New Age Recruitment: Employer Branding & Social Media

Debayan Bhattacharya, Head - Talent Acquisition, Schneider Electric - Luminous IndiaThe present generation relates to the axiom that `Digital is the new normal'. Gone are the days when the job boards or print media advertisements were only means to attract talent into an organization. Today, the dynamics of attracting talent revolves around how savvy the organization is on employer branding and the effective social media management. However, the paradox of easy information access and enhanced social connect have made attracting and retaining talent more challenging now. According to a survey by `The Guardian', salience of employer brand constitutes more than 20 percent of the candidate decision. Branding and social media therefore become critical in reflecting what an organization wants to communicate to its present and future employees.

Social media and employer review websites such as Glassdoor, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn are playing an influential role in shaping-up candidate's decision on joining the organization. Just as Amazon's product ratings by consumers are perceived more believable than organization generated media content, the rating or content of the social media in regard to organization which directly or indirectly portrays the culture and values of the same to the outside world are considered more truthful representation of employer brand.

With increasing representation of millennials in the workforce, the psychological needs and motivations differ between the generations. Hiring managers have been reported as saying `we're not interviewing (millennials), they're interviewing us'. The millennial behaviors of maintaining unique identities, believe in having a life beyond work and having a work ethos which is best described as `want it all and want it now' present challenges to the attracting and retaining this cohort. Recently an interaction with one such candidate, who already had few offers for similar roles in other organizations, reinforced the importance of employer branding. He stated, "I would like myself to be associated with an organization, which has a social presence, acceptable social rating and reviews. Also the organization should help me in providing a platform to develop my personal brand as well".

The selection of a potential candidate is a two way process now with the organization evaluating the candidate in terms of skill, resume, education and social media footprint. Simultaneously and more importantly, candidates too equally evaluate an organization in terms of the potential perceived fit with their psychological needs through research in social media and peer referencing before even attending an interview.

With this trend, the recruitment teams today are required to step-up and additionally take-up the responsibility to engage with internal employees and encourage them to become social advocates and brand ambassadors, regularly write reviews regarding their experiences with current organization in different social media platforms. One cannot be away from embracing the new age recruitment methodologies and technologies. There are tools which are driven by artificial intelligence, using machine language programming for predicative analysis and personalized engagement. Routine, repetitive tasks are now being taken-over by computers skilled in sifting through large volumes of resumes in fractions of seconds.

This is reducing the need to large number of `sourcing' recruiters and bringing-in overall efficiency in the recruitment systems. Additionally, it helps in enhancing the candidate's experience as a whole. A synchronous cloud-based video interviewing platforms as well, which helps to build a pipeline for future talent, ensure a better candidate experience. These factors knowingly or unknowingly help to influence the organizational brand. Personal experience indicates that most often, it's the experience that we, as an organization provide to the candidate during the entire recruitment process that influences the candidate's decision to a great extent. The experience during the recruitment process reflects the brand and the culture of the organization.

This overall helps to project the organization in the right front and attract the appropriate talent. Organization leaders and social influencers need to act as `Talent Magnets' and the only way to achieve it would be through branding and social footprints.

Recruitment marketing plays a differential role in promoting the employer brand. The recruitment team acts as a gatekeeper for the organization to the outside world. A lot of responsibility depends on what is being communicated in the different channels. Need to ensure that the strategies and channels used for the recruitment marketing is in line with the EVP and the employer branding guidelines. Otherwise, there is always a fear of inconsistent messaging going out that might create distrust in the eyes of the candidate.

Lastly, it is important to reiterate that a good recruitment and on-boarding experience is provided to candidates. It is the million moments of truth which influence how candidates perceive organizations. Simple things like on-time interviews, communicating feedback (even negative feedback), acknowledgement of resumes received, and care taken during on-boarding process and so on are all build up to providing a great candidate experience and helping to craft an effective employer brand. As per the trend, the recruitment will be dependent on the social media and the employer branding at present and in years to come. The overall impact of utilizing branding and social media for recruitment will result in (1) Right talent in a reduced timeline; (2) Reducing cost per hire; (3) Retaining employees and project as brand ambassadors; and (4) Enhanced productivity through happy employees.