Posted on 6/12/2013 by Ryan Lamb
Over the last few years, we have seen an astronomical rise in the use of Social Media. For companies, it has become one of the most important tools for branding, whilst from a personal perspective, individuals are broadening their networks and using social media to advertise their current employment status.
As an independent recruitment consultancy, we’ve placed a high importance on Vitae’s brand awareness and developing a clear online identity, as well as the uses of social media in attracting and sourcing new candidates. This article will focus on the merits of such methods, as well as outlining the key reasons why real, considered consultancy will always come out on top.
For larger businesses and creative industries, useful social media platforms will be everything from Facebook, to Twitter and YouTube, but for the relevance to our industry specifically, I will focus on the uses of LinkedIn. A previous Vitae article focused on the increasing amounts of ‘one-click applications’; large volumes of candidates from the job sites, who will simply apply for any or all jobs they see. This trend has led us to look for other ways of sourcing high calibre candidates and the use of social media has become a reliable means to do so.
We are often referring to the ‘passive job seeker’, someone who is not necessary currently registered with any agencies, nor has applied for a role in the last 18 months or so, but someone who perhaps keeps one eye out for their next career move, or has a peripheral concern they may need a new challenge.
This is the sort of candidate who can be sourced through the likes of LinkedIn; given you approach it in the right manner. Using LinkedIn as a search function is only really fruitful if it’s targeted and specific, in relation to a particular vacancy where perhaps the required skill set is particularly narrow. Trawling social media sites and searching for key words for say, a broad management accounting role, would be time consuming, tedious and more of a scatter gun approach. The instances where this task would prove more successful, would be the roles which require a big 4 ACA for example, or a candidate with marketing finance experience; things which can be easily filtered and determined from an initial profile page.
Of course, in this industry, time can be one of the most prevalent factors in successfully placing a vacancy, something which will not always be on your side. You can send out enquiries to numerous passive candidates, but if you are working to tight deadlines, you cannot wait around for responses from people, who are quite often, not interested in what you’re offering.
In regards to brand awareness, LinkedIn can be hugely beneficial in establishing a clear online presence. Passive candidates are more likely to be open to dialogue with a company that looks professional, credible and of course, market leading. Maintaining an impressive company page and profile can be imperative to how seriously you are taken, not just by candidates, but potential clients also.
Although I am a firm believer that social media is incredibly relevant in this industry and can give your business the progressive edge that is often needed, there is no getting away from the fact that its uses are more superfluous and it is real consultancy, which will continue to prevail in an industry full of simple keyword searching and lack of understanding. What sets a quality consultancy apart from most recruitment agencies, is its combined years of market intelligence, stemming from long-serving employees, who can communicate their knowledge across the business. With this, will come a vast network of high calibre past candidates, ex-clients and referrals, all of which become part of a network unique to that organisation; something which cannot simply be pulled off a website.
I think it’s fair to say agencies who don’t invest time and money on social media and their online presence, will feel the effects in the years to come, as the more archetypal methods become increasingly saturated. What is clear is that it will never replace an organisations genuine ability to provide considered, effective and intelligent consultancy, which will reign supreme in every case.