Global corporates boosting social media engagement

social media

The massive rise in prominence of social media has led many major global organisations to increase their so far limited investment into social channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook in order to attract and engage talent. Senior Resourcing and HR directors at a recent roundtable event facilitated by hyphen, the recruitment process outsourcer agreed that social media is fast becoming a critical part of the recruitment and employee engagement tool kit as major organisations adapt to the new digital age – and this investment is starting to drive internal change towards a focus on digital within organisations.

Zain Wadee, Managing Director at hyphen, said: “The importance of social media as a recruitment and communication tool is growing, and organisations are realising the value of interacting effectively through social media channels.

“It is important that employee engagement plays a key part in an organisation’s social media strategy; this will encourage a following that is both active and aligned to the organisation’s culture.”

The delegates, which hailed from a number of top blue chip organisations including Xerox, Lloyds Banking Group BBC and Nokia agreed that without significant support from digital specialists, such as the CIO, in-house social media experts, or external consultants, organisations often find it difficult to put in place a holistic and sustainable model to attract and engage talent through social media channels.

Corporates of all sizes have therefore experienced mixed success in leveraging social media as a recruitment tool, and there remains a lack of confidence in digital recruitment strategies.

The event follows research released by hyphen, which shows that many organisations are yet to make effective use of emerging social media channels as a recruitment channel. The research, which polled over 1,500 UK professionals, showed that over one in ten (13.9 per cent)  candidates are avoiding digital communications channels in favour of traditional application methods when applying for a new role because they fear they will be negatively perceived by prospective employers.

Meanwhile, over a fifth (21.4 per cent) of professionals stated they would not follow any organisation on a social media channel and over a quarter (26.8 per cent) would never engage with a business or would need a very compelling reason to do so.

Paul Harrison, Managing Partner of social business strategy firm Carve Consulting, outlined steps organisations need to take if they’re truly to realise the business value in social technologies:

“Organisations need to have a robust strategy in place: ‘provide and pray,’ which characterises much of what passes as social recruiting today – will simply not effectively attract talent.

“Similarly, organisations need to systematically engage their internal audiences in their engagement and recruitment strategies. That means empowering employees with the tools, training, trust and time to become authentic, active advocates.”