Clearly social media is valued above all other channels, but is it highly valued? When surveying senior executives, more than a third of respondents cite social media as most important (the highest-scoring channel across digital, print and personal events). The employer website comes in second place, with 29 percent saying it is important. The top print channel is brochures (16 percent) and the top personal channel is career fairs (17 percent).
Yes, social media is deemed the top channel, but is 35 percent a vote of confidence? Let’s look more closely at how different professionals ranked social media as a top channel.
Notice that social media is not listed by the majority of respondents in each job category (in other words, 65 percent did not choose it.)
Putting these figures in context, it’s clear large companies are using social media to attract talent; study after study shows that usage is well over 90 percent. A recent survey by Jobvite of more than 1800 recruiting and HR professionals found 93 percent of recruiters use or plan to use social media to bolster their recruiting efforts, and we suspect this number is significantly higher in the largest companies.
Yet according to Jobvite’s survey, 82 percent of recruiters report their social recruiting skills are proficient or less. Meaning social media for recruiting is at an all-time high, but the vast majority of professionals don’t feel competent. Is it possible that while most companies are using social media extensively, the general lack of proficiency means executives still feel lukewarm about its potential?
To be fair, low proficiency scores are hardly surprising. Imagine the breadth of subject matter expertise HR and recruiting must master in order to leverage social channels – everything from sophisticated targeting of passive candidates and vetting them by scanning their digital ‘footprints’, to showcasing the employer brand online, posting job openings and generating employee referrals. What’s more, best-in-class social media recruiters know each social channel requires different tactics; the type of content that engages on Facebook is far different from that which will gain attention on LinkedIn… to say nothing of the dozens of niche channels.