Social media is ubiquitous in marketing and business but, strangely, not when it comes to recruitment.
Research by Auckland firm Frog Recruitment has revealed that 92 per cent of organisations have struggled when implementing social recruitment. Frog analysed the use of social channels by more than 50 New Zealand organisations for six months this year, revealing most are missing opportunities to reach more candidates.
Only 29 per cent use YouTube for posting video content and fewer than 10 per cent use Instagram.
"Contrary to expectations, LinkedIn is also being overlooked from the career seeker perspective," says Frog Recruitment's Jane Kennelly.
"This is where company pages and ambassadorial profiles of key hiring managers should feature, reflecting the organisational values and set up as a great place to work."
But only 29 per cent of the organisations researched, were using LinkedIn this way.
"These figures are concerning, particularly as LinkedIn is viewed as a 'go-to' research platform by career seekers who want to see what an organisation and its people are like," says Kennelly.
She says organisations have some very "stuck in the mud" views on the use of social media for hiring.
"Given that the very people inside these organisations use social media daily in their personal lives, it seems odd that as these employees enter the revolving door of their organisation … something comes over them that prevents using social hiring tools to connect with high-calibre talent in an easy, fast, and relatively cheap way.
"Recruiting has evolved well past just posting job ads and morphed into working with companies to utilise their existing social media channels more effectively to attract the right talent through the door. And at a time when New Zealand is facing its lowest unemployment rate in 10 years, extending the use of your social media is essential for forward-thinking organisations."
She believes the lack of social media recruitment is due to several misconceptions around its use.
One of them being that only young people use social media.
"Big mistake," says Kennelly.
"Social media is popular right across all age groups. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter … we even have presidents communicating with us at 4am using Twitter. These platforms provide opportunities to connect with people as they are browsing. If it is as suggested, that 70 per cent of people are not actively looking for a new role, then there is more reason to have an active and appealing presence.
"When it comes to hiring, people want to hear from real people about why they should work for this company. It doesn't need to be an over-produced, expensive production with fake people and actors — it needs to be real, and authentic and delivered with fervour because this gets cut through."
Many organisations mistakenly think it'll be an expensive and time-consuming process.
Kennelly points out that a post on Instagram or LinkedIn costs virtually nothing except time — "it's affordable, fast and immediate and it can be changed instantly".
Of course millennials are heavy social media users and when it comes to looking for a job that's where they'll go first; businesses ignore them at their peril.
It is predicted that millennials will make up 50 per cent of the global working population by 2020.
"This generation has embraced social media as their preferred communication channel," says Kennelly.
"It's time for every human resource team and leadership teams to get up to speed about how the use of diverse talent attraction methods to stand out and be seen by these talented individuals."
She says that the growing impact of social media as a way of managing communications, developing communities, targeting specific groups, creating thought leadership forums and playing to people's curiosity in a talent tight market is an opportunity available to all employers."
Whereas many local companies do need to up their social media game others are doing it right and reaping the benefits — attracting and retaining top talent.
She cites one campaign which shared "live days" from current graduates to their potential talent pool.
"The purpose was to bring in a story-telling aspect into the campaign and to give the grads an understanding of corporate life and what their first job would be like. They uploaded photos and video to social media which showed their everyday working life to give a true insight into what a day would be like. Needless to say, it was a hit and the candidates went into the interview process highly engaged and with an understanding of what they would be doing."
But don't go deleting that CV just yet.
"The CV is still alive and well in today's employment, market — in fact the bar has risen when it comes to this document. No longer is a poorly scripted CV able to achieve the attention a candidate needs. Instead, it needs to be a well-written, pithy document that highlights achievements. This is not the place to be a shrinking violet. Our recommendation is that a CV is professionally written because we are not necessarily the best authors of ourselves."