Social Media's Influence on Talent Acquisition

Published on 7/10/2014 by Jimmy Hurff

Categories: Recruiting Software Blog

Tags: candidate experienceemployer brandingHR metricsHR technologysocial mediasocial media in the workplacesocial media recruitingsourcing

Glassdoor recently reported that 96% of the online population belongs to at least one social network. Add that to the fact that 47% of today's workforce was born after 1980 (and by 2025, more than 75% of workers will be come from the "social media generation" having grown up with internet and social networks) and begin to understand just how influential social media will continue to become in regards to the way we approach talent acquisition. Here are a few key ways social media has made an impact:

    • Sourcing

Obviously placing an advertisement in the local newspaper and waiting for paper resumes to be dropped off or sent in the mail is not exactly how it works anymore. The internet has made it much easier to access talent than ever before; however, with increased power comes increased responsibility. "The role of 'sourcer' has evolved to that of a marketer, technologist, detective and the best salesperson at the company." Recruiters and Talent Acquisition Specialists have become much more than administrative resume sorters. As the importance of these roles continues to evolve, they will eventually fall in line as one of the most integral resources in an organization.

    • Employer Branding

The idea of employer branding is relatively new in the long history of marketing and promotions. Companies have always had reputations, but utilizing that reputation and shaping how a company is viewed for the express intent of hiring quality talent is a recent strategy. Social media has rocketed this agenda to the moon. Stories, videos, tweets, online contests - these are all tools organizations can use to boost opinions and show potential hires they are a company worth working for. Showing a strong online presence also reminds those in the social media generation that your organization is not a "dinosaur" and that you are a company they can relate to.

    • Candidate Experience

When the entirety of the recruitment process was phone calls, interviews and pencil and paper testing, all interaction was over the phone or in-person. It may have seemed more involved, however, the process was extremely limited. With social media, candidates can engage with a company and understand the organization and the culture before they even walk in the door. It's easier to apply, easier to contact and easier to communicate. While the extreme personal interaction may have been knocked down a peg, the number of interactions and potential quality of those interactions has gone up in volumes.

    • Technology

"Social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest have completely transformed how we think of recruiting technology. CRM technology is now fused with social technology, from capturing social profile data to conversations and engagement. The time for candidate relationship management is now - capture rich living profile data that can be stored and utilized for strategic recruitment initiatives. The ability to create internal databases of social profiles, competitor intelligence and past applicants is at our fingertips."

    • Metrics

An advantage to social media and online sourcing is that everything is measurable. What was once simply "time-to-fill" or "cost-per-hire" metrics have evolved into "engagement metrics, reputation, brand impressions and source analytics." We now have available to us more advanced, insightful data to base hiring and retention decisions on.

Social media has taken its place in the process of recruitment and in turn, changes to talent acquisition strategies have followed suit. We now have the resources available to build stronger, more sustainable organizations and those that have thrived in the past and adapted to technological advances will continue to thrive. Social media is no longer the future, it is the now. Learn it, live it, embrace it.


Traci Kingery, PHR is an HR Professional and freelance writer based in the Midwest, specializing in immigration and talent management. When she's not improving unemployment, she keeps busy with her husband and four children.

About the Author, Jimmy Hurff

Jimmy is a seasoned technology executive & entrepreneur noted for leading business transformations. Over his 25+ year career, Jimmy has developed multi-platform expertise in the domains of engineering, data analytics, security, compliance & business transformation. Starting in 1995, Jimmy worked with his best friend, David Webb, to develop one of the world's first Internet job board and resume bank applications. From then to now, Jimmy has been consistently helping his customers to build great teams, using best practices and world-class technology.

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