If you’re a recruiter, you’re likely using LinkedIn to find your next employee. But are these candidates really who they appear to be on paper — or are their other social media profiles a little too squeaky clean?
While recruiters are always trying to perfect their methods of identifying the best candidates, job seekers are doing their best to present themselves as such a candidate. Often a step ahead, these candidates know where the recruiters are camped out, and they know how to get attention. So who’s really in control of your social recruiting strategy?
A whopping 71 percent of employable adults today are actively in the market for a new job, according to a 2014 Jobvite study. The same study found that 73 percent of millennials currently work at jobs they found through social media. But with the vast majority of candidates and recruiters turning to social media, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to separate the serious job seekers from the window shoppers.
Know what to post on social media
If you’re a recruiter, start by integrating your recruitment strategy into your social media channels. It may seem like a no-brainer, but only 39 percent of employers take advantage of the scope of branded social media as a recruiting tool.
Posting about hiring needs and company culture across the board, as opposed to limiting recruiting efforts to dedicated sites, will widen your talent pool and improve the quality of applicants. A strong social presence will also improve SEO, which is essential considering that 30 percent of all Google searches relate to employment.
Recognize the limitations of your LinkedIn strategy
Millennials look at their LinkedIn account as the leather briefcase of their generation — an accessory that makes you appear professional, even if it’s typically empty except for a resume. Everyone has one, but few continue to use it after they get a job. In fact, there are more recruiters actively using LinkedIn (94 percent), than candidates (36 percent).
This makes sense given that the tone of the job postings and the interactions are much more formal on LinkedIn. Candidates can present themselves in a tidy package because information is limited to their proudest professional accomplishments and job descriptions stick to specifics regarding the job responsibilities and skill sets.
That said, with 89 percent of recruiters reporting successful hires via the site, LinkedIn’s track record is impressive. There’s no need for applicants to worry about unprofessional personal information being linked to their profile, so it’s safe for candidates to loosen their privacy settings and grant recruiters access to their resume.
However, the formula is increasingly easy for candidates to recognize and often manipulate. It’s easy for candidates to “edit” their resumes so they’ll appeal to a specific job title or company. Glowing recommendations, community involvement, and a large number of connections are also fairly simple to achieve regardless of whether they are truly deserved.
Don’t get duped –- diversify
Job seekers haven’t always been so savvy. A few short years ago, social media participants felt free to post anything. They didn’t often consider the availability of their personal lives to the interviewer sitting across the table. These now embarrassed individuals have lost opportunities based on drunken karaoke videos, political rants or even just sloppy grammatical errors.
Now candidates are reading up on privacy settings, sometimes even deleting their accounts to appeal to recruiters. But by furiously untagging themselves from photos, applicants are not only shielding you from the truth, but creating an online image that may be drastically different from the person they’ll be in the office.
To avoid being duped, recruiters need to maintain a diverse social recruiting strategy and find a way to organize candidate profiles for future reference. (Click here to tweet this quote.) Software for tracking applicants and developing systems for the internal recruiting process are just a few tools that recruiters can use to keep up with the influx of applicants that a good social media strategy will attract.
Retain your humanity
While sites such as Facebook and Twitter don’t land as many jobs statistically (26 percent and 15 percent respectively), they are much more conducive to engagement. Most social job seekers don’t end up applying through the same social channel that initially attracted them, so it’s important for employers to maintain a cohesive strategy and not be thrown off by individual metrics.
Perhaps candidates spend more time on Facebook and Twitter because on these channels, there are less stiff recruiting efforts taking place. As a result, candidates are able to get a better idea of the company’s culture. Regardless of why they are there, you should be capturing their attention through the sites they frequent the most.
Monitor the traffic to your website to identify areas that you should be networking. The goal is for quality candidates to feel a connection to your business and your team. Testimonials from current employees influenced over half of the applicants submitted from social job seekers last year. Efforts to connect with job seekers and maintain a relatable company image through social channels shows that you’re not a group of robots, you’re people that they would be spending a lot of time with should they join your team.
Charlotte Ritter is a staff writer for TechnologyAdvice. She covers business intelligence, gamification, project management and other emerging technology. Connect with her on LinkedIn.