Technology has recently been heralded as the primary driver for growth across the SME sector, with a reported 82% of all small to medium sized businesses stating that having the right technology in place has given them a clear advantage over their competitors – even going so far as to enable them to better compete with larger firms in their sector. This is particularly the case when it comes to recruitment – specifically the use of social media as a recruitment tool.
In today’s ultra-competitive jobs marketplace employers are clambering over themselves to attract the best available talent. Trouble is, the traditional ways of finding that talent are fast disappearing. Indeed, newspaper job ads rapidly becoming consigned to the history books and the unrelenting rise in online recruitment sites is making the task of finding the right people all the more tricky.
To attract the best talent, SMEs need to know how to connect with job seekers in the most effective way. It is about finding where your audience hangs out and crucially and how that audience wants to receive information. That’s where social media comes into it’s own.
Research shows that year-on-year an increasing number of graduates are using social media sites such Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to find job opportunities, with as many as 8 out of 10 UK employers using social media to source new staff, according to a recent study.
The reason for this is simple: it is a matter of knowing where the people they want to target are most active and if a survey by Reed is to be believed, more than half (53%) of all jobseekers in the UK are hanging out on social media and looking there for jobs. So it makes perfect sense to search for jobs on there too.
The biggest of all social media sites is Facebook, with over 1 billion active users…and counting. Facebook is also the primary tool for jobseekers in the UK. In fact, in 2013 it is estimated that 83% of all job seekers in the UK turned to Facebook to help them find their next role, with 76% actually landing the job they wanted via this social media platform.
Facebook is great for businesses to boost their employer branding too. Indeed, aWork4 study found that 50% of users believe that a brand’s Facebook page is more useful than its website, and that 81% of jobseekers want to see opportunities posted on Facebook career pages.
Yet despite this, employers and recruiters favour LinkedIn when searching for candidates, with only 65% of employers using Facebook. Yes LinkedIn is a great tool for searching professionals but for interns and recently qualified graduates it falls way behind Facebook.
Much like Facebook, Twitter with 305 million monthly users, should also be prioritised by SMEs, with one study finding that 39% of all jobseekers are active on the site and that 23% of job seekers have used it in order to look for work. Furthermore, 6% of people have received a job referral through Twitter and 8 million Americans credit the social networking site as the source for their current job.
The point is that if you are looking to recruit an intern or graduate, you need to reach out to those candidates in the right way and at the right time. Only then can you effectively find the right people that you need. SMEs need to be clear on whom they want to reach and what they want to achieve.
Of course this is not to suggest that as an employer you should ditch all other methods to attract candidates. Rather social media – or social recruiting as it is often termed – is most effective when used as part of an all-round recruitment strategy, which includes graduate fairs, specialist career sites such as the one you are on right now, and increasingly using smartphone and tablet technologies.
Many graduate employers and internship providers have seen the number of applications for roles fall over the last couple of years, whilst many of their competitors have experienced a surge.
The difference between the two sets of employers is this: those who are seeing a rise in applications are those who have realised that the traditional route to market is becoming less effective. As a result, these employers have responded by introducing ways to engage with students and graduates in different, more effective, ways.
At Intern Avenue, we have a system in place that matches employers and candidates. It starts with a job seeker completing a profile by entering information into in all the necessary fields before being put into our database. In that database are thousands of other candidates who have listed their skills and experience. Employers are then given access to the database and have the ability to find people who meet the requirements of their internship – it is that simple.
If you’re looking for a paid internship, visit us at www.internavenue.com