Candidates as Consumers: Why Social Recruiting Is So Effective

The battle for market share is important, but there’s another battle that matters at least as much: the battle for talent.

Candidates as Consumers: Why Social Recruiting Is So Effective

In the advertising world, it’s often said that satisfied customers make the best salespeople. That’s because no matter how much money you spend on marketing and advertising, you can’t buy the authenticity that today’s consumers (especially young ones) crave from brands. Happy customers, on the other hand, deliver exactly that, which is why earned media is the holy grail of marketing.

TV ads are easy to tune out. Billboards get ignored. But whether you’re a law firm or a lawn mowing service, when you have current or past customers talking positively about you – on social media channels, in blog posts, or in passing conversation – you can be sure that people are paying attention.

As consumers, we constantly turn to friends, family members, and strangers on the internet for assurance that we’re making the right purchasing decisions. In an increasingly connected world, this behavior is becoming more ingrained everyday. We’re reading Amazon reviews and checking Uber ratings, because we’re always looking for proof. We don’t get it from brands. We get it from people.

The talent front

No matter what kind of business you’re leading, you have competition on multiple fronts. The battle for market share is important, but there’s another battle that matters at least as much: the battle for talent.

Just like satisfied customers can help you win the former, satisfied employees – your company’s greatest asset – can help you win the latter.

The most qualified jobseekers approach the job search much like consumers approach a purchasing decision. A polished employer brand might get you on their radar, but they’ll want to hear from people who have firsthand experience working for your firm, and they’ll seek those people out.

That is, unless your competitors get to them first.

If you’re relying solely on hiring through online job boards and recruiting events, you’re missing out on top talent. You’re hoping they’ll come to you – and maybe some will. But you can take a more active approach to recruiting, and you don’t have to invest in headhunters or partner with recruiting firms to do so.

Rather than making jobseekers find you, why not find them by partnering with your employees?

By the numbers

Here’s some quick math: Let’s say each of your employees has, on average, 150 social connections. If 100 employees each take a minute to promote an open position to their connections, you’ll get upwards of 15,000 people hearing your message. That doesn’t include the exponential ripple effect driven by likes, comments, and shares, that will reach countless 2nd and 3rd-degree connections.

On social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, users are 5x more likely to engage with a post from a connection than one with a brand. Depending on the size of your business, it’s almost inevitable that qualified candidates will enter your recruiting pipeline.

But what if they don’t? The beauty of employee advocacy is that there is no downside. When your employees vouch for your company publicly on social channels, your employer brand benefits, regardless of whether or not top candidates start flooding your careers page with resumes. That means every open position at your company is an opportunity to get better. Ignore these opportunities at your own risk.