The Greatest Opportunity for Recruiters in 2013

For the first time since Bullhorn has been publishing annual recruiting Trends Reports, respondents this year said that the single biggest overall opportunity for staffing and recruiting professionals in 2013 was (drum roll please) “increased access to passive candidates via social media.” Connecting with passive candidates through social media was considered to have more potential for recruiting professionals than introducing more efficient business processes, an increase in flexible roles and workspaces, untapped growth in emerging economies, increased business due to recruiting consolidation, and sourcing candidates from overseas.

Passive candidates, defined as employed workers who aren’t looking for a new opportunity, make up about 80% of the population, according to Laurence Hebberd of Link Humans. While they may be content at their current job, they could be open to an attractive opportunity if it’s presented in the right way. According to Career Builder, nearly 20% of workers have been approached to work for another company in the last year when they didn’t apply for a position with that organization. The key is finding a way to get in front of passive candidates, which is where social media comes into play.

Social media websites like LinkedIn and Twitter are great sources for recruiters to tap into passive candidates easily and quickly. How do you reach these candidates through social media?

Here are a few (not-so-obvious) tips to help you leverage social media to connect and interact with passive candidates:

  1. Start a Blog ― People engage around relevant and good quality content. Share this content with your social networks in order to draw in new connections. This is not to say you should start writing blog posts on how great your firm is, but you should write about topics that interest your ideal candidates. Even if these candidates aren’t looking for a job, they’re almost always open to reading an interesting article that’s relevant to their profession or industry.
  2. Invite Candidates to Events ― Never underestimate the power of a face-to-face meeting. It can be a great way to build rapport and set the foundation of a strong relationship. But meeting for coffee with a candidate that isn’t actively looking for a job can be challenging. They may not want to dedicate that time to you. Try inviting them to a professional education or networking event that’s mutually beneficial. This keeps the pressure low and the environment still professional.
  3. Use Online Referrals ― Candidates build social networks that consist of their friends, acquaintances and family of whom they trust. If you make it easy for people to share your jobs and website content, then they will be more likely to promote your company across their networks. Add online referral tools like the “Add This,” “Like” or “Share It” buttons to your jobs and blog posts to make it easy for people to share your content.

Most importantly, put in your best efforts to connect and interact with your top candidates on the most popular social media channels (e.g. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn). “Like” and “retweet” their content, while you drive attention to your own social profiles so you are more likely to gain their attention. Once you’ve established an online relationship with them, your chances of developing an in-person relationship will be higher. It sounds like a lot of work, but it’s hard work that has great potential. So get to it!

For more recruiting news, tips and techniques follow @Bullhorn on Twitter. You can also download the full 2013 North American Staffing and Recruiting Trends Report in the Bullhorn Resources section.

This Bullhorn Blog post was written by Ashley Healy.

Ashley Healy specializes in integrated marketing communications and a wide range of marketing activities including social media management, SEO copywriting, content marketing, promotional strategies and employment branding. She previously worked as Content Marketing Manager at Bullhorn and prior to that, as a copywriter and marketing coordinator at Verndale, a full-service digital agency.

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