How has Social Media changed the Recruitment Sector Marketing Environment?

Rebekah Valero-Lee Candidate Advice


Social media is changing the landscape of marketing, this is not news to most, but the effects on the recruitment sector marketing environment are yet to be assessed. We are already aware that social media allows for free communication, a better understanding and search capability of candidates and can boost brand awareness. But, to many it remains unknown how social media is changing the recruitment marketing environment.

Social media is a powerful marketing tool, it can be used to segment and target audiences in more specific demographics than conventional targeted advertising of the past. Previously the recruitment sector used to target candidates and/ or clients through broad demographics such as business type, skills and geographical location and place advertisements in the local press (or national depending on the requirements). In today’s era of digital focus, social media functions as a 24 hour press office, allowing content to be published whenever users are online and enabling companies to segment users into much more specific personas (such as gender, age, interests, skills, industry, or town/ city) and messages targeted specifically at them.

With users creating space for their personalities and opinions on social media, it allows recruiters to get an understanding of candidates and where they fit in. With more and more companies looking for a cultural and personality fit from candidates, a quick search on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter allows a recruiter to see a side of a candidate’s personality that would not come through from a CV.

It comes as no surprise that LinkedIn is changing the recruitment game entirely, allowing highly sought after individuals with very niche skills, who are less likely to be on job boards, to be found by recruiters. However, this does leave the environment quite competitive as traffic on social media is made quite public, meaning an individual’s network is able to see their actions. This is problematic if you follow competitors, or recruiters from competitor companies.

This is focusing largely on marketing push techniques, on the other hand, social media is being used increasingly in pull tactics and this is prevalent in the recruitment sector. An increase in demand for life enhancing, easy to consume content from businesses and candidates sees the recruitment sector providing just that. With blogs around CV tips, interview advice for both candidates and interviewers, social media is used to publicise this organic, in-house curated content, enhancing a brand’s awareness and leaving the audience to form their own opinions and judgements of the brand. The more a company can offer to its customer by way of value proposition without a clear push toward sales, the more likely a consumer is to approach a company about the product/ service on offer. Social media allows consumers to see content as the company’s knowledge and expertise, pulling them in to consume services and in turn feeding the all-important sales funnel, converting prospect into lead and then into candidate (depending on the dialogues that then follow).

Social media is becoming further entrenched as part of the recruitment process, whether that means using social platforms to glimpse at or talk to candidates and clients or by engaging candidates. Providing content to enhance brand reputation and external stakeholder relationships are just some of the ways in which it is changing the recruitment sector marketing environment.