In 2014, we discussed the importance of social media engagement and mobile recruitment, to create brand awareness and attract top candidates. These trends have continued to be valuable tools in the recruitment process, reflecting a shift toward a more candidate-centric hiring and retention approach. As U.S. hiring continues to surge and retention becomes increasingly challenging in the professional candidate-driven job market, companies need to realize that this new focus on marketing to top talent is the new normal, and is sure to have a significant impact on the recruitment industry over the next decade.
Why are we seeing a shift toward candidates when it comes to hiring? It really comes down to the fact that top performers now have more job opportunities than ever and rejected job offers continue to grow. Companies with a modern recruitment approach that embrace social media and a mobile apply process are at a distinct advantage, as many reputable companies still have antiquated recruitment methods.
So the ability to better connect with passive candidates and market to them, presents a growing opportunity. In fact, LinkedIn's 2015 Global Recruiting Trends Report stated that global recruiting leaders believe social and professional networks, employer brand, and passive candidate recruiting are the most essential and long-lasting trends in recruiting.
"The tide is turning and companies really have to improve how they market, both internally and externally, the employee experience within their organization," says Scott Bass, director of marketing for MRINetwork. "Professional online networks and social media are some of the fastest growing channels to establish a strong talent brand, basically what candidates and employees think, share and communicate about your company. These channels can greatly affect your ability to hire individuals who are well-suited for your organization and potentially reduce employee turnover." The excuse can no longer be, "we know interacting on social networks is good but we don't know how to leverage them." Companies really have to invest in learning the various social and professional online networks and how to connect with candidates on each of these platforms.
A growing number of passive candidates also expect to engage in the recruitment process on a mobile device, and more employers are meeting this need. According to LinkedIn's 2015 Global Recruiting Trends Report, 30 percent of respondents said their 2014 job postings were mobile-optimized, up from 18 percent in 2013. Thirty-four percent said their career sites were mobile-optimized, a 14 percentage-point increase from 2014. With mobile recruitment on the rise, companies that don't provide mobile-optimized websites or mobile applicant tracking systems are making it that much harder to find and compete for great talent.
Ultimately, competitiveness in attracting and retaining top performers presents the biggest challenge for companies looking to hire today. "The employers who will be most successful with recruitment will be those who make the hiring process candidate-facing," adds Bass. "Talent acquisition and retention strategies in 2015 really need to be approached as though they're comprehensive marketing campaigns, infused with social media interaction and mobile recruitment, focused on engaging candidates and employees, and building a dynamic talent brand."