Solving the social media recruitment puzzle

May 8, 2013 | by Jason Hamilton
Solving the social media recruitment puzzle

Much of Snagajob's success, especially in its early years, was due to the growing trend that more job seekers were heading online to find jobs, as opposed to scouring the classifieds or going door-to-door asking about potential opportunities. Companies attuned to this online migration were able to stay in front of qualified job seekers and secure the best available candidates.

It shouldn't be any surprise that another shift has occurred over the past few years. Social media sites like Facebook have exploded in popularity and become a fixture in millions of people's daily routine. The purpose behind these sites has expanded beyond a means to casually keep up with friends and family. More people are logging on for news, to shop, and with increasing regularity, to find employment.

Snagajob recently conducted a survey of nearly 6,000 job seekers focused on their social media habits. There were some predictable outcomes: Google and Facebook are among the most popular websites. But other unexpected findings offered a better understanding of how businesses should augment their recruitment efforts to incorporate social media.

Be social, but don't do it alone

Nearly half of all respondents who said they were interested in restaurant jobs said they use social networking sites in their job search (46 percent), and of those, 39 percent admitted searching for a job is their primary activity when online. With so many more job seekers using social media sites to find employment, it might seem like a foregone conclusion that restaurants need to proportionally invest more resources into social media recruiting. But Snagajob's research found that job seekers' habits might warrant a different approach.

While 42 percent of job seekers have visited a social media page for a job site like Snagajob, only 18 percent visited an employer's page. Whether they found the process of going from company page to company page too burdensome or they simply didn't know which restaurants they should be researching, it's clear that job seekers would rather have opportunities aggregated into one place. Given this search pattern, restaurants lacking resources to invest in social media would be better served to link up with a job site that already has a strong social media presence and regularly promotes job openings and advice to an active user base.

That said, even though relatively few job seekers are going to restaurants' social media pages to research open positions, it is still important to at least maintain a low-level social presence from a recruitment perspective. Fifty-three percent of job seekers found it helpful when employers have a tab on their social media page for available positions. This is something that can be done with relatively minimal time and resources, without adversely affecting hiring managers' other responsibilities.

If anything, this should give hiring managers a sense of relief. "Solving" the social media puzzle can seem like a black hole, which ultimately takes attention away from managing staff and keeping the restaurant running smoothly.

What job seekers are looking for

Other more time-intensive features that respondents found helpful include a list of "do's and don'ts" when job searching (44 percent), the ability to apply for a job without leaving the social media site (43 percent) and advice on how best to create a positive "online presence" when searching for a job (41 percent).

While this content can help raise the caliber of candidates applying for available positions, developing and maintaining it is understandably beyond what most hiring managers can accomplish. Most of us at Snagajob probably couldn't manage a kitchen or handle a Saturday night dinner rush, but providing this type of advice to job seekers is what Snaggers do best, which is why partnering with an hourly job site can be so helpful for quick-service restaurants. It allows restaurants to link to information already existing on our site for job seekers to reference. This gives restaurants a more robust social presence without exhausting resources otherwise needed for core business functions.

Although social media hasn't radically changed how restaurants recruit employees yet, it has added a new dynamic that many businesses are not fully equipped to handle themselves. Instead of throwing time and resources at your social media pages, it might be more cost-effective to partner with a company more adept at identifying your next round of all-star employees.

Topics: Online / Mobile / Social, Operations Management, Staffing & Training

Jason Hamilton
Jason Hamilton serves as Snagajob’s vice president of product and marketing. In this role, he is responsible for creating products that instantly connect workers and employers. He also leads Snagajob's marketing strategies – from customer acquisition and retention to marketplace development and growth. Oh, and he had a cameo in a Bollywood film. www

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