise the need to start doing this.
Let’s look at some companies using different social media platforms to attract talent to their business.
These are 3 businesses who’re using the visual appeal of Instagram to promote themselves to potential candidates.
They’re telling YOU why they’re a great place to work, showing you what they do, sharing success stories, highlighting their values and informing you of employee achievements.
The Taco Bell Careers Facebook Page has 130,000 likes! That’s 130,000 people who either work for the company or who would like to work for the company and Taco Bell are providing some great content. Explaining what they offer, engaging with their own employees and celebrating achievements of individual employees – they’ve got a really positive and vibrant level of content.
Similarly, Accenture UK Careers Facebook Page has 25,000 likes and they’re really promoting their business via the FB Page. They’re telling you who they are, what they do and they’re showing employee initiatives like health checkups and events whilst also promoting vacancies.
HSBC are simply using their Twitter channel to list vacancies but O2 Careers are, like others, using it to promote what they do, their values and the benefits of working for them.
LinkedIn is the first choice for many when searching for a job online, alongside job boards. The majority of companies, like Barclays as shown in the image, have a LinkedIn business page which they’re also using to attract candidates and post vacancies.
If you’re keen to know more about LinkedIn but aren’t sure where to get started you should check out this blog I wrote to help you get started.
Now you’ve seen how companies are using social media, how do you use it to find a job?
My advice for you would be to do as follows:
- LinkedIn: With its job search function it’s a great starting point for looking at vacancies in your domain. You can also find companies that you’d like to work for and see if they’re recruiting (or maybe find an HR rep or manager you could connect with and leave your CV with them).
- Twitter: Use Twitter’s advanced search function to find jobs. Use hashtags and locations to look for particular roles and you’ll be surprised what you find. Businesses might not use a job board to advertise a role but they might (and should) use Twitter to advertise a vacancy and hence this is certainly a place you should be looking.
Tip: Find hashtags for the job market in your country. In the UK, key hashtags such as #jobs #ukjobs #careers #vacancies can be used alongside location tags like #London to find a range of job openings in London. These would be widespread, so you might want to search for “#ukjobs #analyst #london” or “#java #developer #london” to narrow down the search.
- Facebook. Even if you’re a passive candidate (i.e. not looking) I would still suggest having ideas of those companies for who you’d like to work for in the future. Identify them and then find their Facebook Page. If they’ve got a good digital strategy they’ll have at least one Facebook page which will give you an insight into what they do and how they work. Some businesses even have two Facebook Pages, one for the business and another for careers.
- Instagram. As you’ve seen above, businesses are using Instagram to reach out to potential candidates on social media. Given the younger user demographic of the platform you might find that businesses with more apprenticeship/graduate roles are on Instagram but it’s still worth exploring because more companies will start to utilise Instagram given it’s growing user-base.
Clearly, if you’re an active candidate you can and should explore all possible avenues for new roles including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Google+, Job Boards and even PayScale (many versions, but they’ll often ask you if you want to see jobs which match your experience at the end of the short process), but I wanted to highlight how you may want to think about future roles if you’re in the passive category.
There are already many great examples of social media being used for recruitment but the purpose of this article is to highlight that social media needs to be a tool you understand and use in the job search process.
Indeed, even if you’re not actively searching this should, I hope, make you think about your next move and engage with those companies social media pages to get a better feel for the business, their values and keep track of their vacancies.
If you’re reading this as a recruiter and you don’t have a content or social media then I hope this acts as a trigger to start considering this going forward.
What do you think?
Are there other social media channels to consider? Has this left you needing more information, let me know. Got a question about the content about? Leave me a comment. Enjoyed the post? Let me know 🙂