The 3 Top Social Media Trends in 2016 Translated for Social Recruiting

You've probably seen one of the many articles popping up this week covering the major trends emerging in social media as we head into the new year, like this one on socialmediaclub.org, but how do these new trends translate over to talent acquisition in regards to social recruiting? We'll break down the top trends emerging in social media and translate them into recruitment marketing tactics your recruiting teams can start leveraging today to get ahead of the curve in 2016.

Live Video Will Dominate

While social media is already known for being real-time, the emergence of live video applications like Periscope and Facebook Live, means video content could become more frequent, raw and "live". Meaning, anyone and everyone can live broadcast to their online audience in surprisingly high-def video, right in the moment! Many companies have already been using Instagram in this way to give a day-in-the-life view into what it's like to work at their company, but if a picture says a thousand words, then video can be even more impactful.

When I was leading social recruiting back in 2010 at VMware we were way ahead of the curve by playing around with live streaming shows to allow our VMware Careers audience to ask questions and participate in live Q&A's with employees and leaders at the company. It was a great way to be transparent and give candidates a chance to learn more about the company. However, it required a lot of equipment, planning, and first building a large enough social media presence to attract a big enough audience. With these live video applications and the advances in mobile phone camera quality, you have a studio and an audience right in your pocket, ready to broadcast ad hoc when a great moment to showcase your culture arises.

While maintaining an editorial calendar and scheduling your social media posts will still be important, you can expect to see news feeds being more dominated by “live” postings. You can use this to your advantage from an employment branding standpoint, open your brand to new audiences, and give them a sneak peek into life at your company. 

However,  be careful of mistakingly sharing proprietary company information. I would not recommend using this for all-hands meetings, product meetings, etc. Instead, use it for instances like live Q&A's with leadership, fun team events or outings, quick employee testimonials, and corporate office tours. 

Social networks are the new search engine

While Google certainly is not going anywhere anytime soon, the way that candidates search for jobs and research company's culture has expanded outside of search engines. With the rise of employer review sites like Glassdoor and Indeed, people are now using reviews to make choices in their careers the same way they would to decide where to eat or booking a flight. Brian Solis says eighty-eight percent of consumers online are influenced by reviews and I'm willing to bet this trend and consumer expectation bleeds into the job search world as well. Pinterest, a site that is largely dominated by women in their 30s with young families, is directing people from their social media platform straight to company websites at an exponentially increasing rate, according to Shareaholic. Many companies are starting to use sites like Pinterest, Facebook, and review sites like Glassdoor and Indeed company profiles to highlight their culture and engage and respond to reviews from candidates and employees.

In fact, many studies and surveys, including the one highlighted in this Undercover Recruiter post, shows more candidates using Facebook (65%) to find a job than Linkedin (40%). Those personal connections matter! Also, Facebook recently opened up all 2 billion+ public Facebook posts to be searchable on their own search engine back in October of 2015.

Paid social advertising will dominate

According to socialmediaclub.org's Golden Ashby,

As the ROI of social media marketing becomes more established and social marketing itself becomes more accessible for a wider range of businesses, there will be a greater level of competition for visibility. Forbes discusses how Facebook is killing it’s organic visibility to force people to buy advertising, and as more businesses emerge in the market, I suspect that we will see a lot more of this among more social media channels. I see the cost of advertising rising a lot in 2016 as well.

Trying to build awareness of your employer brand on social or drive targeted traffic into your jobs? Advertising on social media sites like Facebook and even Twitter can help! The time is now to have a targeted social advertising strategy that not only hits your target passive candidate audience but also drives that targeted talent into specific job opportunities they may qualify for.

This is completely possible with Facebook advertising. I've done it at several companies and it's extremely effective in emerging markets, where I've seen over 200% increase in applications and actual hires from targeted social job advertising. The fact is, you have to pay to play in the social media space now but if you focus your targeting right, use compelling content (think about revamping those crappy bullet-list job descriptions first), and dedicate some budget in the right ways, you can see great ROI from your efforts! 

Need help? We help companies navigate these new trends and build a social presence for their employer branding and recruitment marketing efforts at Proactive Talent Strategies, LLC. Learn more here.

Will Staney

Will is the Founder and Principal Consultant at Proactive Talent Strategies, LLC and the former Head of Global Talent Acquisition at rapidly-growing startups Twilio andGlassdoor. Prior to that he held recruiting leadership roles at enterprise software leaders VMwareSuccessFactors and SAPwhere he lead strategic programs includingemployer brandingsourcing strategy, recruiting operations and systems process design.

During his over 7 years as a recruiting practitioner, after 10 years in sales and marketing, he developed a passion for building what he calls "modern recruiting machines". He would push innovation from the inside, execute on his vision, and once it was realized he would pass the torch on to those he had mentored and move on to his next challenge. He was destined to start a consultancy so he could help as many companies as possible adopt a more proactive recruiting strategy with community in mind.

In his free time, Will enjoys riding his motorcycle, trying out the newest gadgets, and spending time with his two kids, Foster and Felicity.