Expert Interview with Ryan St. Germaine on the Benefits of Social Recruiting for Social-Hire

By Cheryl Morgan

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With joblessness in the U.S. and Canada decreasing and the need for top-notch job applicants increasing, recruiters are turning to technology to fill openings.

And one of the most promising tools for recruiters today is social media, says Ryan St. Germaine, CEO of Jobcast.

What makes social media such a valuable tool? It's versatility.

"Pretty much everyone is on some sort of social network, so it's a great way to reach a greater number of candidates and those candidates who are not actively searching for work," Ryan says.

In addition, social media makes engagement easier, allowing recruiters to touch base with candidates via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook so that first phone call doesn't have to be from some random person.

Finally, it's useful for getting your staff on board with your recruiting strategy, Ryan adds. Encouraging employees to share jobs boosts the quality of hires and application volume.

"We've actually created a social employee referral program because of just how effective these interactions have proven to be," he says.

Ryan recently checked in with us to share more of his insight on using social media for recruiting. Here's what you need to know to get started:
 

Tell us about Jobcast ... what services do you offer? Who should be using them?

Jobcast is a social recruiting app for recruiters and employers.


You can use Jobcast to create a fully branded Career Page on Facebook and automatically share the jobs you post to Twitter, LinkedIn and your Facebook Timeline; we also provide detailed reporting so that you can analyze your social recruiting efforts.

 

When did you realize Facebook's potential for recruiting and job hunting?

My business partner Johnny Oshika and I have worked in HR tech for almost 15 years now, so we're pretty attuned to the market.


In 2010, Johnny and I were trying to figure out a better way of distributing jobs when a light bulb went off for both of us. We realized Facebook was a hugely underutilized tool for broadcasting job ads, so we launched a very basic first version of the Jobcast app.

To our amazement, the app received thousands of downloads.

We watched as Jobcast users used Facebook not only to share job postings, but also to engage with potential hires and passive candidates. It was then that we truly realized how powerful a tool social media is for hiring.

 

You describe a "war for talent" in your About section. What is the war for talent?

Joblessness is at an all-time low in both Canada and the U.S.; this means fewer overall candidates and an increasingly competitive job market. As Boomers retire, the skills gap will increase, leading to a metaphorical "war for talent."

Basically, it's just a more exciting way of saying the hiring market is very competitive.

 

What types of job candidates are recruiters most hungry for today?

Recruiters are hungry for great candidates. There's definitely more of a focus on soft skills and problem-solving abilities lately and along with that, there seems to be a marked decrease in the emphasis employers and recruiters are putting on degrees.

 

What are they doing to reach them?

They are doing a lot.

I'm always so amazed by just how hard recruiters work. We've seen a huge increase in users over the last year; more and more of our clients are using a multi-channel social recruiting approach; they're using YouTube recruiting videos and lots of image-based content.

We're also noticing employers using social media to encourage employee referrals and to make the process easier and more trackable!

We've responded to this by creating a very popular social employee referral component to Jobcast.

 

How has the recruiting market changed in the past five years? What do you think it will look like in the next five years?

Recruiting with social media is technically new, but the idea of social recruiting isn't. It's always been important to use all effective channels available to reach top talent; there are just more channels now!

The real change we've seen in the past five years is in job seekers' expectations. People now expect to be able to Google an employer to find out about their company culture. They want to see good employer branding and a social media presence; they want to see social proof that legitimizes a potential employer before they fill out a job application.

If you have no "searchable" employer brand, candidates find it incredibly suspect. This is yet another great reason to use apps like Jobcast to give yourself a presence, and to work with companies like Social-Hire to ensure that your employer brand's presence is professional and inspires trust.

As for the next five years ... I think employee referral programs will finally get the attention that they truly deserve! Social recruiting will no longer be a separate thing from recruiting; it will become just as much a part of your hiring strategy as writing job descriptions.

I'm also hoping to see (and provide) improvements in automation, so as to make the recruitment process easier. Using HR tech should make recruitment easier, not add a ton of extra steps!

 

Can you talk about some of the different ways you've found companies using social media to recruit?

I'm seeing a lot more companies use recruitment videos on their Facebook Career Page. Video is a great way to convey company culture to potential candidates.

I'm also seeing companies use social media to drive the referral process quite a bit. Jobcast users are using Facebook to alert their employees about open positions and encourage them to share these jobs to Twitter, LinkedIn and their Facebook Timelines.

 

What do you think are some best practices for finding the most qualified candidates for a job via social media?

Share content that appeals to the talent you want to attract. If you don't know what that is, then do a little digging (BuzzSumo is a great tool for this) and ask your staff what kind of content would appeal to them.

Join social networks, groups and communities that your potential hires frequent, then engage with them and ask them questions. Make sure to then connect with the promising talent you encounter in a concrete way, such as via email.

You can also search for talent using Facebook's Graph, Twitter hashtags, and, of course, LinkedIn's database.

 

What are some no-nos?

Not understanding your audience and what they want from you. The thing about social recruiting is that it isn't one size fits all. You need to experiment and figure out what works. For example, just because Instagram recruiting works magic for Starbucks doesn't mean it will work for you.

It's important to try posting different types of content, at different times of day, at different frequencies, and using different social platforms. It's equally important to track these experiments and then look back over the data you collect and use that information to adjust your recruiting strategy.

Oh, and using way too many hashtags, or none at all! Thankfully, that's an easy fix. :)

 

Beyond social, what other types of tech should recruiters be investing in to stay competitive in today's talent hunt?

Tech that improves candidate experience.

If your online application process is terrible and it isn't mobile friendly, then no amount of social media can save you. Make it as easy as possible for candidates to apply. Give them the option to upload their resume via Dropbox, or to auto-populate their application with LinkedIn.

 

What industries seem to be leveraging social the best for recruiting, and what can we learn from them?

Retail and the restaurant industry are doing a great job, but I think that's to be expected considering the importance of using social media for marketing to both parties.

A surprising one is the oil and gas industry.

Oil and gas is a tough field to recruit for, especially considering the above average amount of qualifications and credentials jobs in the industry mandate. To try and reach more candidates, a lot of oil and gas companies use social media.

As for lessons, well Chronos Oil & Gas has an extremely active LinkedIn presence; their sponsored group has over 57,000 members! Along with job postings, they share a variety of interesting content to the group, but varied as it may be, their content is always relevant to their industry. Chronos is also using a Facebook Career site to attract social job seekers.

Another example of effective social recruiting in the oil and gas industry is Oil and Gas People. They have created a niche job board specifically for their industry frequently used by companies such as HAYS, AGR and Orion Groups. They also have an extremely active social presence including an active Facebook Career Page.

Connect with Jobcast on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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