Social Recruiting and Staffing: What Works?

Nolan Gray Staffing, Tips & Tricks

A recent research report from Staffing Industry Analysts found the buzz around social recruiting in the staffing world may not be matched​ by the importance of social networks like Facebook in making placements. Staffing Industry Analysts asked temporary workers which job boards and social networking sites they used the most in their search for work, and found only 2.6 percent of the 3,000 people who responded mentioned Facebook, and only 0.5 percent mentioned Twitter.

This research suggests job seekers looking for temporary or contract work rarely turn to Facebook. Another study found similar results from the staffing industry side. The organization asked staffing agencies which recruiting tactics gave the best return on spend and effort, and Facebook ranked last. Only one company out of the 500 surveyed said Facebook was the recruitment tactic that brought the highest ROI.

It is important to note that these statistics do not apply to LinkedIn, which is a staple in the social recruiting world, but only to other social networking sites. Many staffing agencies likely have a social media presence outside of LinkedIn, as it is nearly required in the digital age for a company of any kind. So what are staffing professionals to do with these profiles if job seekers rarely use them and ROI is generally low?

Using Social Media Wisely
Staffing professionals should not look at these reports from Staffing Industry Analysts and conclude social recruiting is a waste of time. On the contrary, there are ways to leverage social media for great results. However, a change in strategy may be necessary given the information from Staffing Industry Analysts discussed above.

Job seekers looking for temporary work appear not to use Facebook or Twitter in their actual search for employment. With that said, it's almost certain that many of them use these platforms in their daily lives online. One way to reposition social media use for staffing firms is to use it to build the employer brand and work on engaging candidates.

Posting relevant, interesting content to social media may not compel people to begin their job search on Facebook, but it can get staffing agencies in the minds of people looking for temporary work. A social media strategy that focuses more on marketing than recruitment may be the smartest one, given that most candidates won't use Facebook or Twitter to search for actual positions. Instead of pushing traffic toward job postings, staffing agencies can work to get candidates interested in their brand, so that they will remain fresh in candidates' minds when they do decide to look for work.

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