4 Social Media Trends Talent Acquisition & HR Professionals Need to Know

bratty_girl_blog.jpgThere’s nothing more humbling than learning the latest trends and technologies for all things that snap, post and pop while in a room with a bunch of twenty-something-year-olds. Which is exactly what happened to me when I recently attended Mashable’s Social Media Day.

At this point, there is no denying how social media has changed how the people of the world communicate and interact with one another. And that’s exactly what Social Media Day celebrates -- a day dedicated to recognizing the impact of social media.

If you ever find yourself wanting to learn about the nuances of social media, just watch someone born after the year 1990 on their phone for about twenty minutes. For those of you in staffing and recruiting who don’t believe social media applies to your industry, it’s time to wake up from that rock you’ve been sleeping under. Consider the fact that eight out of every ten online Americans is active on Facebook. And with every like, post or video shared is another opportunity for you to connect with your next hire. 


4 Social Media Trends You Can't Ignore

Regardless of your current comfort level, social media isn’t something that is going to go away. As one speaker during the conference pointed out, it’s no longer acceptable to say, “What’s the Twitter thing?” Did I mention she was representing a legal firm?

While you may or may not incorporate social media within your existing talent acquisition strategy or employment branding, my hope is after reading the social media trends below it will be glaringly obvious why you should seriously reconsider social as a powerful recruiting tool.


Experiential Marketing

When Ben Blakesley, Social Media Leader at Reebok, shared an amazing video from a shoe launch campaign, the entire room was green with envy. In the video, actual runners hand-delivered a free pair of sneakers to consumers who participated in a Twitter promotion. Not only was it a genius idea, but the return on social share of voice was tremendous. When asked how long it took him and his team to pull off the event, no one expected the answer to be: three weeks.

The morale of the story? Even big brands have to move quickly in a social media market. But more importantly, you have to make a splash. That’s because the clutter of what is online is endless and easy for consumers to ignore. To really stand out, it has to count (rhyme not intended but I hope it helps!).

Chances are, you aren’t Reebok, and you aren’t selling shoes. So what now? My personal suggestion would be to jot down the company’s core values that you wish to promote to prospective and current candidates. Once you have your short list, think of ways to evoke these words into actual emotions using social images, messaging and video (repeat video!). By doing so, you will appeal to the heart and soul of the person on the other side of the digital apply process.


Micro Storytelling

Admittedly, I don’t consider myself much of a Snapchatter or Instagram storyteller. Let me pause for a moment. If you don’t understand what I just said, or if you don’t think it applies to your brand, it might not be now, but trust me, it’s coming. And that’s because for the first time in recorded history, the attention span of a goldfish has surpassed that of a human. You can thank our increasingly digitalized lifestyle for that.

Content is becoming shorter, more video-based, and easier to digest (read -- it has less words). If you need an example of this, simply scroll your Facebook feed.

Targeted Audiences

Whether you’re in life sciences or lifestyle branding, when you consider current social trends then you understand that storytelling-based applications are perfect ways to deliver your message. In my experience, I’ve found the biggest barrier to entry is not only knowing where to start in terms of content, but recognizing the true value of social ad targeting. When I work with our recruitment leads on social engagement campaigns and explain how granular we can get with targeting, they are shell-shocked.    

To help get you to understand the full potential of social media ads, here are some different audience types you can target to.

Custom Audiences

You can upload a customer or email list into several social media platforms to directly target audience members who have registered on the platform using that same email address.

Lookalike Audiences

Like a custom audience, it takes the data generated from an existing custom list and uses it to find similar audience groups that share similar traits.

Retargeted Audiences 

Pixel-based is the most commonly used retargeting ad. It uses cookies to track anonymous web visitors and deploys an ad based on that tracking information.

List-based Retargeting

Employs the same concept as the custom audience, but uses retargeting ads to follow select audience members.


Social Media Teams

From the big brands to smaller players, everyone is jumping off of the ledge and diving head first into some form of social media. Depending on your resources, maturity level or both, you might be thinking how will I ever compete in this arena?  The answer is you can’t go at it alone.

One idea shared by Georgetown University’s social media director is to create an ambassador program. By using real students to create real content, not only does GU have a unique voice in the marketplace, but they are appealing to their core customer – students.

If that idea is a bit outside of your comfort zone, try this one on for size. During a B2B panel discussion on lead generation via social media, Jared Melzer, Director of Strategic Sponsorship and Social Media at TE Connectivity shared a simple but brilliant solution to aid in social media content generation and training.  He hosts a monthly call where employees can learn about the latest social media trends, address upcoming needs or simply brainstorm new ideas.


You might be excited to get started, but before doing so, take the time to understand which social platforms are most relevant to your organization. This can easily be accomplished by using reporting tools, like Google Analytics to identify the source of social traffic to your digital job apply site.   

As a social media practitioner, I recognize that it’s my job to stay on top of the latest trends in the industry. However, as a talent acquisition professional, you’d be remiss to ignore a $3 billion industry that will disrupt how your future workforce finds and secures employment. As it stands today, nearly 80% of the American population has a social profile. As the number of social users grow, so do the number of registered users across multiple platforms. Get started now, so when Snapchat for business is a real thing, you won’t be left in the dust.


About the Author: This blog was written by Alexandra Calukovic-Deck, aka the Marketing Guru, a digitally-driven marketer. Claims to fame include the longest possible last name ever, certifications in Strategic & Inbound Marketing practices, and lover of all things Philadelphia.

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