Yves Pilet Consultancy
Employer brand management


How is social media recruitment used to strengthen an employer brand?

Social media is part of our society

Social media has an increasing influence on our daily lives. This applies to our personal as well as our business lives. All parties are more interconnected than ever before. Social media itself and its applications are changing as well: the difference between the variants of social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) is getting smaller, even though each channel has a specific feature (Facebook originally for students, LinkedIn in particular the work force), they will move towards total integration. Another notable trend is the transition from textual messages to rising visual content via social media. Where social media was originally just lyrically, more and more users want to get noted in the ever increasingly pile of these messages. In order to better distinguish their messages for their neighbor's, social media users support textual messages with visual content (an image). Currently, the approach is not only an image, but is also increasingly applying video (the growth channel of the future). This happens especially on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, but other (new) channels follow as well or lead the way (Instagram, Snapchat).

In the second half of the 20th century, the following global development occurred: a variety of fields such as Marketing, HR and Employer branding started to merge. Social media was originally just a Marketing tool, but other fields also picked it up - for example, HR as a recruitment tool and a measurement of online employers sentiment. Recruitment increasingly started to use social media in a smart way:

• Inform potential employees about the company's corporate values (corporate brand)
• Inform potential employees about vacancies (recruitment)
• Inform potential employees about the company culture (employer brand)

LinkedIn still most dominant, but visual social media content is on the rise

According to the research of MrWork in 2016 social media was used for much more than just posting vacancies for potential employees (like it was back in 2011). The various channels are increasingly used to also strengthen the employer brand of the employer as well. As a matter of fact, social media is the most important medium for strengthening a company's employer brand. In times of economic recovery, employers are more aware of the fact that some potential employees are more difficult to attract and to retain. Building a solid employer brand reputation is the first step for any employer if recruitment of potential talent wants to be successful. Social media, both internally (Yammer) and externally (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook), are therefore increasingly used in 2016 and onward.

LinkedIn is still the most dominant channel, but YouTube and Instagram gaining ground by the continued demand for visual content. LinkedIn and Facebook is the most used channel for reaching specific audiences. YouTube and Instagram are the most popular networks to use in strengthening an employer brand, but has to be used in combination with other channels like as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. 56% of the companies in the study used a combination of at least three social media networks for recruitment.

Which social media do companies use for recruitment?

Source: MrWork, 2016

What does 2017 hold in store for us?

For 2017 opportunities for employers active on social media (and eager to apply social media for their employer brand communications) should particularly pay attention to Snapchat (to be used to tell a visual story), Instagram (widely used to keep track of favorite brands and could also be used as to monitor favorite employer brands specific followers) and Whatsapp (Whatsapp will allow companies in their network and thus this social media can be used for recruitment to appeal to your audience really in person). Talk Walker indicates that in 2017 we observed trends in social media await us:

1. The power of the social media giants will increase
2. Fake news will be banned
3. From social media to social messaging
4. More targeted and more integration
5. The social storytelling evolution
6. Virtual reality meets social media
7. Confidence is next barrier
8. Business will have to learn how to sell through social

How do you see these trends affect your employer brand strategy?

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