5 Surprising Ways Companies Are Using Social Media

Job hunting is stressful.

I’m not even referring to being unemployed where each week on the hunt is another week you’re losing a much-needed income.

You have so little control over the hiring process that the fear of the unknown can be crippling. Unpredictable job search lengths and the hidden job market potentially keeping your dream job a secret from you makes the entire job search a gamble, right?

Job seekers who change their perspective of the job search from it’s-all-about-me to it’s-all-about-the-company will find relief.

If you’re taking the time to educate yourself about hiring processes and how companies are using the tools available to them, you’ll discover ways to conquer the modern job search and get hired faster.

Jobvite releases a handful of surveys each year, and this 2018 Recruiter Nation Survey reveals what 850 hiring professionals have to say about the evolving hiring process. Let’s reveal how to use social media in your job search based on how companies are using social media today and in the foreseeable future.

5 Surprising Ways Companies Are Using Social Media | Off The Clock Resumes

1 | Employer Branding

Branding, if you’re not familiar, is a type of marketing. When it’s a job seeker’s job market, which it is right now, employers need to advertise why a job seeker should work for their company rather than another. The most common approach is advertising competitive benefits or work-from-home/flexible schedules.

According to the survey, 47% of recruiters are investing more of their budgets on social media for employer branding. They are spending more time and even creating ads that will show off what it’s like to work for the company, the values you may share with the company, and which causes or organizations the company supports.

Although it’s not technically a social media platform, 75% of recruiters are now paying attention to the company’s Glassdoor reviews. Glassdoor is a review site that allows employees to share what working for the company is like. Many companies have Glassdoor reviews that share tips about the interviewing process as well.

Managing the company’s reputation on Glassdoor can help attract better candidates, so addressing bad reviews and even making changes within the organization to boost employee reviews have taken higher priority in the last year.

This means you’ll have a much easier time doing employer research and determining which companies you may want to work for before you even apply.

2 | Finding & Reaching Candidates

You’ve heard about LinkedIn by now, but did you know recruiters are using Facebook and Instagram to find and reach out to candidates? While 77% of recruiters are using LinkedIn, 63% are also using Facebook and 25% can be found searching for candidates on Instagram. The number of tech company recruiters on Instagram even leaps to 63%! Makes you wonder what they’re finding on your profiles, right?

It’s no secret why recruiters are looking for candidates on LinkedIn. Statistically, 36% are looking for mutual connections. Mutual connections that vouch for you become referrals, and new hires that were referred to the company historically stay at the company longer. This keeps hiring costs down for HR teams, too.

Reaching out to candidates on social media seems to be more effective than email, so having a social media presence could speed up your job search!

3 | Evaluating Your Skills

Recruiters aren’t only looking for mutual connections on your social media sites. More than half (58% in fact!) are looking for examples of written or design work. This is why you should create a portfolio or personal website that you can link to in your profiles to show off your design skills. A written portfolio could include articles you’ve published on blogs, reports, performance reviews, and letters of recommendation.

Watch out, though! Forty-three percent are looking for spelling and grammar mistakes. Make sure your Facebook or LinkedIn posts, Instagram captions, or written portfolio isn’t sprinkled with spelling errors and poor grammar. You never know who could be watching.

Even if you’re not actively looking for a new job, you never know if your social media profile will attract attention from a recruiter who happens to be looking to fill the opportunity of a lifetime.

4 | Sneaking A Peek At Your Interests

They aren’t only looking to evaluate your skills. Many recruiters are interested in seeing how you spend your free time. In fact, 60% are looking for engagement in local/national organization groups. Your volunteer time can easily be shared on social media, and now you know that recruiters want to know about it.

Recruiters are also on the lookout for activities that could reflect poorly on the company or impair your ability to be a top employee. More than half (about 58%) are looking for references to marijuana, 47% are looking for political rants, and 42% are looking for pictures of alcohol consumption. Granted, a #WineWedneday post won’t likely hurt your chances of being hired; but an album full of tagged photos from your sloppy clubbing days could.

Your friends aren’t the only ones looking at your social media posts.

5 | Preparing For The Future

There’s one more way that companies are starting to use social media, and you need to pay attention to this one if you anticipate job searching anytime in the next 10-20 years. Almost every other recruiter (45%) believes artificial intelligence and automation will take over many aspects of the hiring process in the foreseeable future. But what does this have to do with social media?

Online profiles are databases of information. Many in HR and career services are preparing for AI to use these databases to generate pools of applicants rather than collecting resumes or job applications. Your digital footprint will be your resume whether or not you’re looking for a new job.

It’s critically important for your future job searches that you’re more aware of your online presence and activities on social media.

If you’re thinking of removing yourself from social media entirely or refusing to jump on the bandwagon for the sake of privacy, you may want to reconsider. No social media presence will mean no digital footprint and potentially no consideration for jobs in the future. The longer you wait to start building a strong online presence, the farther behind you will be from others interested in the same jobs as you in the next 10-20 years.

I challenge you to embrace social media and start taking steps toward building a strong online presence. Create a LinkedIn profile. Clean up your Facebook and Instagram feeds. Be more aware of your activities online.

Which of these ways that companies are using social media surprises you the most?