Companies Adapt to Technology Savvy Job Seekers

February 10, 2016 – To keep up with technology-savvy job seekers, search professionals are using recruitment marketing tools to proactively attract and engage passive candidates and build ‘pools’ of talent for future hiring needs. This is the conclusion of iCIMS, Inc.’s new research study, “Recruitment Marketing: Fad or Future?” Conducted in partnership with Hanover Research, the report analyzes data from more than 760 human resource professionals and candidates.

The report found that 86 percent of HR professionals agree that recruitment marketing — the strategies and tactics an organization uses to identify, attract, engage and nurture candidates — is the most effective way to approach the talent management process.

Fifty-two percent of job seekers report Facebook as their first choice to research jobs, ahead of LinkedIn. This, a likely nod from Millennials. From the HR side, 90 percent of human resource and talent acquisition professionals agree that having a strong employment brand is more important today than it was five years ago. That brand is the first thing job seekers look at when considering new career opportunities.


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“Technology and the world of recruiting have changed dramatically in recent years, giving employers access to better and more powerful recruitment tools,” said Susan Vitale, chief marketing officer of iCIMS. “According to our survey, HR professionals agree that recruitment marketing is an effective strategy to identify and attract candidates, and they have identified recruitment marketing as an area they plan to invest in with headcount and technology this year. Implementing technology and utilizing social media to market open positions and a company’s employment brand will help position organizations for success in an evolving, and very dynamic job market.”

Key report findings:

Insights from Job Seekers

  • 75 percent of job seekers agree that companies should develop more talent pools to keep job seekers up-to-date on company information, including job alerts and other announcements;
  • 35 percent of job seekers spend one to two hours researching a company before they apply, and 25 percent spend three to four hours researching and looking at employment brands;
  • 77 percent of job seekers agree that companies that have a strong reputation and employment brand have an edge over those who do not.

Insights from HR Professionals

  • 76 percent of HR professionals currently using recruitment marketing automation tools agree that their company has received a strong ROI from these solutions;
  • 48 percent of HR professionals already have or plan to hire someone in 2016 who is responsible for recruitment marketing;
  • 61 percent of HR professionals said that the HR department controls their company’s recruitment marketing investments, but only 44 percent feel equipped to own recruitment marketing for their company.

“Through our proprietary research, we found that recruitment marketing is increasingly becoming a core competency of talent acquisition,” said Ms. Vitale. “Our latest data shows that HR professionals receive a strong ROI from using recruitment marketing tools, and job seekers agree that it improves job searching, the hiring process, and their overall experience. Now is the perfect time to dive deeper into modern recruitment marketing technology to see what it can do to support recruiting staff, candidate engagement, and the bottom line.”

Recruitment technology has changed so much over recent years, but companies appear to be keeping up with the changing dynamics and adapting quickly to it as it evolves.

Recruiting via social media continues to be a growing phenomenon with 84 percent of organizations using it currently and nine percent planning to use it, according to a report recently released by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). In 2011, only 56 percent used social media for recruitment. For many organizations (81 percent), in 2015 it was one of many tools used; five percent said it was their primary recruiting tool. This metric is expected to jump considerably in the coming next few years.

The study also concluded that finding passive job candidates (82 percent) continues to be the top reason that organizations use social media for recruitment. This was closely followed by increasing employer brand and recognition (77 percent), and targeting job candidates with a specific set of skills (71 percent). In-house recruiting teams are seen as adapting to social media specifically for this reason, according to a recent report from Hunt Scanlon Media tracking the transformation underway in the executive recruitment sector.

Contrary to the iCIMS survey, the SHRM report found that 73 percent of respondents said that LinkedIn was the most effective site for recruitment while Facebook, Twitter and professional/association social networking sites continue to gain momentum.

“Social media is another way recruiters verify applicants’ employment history and ensure that they are still viable applicants,” said Evren Esen, director of survey programs at SHRM. “Social media is here to stay, so employers and employees are utilizing it in various ways throughout the job search process.”

Numerous other reports have surfaced showing the increasing role social media is having on recruiting. Another recent SHRM survey, “The Importance of Social Media for Recruiters and Job Seekers,” found that nearly two-thirds of companies (65 percent) found new hires through social media in the past year.

The study revealed that 57 percent of organizations found new employees through LinkedIn, 30 percent through professional or association network sites, and 19 percent through Facebook. Overall, 87 percent of HR professionals said it was either very or somewhat important for job seekers to be on LinkedIn.

A report jointly produced by The Boston Consulting Group and Recruit Works Institute, titled ‘Job Seeker Trends 2015: Channels, Search Time, and Income Change,’ found that a majority of job seekers (55 percent) now use the Internet to seek employment and 33 percent rate Internet job sites as the most effective channel for finding a job.

Other reports have also found a similar shift underway. According to the 2015 Work Trends report released late last year by Adecco Group, the role of social networks and mobile platforms in the job seeking and recruiting process is becoming more relevant. Among social networks, LinkedIn remains the most popular platform for professional purposes, for both recruiters (61 percent) and job seekers (34 percent), whereas Facebook is the go-to network for all social activities including personal branding says the report.

According to data released by Peoplefluent, 69 percent of recruiting professionals said that social recruiting was one of the top five actions facilitated by technology for successful talent acquisition strategies.

All of these reports demonstrate the importance of recruitment marketing as companies need to set themselves apart to attract top talent. Nowhere is this more evident than the recruitment of Millennial talent.

Findly’s study, “Recruiting Millennials: 21st Century Advice for Recruiting This 21st Century Generation,” found that updating career websites to reflect company culture and showing the company’s use of up-to-date technologies were among things that Millennials seek when looking for future employers.

The study found that Millennials rely heavily on online resources. Career websites should use clear and simple navigation, and have just the right amount of real and authentic information, said the report. Millennials will check a company’s career site, social media presence, YouTube, and review sites, and they will use search engines to find compelling stories about the company’s culture.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media

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